Richard Edmund Tibbets Sr.
May 10, 1932 – September 14, 2020
On September 14th 2020, Richard “Dick” Edmund Tibbets of Wakefield, MA, formerly of Lynn, passed away after a brief illness, preceded by 88 years of strength, laughter, sarcasm and love. The love of his life, Christine (Hill) Tibbets, preceded him in death in 2002. They shared 44 years of marriage together and raised 4 children.
Troubled parents, childhood homelessness, living ‘barrel to barrel’, staying with extended family on couches, odd jobs like ‘gas station attendant’ and ‘chauffer’ filled the years of 1932 to 1949, then, at the age of 17, Dick joined the National Guard, and then the Army. Stationed in Korea, as a military police officer, Dick even had a run-in with a landmine, which he survived, though not without injury.
Upon returning after the war, Dick spent his early 20’s working in gas stations & even hitchhiked across the country at one point. That is, until 1958, when he was cruising around City Hall Square with a buddy, and noticed a beautiful girl, waiting at a bus stop with a friend. With a gleam in his eyes, Dick said to the friend, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl’, and stopped to offer the girls a lift. His friend hopped in the backseat, and let Christine Hill, the gorgeous, blue-eyed beauty with a ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ attitude sit in the front. And with that, Dick & Chris became an “us”, and then a family.
That’s not to say it was easy. As one of 13 children, Chris’ family didn’t have much money and her father didn’t exactly approve of her intended. Without money for a ring, Dick presented Chris with a ballerina in a bottle music box, and a promise to get a ring when he could as he proposed. They ‘ran off’ to a Justice of the Peace & got married and started their lives together in Lynn. Their daughter Christine was born later that year. Followed not long after by Richard Jr., Joseph & William.
Dick worked hard to support his growing family, buying a home in which Dick & Chris were known to host THE BEST parties. He worked for the City of Lynn for several years, owned his own gas station at one point, and moved on to become the General Manager of several auto dealerships, including James Lincoln Mercury, and Main Street Ford in Waltham. Throughout it all, his family never wanted for anything in the way he had as a child, and providing for his family, from his children, to his great grandchildren, was always a source of pride for him. He spent his time working, collecting and restoring “old beauties” antique cars, and going to swap meets.
In 2000, Dick met the second love of his life. A peek-a-poo puppy named Winston. One day, Dick mentioned to Chris that he wanted a puppy, and in her characteristic way, she told him ‘no, we don’t have time for a dog’. This late in his life, Dick knew to listen to his wife, but also wanted what he wanted. After arguing and getting nowhere, Dick took off to visit family in California, without telling Chris. You’d think this stunt would have got him in trouble. But, it got him a dog. Arriving home a week later, Dick was presented with a tiny fluffball named Winston, who had the look of a pup, but the soul of an old man. Dick and Winston remained best buddies for years, and like his kids, Winston never wanted for anything, often dining on hot dogs, subs ordered just for him, and m&m’s.
In 2002, Chris passed away suddenly. About 5 years later, Winston followed. Without his love and his best buddy, Dick struggled, but still enjoyed fixing cars, watching Nascar, M.A.S.H. and Perry Mason and visiting family in California. He visited the cemetery where Chris and Winston are buried multiple times each week. On September 14th, he joined them, reunited in laughter and love, having fulfilled the promise of his and Chris’s song:
I will spend my whole life through loving you, loving you. Winter, summer, spring-time, too, loving you, loving you. Makes no difference where I go or what I do. You know that I'll always be loving you.
If I'm seen with someone new, don't be blue, don't be blue. I'll be faithful I'll be true; always true, true to you. There is only one for me, and you know who. You know that I'll always be loving you.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Adam Tyburski and Lillian Moody, his loving wife, Christine (Hill) Tibbets and sister Jaunita Keith and granddaughter Sharelle Reed. He is survived by his children, Christine (Tibbets) Levesque of Reading, Richard Tibbets Jr. of Venice, FL, Joseph Tibbets of Marco Island, FL, and William Tibbets of Salem, NH, as well as their spouses and partners. He will be lovingly remembered as “Pa” by his grandchildren, Amanda, Samantha & Sandy (Levesque), Lauren Tibbets, Melissa, Jason & Adam Tibbets and will be sorely missed by his neighbor and best buddy, Paul MacDonald. He also leaves behind beloved great-grandchildren.
Dick’s Graveside Service will be held on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. Please meet inside the main gate on Boston Street at 10:45 AM.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Richard Edmund Tibbets Sr.
Ann Marie Marcolina
September 19, 2020
After reading the tribute and life story, it all fell into place about the man I knew. He was my boss, co workers, friend and father at each time those traits needed to be. My boss taught me auto body and paperwork. My co worker worked with me once I knew my job. My friend shared a laugh, coffee, gossip.
And when I struggled in life, a dad.
Not many could pull that off as well as he did. This berserk world has lost old school dignity but in my memory, this man will live on.
September 18, 2020
Dear Chris. I am so very sorry for.your loss. I hope you receive comfort from knowing that you went above and beyond as a daughter. Hugs to you.
September 18, 2020
I am so sorry for your loss his obituary says it all he was a great man.