Richard M Vesper

November 20, 1937February 15, 2021

Richard Michael Vesper was born in the Bronx to Margaret and Frederick Vesper. He grew up in an all brick house his father built overlooking the water on City Island with his loving parents and sister, Peggy. At the age of 22, Richard married the love of his life, his Annie. Richard and Anne never left each other’s sides during their sixty years of marriage. He is a devout Catholic and a proud patriot, having served as a Marine.

Richard obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan College and a Master’s Degree in the field of Engineering from Columbia University. After finishing his education, Richard and Anne had their first child, Debra, while living on City Island and then their second child, Karol, after moving to Connecticut. Richard's first job as an engineer was with PerkinElmer. He then joined the CIA in Langley and moved his family to Virginia. While in Virginia, Richard had an exciting career with the CIA, enjoyed time with his family, designed, and built a beautiful new home in Vienna, Va. He ultimately took a position as VP of New Projects at Lockheed Electronics and moved his family to New Jersey.

Richard loved boating and fishing. He and Anne thoroughly enjoyed their home on Long Beach Island. His three grandchildren, Kyle, Dylan and Coryn shared many happy times on LBI with their Pop-Pop. He loved to Kayak, attend his fishing club meetings and spend time with his family during his retirement. Eventually, Richard and Anne became snowbirds, dividing their time between New Jersey and Florida. While in Florida, Richard loved whale watching with Karol and enjoyed time with the large and loving Doucette family.

Richard had a zest for life. Whether it was learning new technology, trying out new water sports or simply becoming proficient at tying fishing flies, Richard had a perfectionist's attention to detail. He had a brilliant mind and a successful career. But most of all, he was a kind and gentle man who truly loved and appreciated his family, friends and the beauty of the world around him.

We would like to share a poem written by Richard, which we will always hold dear in our hearts:

Man should not by a river be stopped because it is too wide,

Nor should he ever journey 'cross that river without some reason why.

Man should not his thoughts conceal, keeping feelings penned inside,

Living life simply, not unlike a child, doing the best he can...with a smile.

Despite his brilliance and success, Richard always valued the little things in life and always knew what really mattered. Whether it was his favorite foods prepared by his Annie, camping at Disney World, big hugs from his loving daughters or fun times shared with his grandchildren, he truly cherished them all. We are honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to share in his exemplary life, and will forever benefit from his everlasting wisdom, kindness and love.

Richard is survived by his loving wife Anne, his daughters and spouses Debra and George Gonis and Karol and Farley Doucette and his three grandchildren, Kyle, Dylan and Coryn Gonis. Due to COVID restrictions, services will be private.

Donations in Richard’s name may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association. Link below.

To leave online condolences and fond memories of Richard family, please add a memory on our website The Thos L. Shinn Funeral Home, 10 Hilliard Dr., Manahawkin, NJ was entrusted with the arrangements.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Richard M Vesper

have a memory or condolence to add?

Farley Doucette

February 21, 2021

Thank you Richard for raising the women I would marry. Thank you for being the perfect example of a man devoted to his family. I do wish we would have had more time, but I’m certain you are making the most of this newest adventure. See you in time.

Kyle Gonis

February 19, 2021

While growing up, my grandfather was one of the most loving, supportive, and educating people in my life. Pop pop, as we most usually called him, was always at Dylan and I's baseball games, whistling with his fingers and cheering from the bleachers, always celebrating our victories and encouraging us after losses.

He taught me how to play chess, and gave me the confidence to play on my middle school chess team and to compete in tournaments. Not only did Pop pop give me confidence through chess, but he also helped instill in me invaluable qualities such as patience and focus.

He had a great sense of humor. He would frequently play a comedian - magician at our birthday parties, and was constantly sharing new jokes with us. When I think about how much time and energy he put into making his grandkids laugh, I feel grateful to have had such a good hearted person as a grandfather.

Thank you for being an incredible influence on my life Pop pop. Rest in peace.

Dylan Gonis

February 19, 2021

My grandfather or Pop Pop we called him taught me many things about this world. A scientist by trade, he had a fun loving quality which I believe is rare to find in a man of his standing. As a young grandson he taught me about ways in which things behave in the physical world which come as a surprise to young minds, through examples with gears, pullies, circuits and other mechanisms. No matter how old we get there are things which surprise us and seem difficult to understand. Pop Pop had us down to beach house in LBI many times as children, and these are some of my fondest memories. I love you Pop Pop rest well.

Jilann Doucette

February 18, 2021

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Vesper and his loving wife several years ago. He and Anne were so welcoming and caring. What a great life well lived.

James Douglass

February 18, 2021

Dick and I were friends for over 50 years. He and our families shared many fun times. I can still see his VW van ahead of me on the highway, our families keeping in “touch” and playing board games via CB on the way to the Maryland shore. He was “Robin Hood”. We and our families shared floppy hats, eating crab, laughing, being silly, being serious, and over the years lots of gatherings and sharing of life.

How does one condense a friendship into words, and especially a few words? Perhaps one of the best ways I could tell the world about Dick is to refer to the tributes from his family. These speak directly and indirectly about Dick. This man lead a remarkable career, amassed true and committed friends, and gave himself totally to his family. Who among us doesn’t admire this and hope to live as well?

My wife Jan, my family and I know the world lost one of its truly special members. He was and will always be a true and special friend. In a very literal way Dick still lives in our household and always will.

Jan and I give our deepest condolences To Annie, Debra, Karol and his entire family. We all treasure the special memories Dick gave to us all.

Keith Blauvelt

February 17, 2021

The love between Richard and Anne was a true love. The way my friend Anne spoke of her husband was always with bright eyes, smiles, and a feeling of love that everyone should be able to have and experience. My heart, love and prayers go out to all his loved ones.

Karol Doucette

February 17, 2021

My Dad taught me how to sail
and how to boogie board
I love the water
we are water

My Dad taught me the "right" way
to paint a wall
My Dad showed me how to live
and curiously
and how to make stupid/clever word puns that no-one appreciates

My Dad made sure I could change a tire
We watched every episode of Star Trek
and I grew a fascination for the
beyond, the fantastical, the
wonders of the universe

My Dad always wanted a hug,
a smile
an ice cream
My Dad always wanted us to
be happy

My Dad made me many pairs of
fly earrings that I never, ever wore
And he never, ever minded that

My Dad was pleased that I love science
Was thrilled when I studied Marine Biology
But was proudest when I became a teacher

Countless things
So many moments
That I will keep
For us both

You taught me how to sail

Coryn Gonis

February 17, 2021

I feel so honored to have had such a great Poppop. He has always inspired me not only by his impressive career but the by way he loved his family and was so dedicated to them. I am reminded of my Poppop every time I put my lab coat on in my MLS career. He will be greatly missed- love you always Poppop.

debra gonis

February 17, 2021

Hi Dad- "Is this the party to whom I am speaking? " That's how you used to answer the phone, and although I admit it was sometimes annoying, I would give anything to hear it again. You once asked me "was I a good father?" I couldn't fully answer you at the time, I got too choked up, but went home and wrote you a five page letter answering your question. Yes dad, you were the best father I could have asked for. The mere fact that you would even ask that question shows what a humble, caring human being you are. You are so accomplished- I took great pleasure in bragging about you. You spent your life providing for us and showing us nothing but love and support. When I got married, I cried the whole way through the father daughter dance and you just held me tight. Thank you for always being there to hold me up. When I had kids, you came to every baseball game and dance recital- thank you for always showing your love and support. The question isn't whether you were a good dad, its if I lived up to your excellent example, and I hope I did. I love you dad, you will live in my heart forever. XO Debbie

Daniel Doucette

February 17, 2021

It was a great honour to know a great man. My greatest memory with Richard is when we went on our fishing boat and didn't catch anything but memories.