OBITUARY

Richard E. Voigt

August 14, 1935July 4, 2018

Richard "Dick" E. Voigt, of New City, New York, passed away at age 82, suddenly and peacefully, on July 4, 2018 at his home, with his beloved wife, Elisabeth Voigt, by his side. He was the son of the late Helen Voigt and Ernest Voigt of NYC. Dick was born on August 14, 1935 in New York and raised in Manhasset. He graduated High School from Kent School in Kent, CT, where he continued to attend reunions and actively support the institution to current day. He graduated from Yale University, New Haven, CT in 1957 with a major in Philosophy. It was there, in 1955, he formed and "cut his teeth" as a Dixieland pianist in Eli's Chosen Six and continued an annual pilgrimage to get together with 'The Boys' and play a few sets as recently as May, 2018. His postgraduate degrees included New York Theological Seminary where he obtained title of Deacon and eventually Reverend (a proud moment for his children to call him, "Rev Rev"). He is survived by his wife Elisabeth; his sister, Sue Bissell-Roberts; his three sons: Richard E Voigt, Jr. and wife Mary, Michael K Voigt and partner Vilma Silva, and Christopher T Voigt and partner Kimberly Beal; his daughter, Melissa J Mason and husband Daniel Mosner; son-in-law, Scott Mason; Daughter-in-law, Sheila Kaligian; grandchildren: Rachel and Joe Leto, Kelly Voigt, Megan and Kieran Jones, Amanda and Jeff Boroski, Becca and Brian DiMauro, Allison Mason, Jessica Mason, Alyssa Voigt, Devin Voigt, Savannah Voigt and Florencia Caces; great-grandchildren: Kalysta Contaras, Paige Leto, Lydia Jones, Josephine Jones, Mason Boroski, and Aralynne Wood; and many, many dear friends. He also leaves behind his greatly loved pets Daisy, Hansel and Gretel. Dick's lifelong passion was for Dixieland Jazz as a pianist for which he formed, toured, and played with Eli's Chosen Six, Peppermill Jazz Band, Dick Voigt's Big Apple Jazz Band and played with Creole Cookin' Jazz Band. It was through his music that he was able to act as benefactor for many worthy causes and charities, with performances and fundraisers on his island home of Nantucket, various arts and cultural venues in Rockland County, educational institutions at Kent School, Yale and SUNY at Rockland Community College, Arthur's and other jazz clubs in NYC. Dick had a love for the Weston/Westport area of Fairfield County, CT where he built a family home. He co-founded The Peppermill and Parsley Restaurants which became a place of employment for the Voigt children and meeting locale for musicians, politicians, friends and family in addition to where the Peppermill Jazzband often performed and eventually recorded an album. In that entrepreneurial spirit he moved to New City, NY where he purchased HighTor Vineyards and Winery and his wife Elisabeth joined him in marriage. He ultimately converted the winery to farmland and later donated a section to the State. He and Elisabeth traveled often to Bermuda and treasured the friendships and a retreat from the New England weather. South Mountain Road is where they made their dream home surrounded by Elisabeth’s gardens, breathtaking vistas and their animal menagerie. It was the site of weddings, political dinners, cultural exchanges, benefits and countless dinners with very dear friends. His dedication and support is well known throughout addiction and recovery programs including Open Arms, Inc. a residential program and treatment facility which he founded in Harverstraw, NY in 1979 and Nantucket Atheneum for which he was a proud member and benefactor. Dick proudly obtained licensure and certifications in substance abuse counseling including the title of Pastoral Counselor, MPS, NCAC-II. He remained a proud and active member in Alcoholics Anonymous passing the message for decades. He was a board member of Rockland Conservatory of Music , Helping Hands and a Trustee at SUNY @ Rockland Community College. He was also a benefactor at Rockland Family Shelter, now the Center for Safety & Change where he was honored and wife Elisabeth was an active board member for many years. Dick was actively involved in the works of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Dick was an enthusiastic and active member in the Democratic Party, supporting candidates of the Libertarian Party and Green Party. He was Selectman of Weston, CT in the late 60s. He raised his family to have, share, and be active in the political process both locally and nationally. A member of the Madaket Land Trust and a supporter of Nantucket Atheneum, Nantucket was a gathering point for many. Nantucket, and more specifically Madaket, was the home he shared with family, friends and even those lucky enough to bid for a week during fundraising auctions. In a life full of changes, his jewel by the sea bound a growing family together. A place of commonality, spirituality, sobriety for some, sunsets and laughter, four generations have come to share his home and leave books of photos, memories, legacies and island magic. It is here, his ashes will be scattered. His legacy and memories for family and friends were as individual as they were, but everyone had their unique and yet universal experience. His love for the Durham Fair and lobster, his enjoyment of a savory snacks and a good cup of coffee, his sneaking of the "I'm gonna quit" cigarette, carving of roast beef with his sons, gathering by candlelight for dinner with friends, a bit of music and culture in NYC, treating children and grandchildren to the magic of Broadway, gathering on a lawn to hear the Dixieland, traveling to Sanibel/Captiva for an enchanting vacation, boisterous discussions of political opinion, holding a small child on his immense lap, his spectacular holiday dinners, willingness to help anyone get treatment for addiction, endless assistance with education tuition, and most of all... the witness by ALL, of his love for his Elisabeth and her "Lion". Friends and family members may attend the celebration of life service on Friday, July 13 at 11:00 am at Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, New York, 10960. Reception immediately following. Inurnment will be private at the Emmanuel Church, Weston, CT on a later date. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Open Arms, Inc., Haverstraw, NY; Helping Hands of Rockland County; Center for Safety and Change, New City, NY; Rockland Community College Foundation, Suffern, NY.

Services

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REMEMBERING

Richard E. Voigt

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Nancy Hammerslough

July 11, 2018


Dick was truly towering, not only in intellect, enjoyment of life and energy, but also in non-towering sensitivity and loving support of many kinds of people. What a kind, complicated man he was and how many happy memories we have of him! With love, Nancy Hammerslough

Basia Kretowicz

July 7, 2018

I was deeply saddened by the news of Richard passing. My you find peace and love in the memories you cherish.

FROM THE FAMILY