Richard C. Melanson Jr., 66

Richard Melanson Jr.

Richard Melanson Jr.

DENMARK — Richard Charles “Rick” Melanson Jr., 66, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Denmark on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.
A fixture of downtown Denmark, Richard cut a memorable and much-loved public figure in that close-knit community. Since relocating from Massachusetts to Denmark in the mid 1990s, Rick reliably served as the town's preeminent pedestrian, and was often to be found walking along the road between his outlandish house at 49 West Main St. and Jimbob's Variety — where he was the closest thing they had to a coffee connoisseur.
Rick was born in Chelsea, Mass., on Sept. 22, 1948, to the late Richard Charles Melanson Sr., and the late Shirley Bettina (Hanson) Melanson. A veteran of both the Vietnam War, and a lifetime on the North Shore of Mass., where he spent many years in Gloucester, Rick brought to Denmark a taste for public dancing in his front yard, a love of visual art and music, and a set of highly-developed skills for storytelling, hand-rolling cigarettes, and laughter. His eyes were an arresting, crystalline blue, and his smile was a wide, craggy comment on a world that he viewed with bemusement, if touched by a healthy disdain. He was a modest bibliophile, and was often to be seen reading on the stoop in front of his house.
Rick was an enthusiastic and frequent friend to the Denmark Arts Center, where he was in charge of making coffee, and was much appreciated for his manual labor (especially at the DamJam), his generosity (especially with his Tobacco), and his aesthetic eye (especially when hanging art shows). He even donated a vintage picture of his grandmother, recognizing a perfect home for it where it hangs to this day, to the right of our stage. His colorful public commentary on our current political state was, if less directly appreciable, still of a piece with his characteristic individuality.
Rick leaves behind a son, Elijah; a sister, Marcia; and a brother, David.
Donations may be made in his name to New England Center for Homeless Veterans, 17 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108, or The Denmark Arts Center, 50 West Main St., PO Box 813, Denmark, ME 04022.

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