Richard Conti, 78

WEST BALDWIN — Richard Conti, 78, passed away on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in West Baldwin, where he loved nature, tractors and lobster.

He was born in Boston, Mass., on May 12, 1940 to Frank and Anna Conti, who immigrated as teenagers to Watertown, Mass., from Ceprano and Naples, Italy, respectively. Richard attended school in Watertown, Mass., until his family’s move to Long Beach, Calif. He was an avid baseball player, playing shortstop and often told stories of raucous times with George Ross, Lou Setti and Jimmy Howley. Richard was the first of his family to attend college at MIT, where he studied electrical engineering. Richard worked for Raytheon for 43 years, achieving great success on the Patriot Missile System in the radar division and mentoring many colleagues.

Richard was known for his great intellect on a plethora of subjects, and that which he didn’t understand, like baking, he sought to master from books, classes, and others. He became well known for his homemade pies as well as his lavish Christmas Eve meals, which went beyond the traditional Italian seven fishes and seemed to encompass a cornucopia of the ocean’s bounty. His company was worthy of his cooking, and he had many friends from myriad facets of the world and life. He was magnanimous and well humored, enjoying both existentialism and the antics of the Marx Brothers.

He loved Maine; its inherent stillness, its majestic trees, and its encompassing wilderness. His use of a tractor or chainsaw was not to limit Nature’s growth, but to unearth it, to allow more trees and plants to reach toward the sun for his wife, Carolyn, his family, and dogs to enjoy. He particularly enjoyed the company of his grandson, Simon, both of whom shared a curiosity about the world, from marble racing, to the ups and downs of the Boston Red Sox.

Richard is survived by his sisters, Diane Sparks of Long Beach, Calif. and Helen Frey of Westminster, Calif.; his wife, Carolyn May of Belmont, Mass.; son, Jason “Crazy Legs Conti” of New York, N.Y.; and daughter, Samantha Barney of Cambridge, Mass.; a grandson and many nieces and nephews of Long Beach, Calif.

Although Richard spent much enjoyable time in Belmont, Mass., it is in West Baldwin’s stillness that his ashes will be placed in a private ceremony, his life celebrated, and the memory of his remarkableness enriched and cherished. Most obviously, by his friends and family, over a large meal.

Online condolence messages can be submitted at the Poitras, Neal & York Funeral Home website, www.mainefuneral.com

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