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Richard M. Bisbee, 82, died at his home in Waitsfield on Thursday, May 18, 2012, after a long battle with cancer. He was born in Montpelier, VT, on June 21, 1929, son of the late Clarence and Dorothy (Savage) Bisbee. Richard married Emily A. Holton in Erwin, SD, on June 17, 1951. Emily, Richard’s wife of 59 years, predeceased him on June 1, 2010.
Richard attended public schools in Waitsfield, VT, graduating from Waitsfield High School in 1947. He also attended Mount Hermon, a prep school in Mount Hermon, MA, for nearly two years, at which time his older brother, David, was killed in WWII, so Richard returned home to be with his parents. Richard continued his education at Yankton College, Yankton, SD, where he graduated with his bachelor of arts degree in 1956.
From August 1950 to August 1954, he served with the U.S. Air Force, spending one year of duty in the Korean Conflict. His Air Force duties included radar mechanic airborne and later in personnel. He returned from active duty and finished his undergraduate studies at Yankton College where he began his teaching career at Yankton High School in 1956. He received his master of arts degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD, in 1959. During this period, Richard was a member of a group who wrote the English Course of Study for the South Dakota Public High School System. He helped author several books concerning the teaching of the humanities in high school and colleges. In 1972, he received a grant from the Endowment for the Humanities to pursue a doctorate program at Michigan State University. He completed his course work in 1980.
Richard was on the faculty of Worthington Community College from 1960 to 1991 where he taught English, literature, history, philosophy, speech and theater. He was faculty president several times, faculty representative to the state for several years, and twice appointed interim dean of Worthington Community College. Richard also served on several state and national humanity commissions. He directed theater at the college for 25 years and founded and directed the Grassroots Community Theater for 20 years.
He was a Sunday school superintendent at the Presbyterian Church in Worthington for 15 years and a scoutmaster for 10 years. He taught five years at Yankton High School, one year at Woodstock (VT) High School and in 1960, began his college teaching career in Worthington, MN. In 1961, the family moved to Worthington.
From 1961, Richard began a summer career teaching in summer camps in Maine. He was a reading teacher for seven years at Camp Ticawa in Harrison, ME. In 1968, he became a teacher at Long Lake Lodge, North Bridgton, ME, which was a summer tutoring camp for high school students. Richard became director of this camp and president of the board of directors for 18 years. He was director and stockholder of this camp when it was sold in 1986. Through these summer periods the family went to Maine where Richard and Emily had a summer home.
Richard has lived in many communities. He grew up in Waitsfield, went to Yankton, SD, at age 18 where he lived for 13 years. While in the service he was in Texas, Mississippi, Crestview, FL, Korea, Denver, CO, later living in Worthington, MN, Woodstock, VT, Harrison and No. Bridgton, ME, and Waitsfield, VT. Richard and Emily spent 14 winters in New Smyrna, FL.
Richard retired in June 1991 and moved to Waitsfield, VT, his hometown. His major retirement project was to write a second volume of the History of the Town of Waitsfield 1789–2000. He completed this book, which was published in 2006 and is available for sale. He has remained interested in the town’s changing face over the years.
He is survived by five children, 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Dorothy Nelson and daughter Anna of Portland, OR; David Bisbee and his wife Tamara of Stowe, VT, and daughters Megan, Clare, Jaime; Barry Bisbee and his wife Ruth of Stewartville, MN, and children Emily, Tyler, Molly; Ronald Bisbee and his wife Jan of Winterport, ME, and sons Wyatt and Tanner; Martha Powers and her husband Michael of Chaska, MN, and daughters Michaela and Katelyn; and great-granddaughter Sophia.
Graveside inurnment services will be held from the Waitsfield Common Cemetery on August 5, 2012, at 1 p.m. To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury, VT. Anyone wishing to send cards may send them to Martha Powers, 9311 Rhoy Avenue, Chaska, MN 55318.