Richard Llewellyn Wainwright of Brockton died February 11, 2019 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He was 86. Richard was the husband for 57 years of Ona M. (Grogan) Wainwright.
Richard (Dick) Wainwright was born in Brockton on April 24, 1932, the eldest child of the late George Llewellyn Wainwright and Louise Ellington (Turner) Wainwright. He was in the first gifted class program in the Brockton school system, Brockton High School Class of 1949, and transferred in 1948 to St. Mark’s School (Episcopal), Southboro, MA, where he graduated in 1950. From there he went on to study at Yale University with the Class of 1954, majoring in psychology. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving combat duty in Korea, which he thought would be the last war the United States would be involved in, with rank of Private First Class in the 2nd Infantry Division, 72nd Armor Tank Battalion from March 1952 until December 1953, returning to Yale from 1954 to 1956 to complete his studies. He then studied pre-med at Boston University receiving a BA degree as an undergraduate and graduating with a law degree in 1963.
He met Ona Grogan in 1958 through mutual BU friends and were married on November 22, 1961 at St. Mark’s School Chapel. They resided in Boston’s Beacon Hill and Back Bay neighborhoods before moving to Brockton in late 1966. Richard and Ona lived in their mid-century contemporary home since then.
Richard was for many years a parishioner at St. Paul Episcopal Church, Brockton, where he was baptized, sang in the choir, played basketball on the church league team and served on the Church Vestry and as Senior Warden. He chaired the parish committee which resettled a Vietnamese family in Brockton in the aftermath of the war.
He was a member of the family law firm of Wainwright, Wainwright, Wainwright, Wainwright and Wainwright along with his father George, brothers, Stephen and William, and wife Ona. Richard had been a member of the American, Massachusetts, and Plymouth County Bar Associations. He served on the Board of Directors of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra for many years. He loved playing bridge and backgammon through high school and college and later at the Chess Club and the Cavendish Club, Boston. Richard also competed in the World Backgammon Championship in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
He spent his childhood summers and part of later summers in Wenaumet Bluffs, Pocasset, Cape Cod. He and his brother Stephen raced their sailboat the ‘Blue Streak’. Richard and Ona enjoyed sailing #19 in Buzzards Bay. The Wainwright family orchestra performed Labor Day weekend community concerts there for over thirty years. Richard played drums with them as well as saxophone and was a lifelong piano player and music lover. In school he participated in Glee Club, musical and theatrical productions, and Octet. He was known to sing while in the Army and at Veteran gatherings during commemorative events in South Korea marking the 50th anniversary of the War and cease fire.
Richard served as Mayor of the City of Brockton from 1972-1973. He was a strong advocate for education, instrumental for Davis and Raymond Elementary Schools being built while he was in office. He was Chairman of Plymouth County Water District Commission in 1967. The rest of his life he remained interested in the city and never hesitated to offer suggestions on whatever he thought might be improved.
He was a Massachusetts delegate to the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami. He attended the United States Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for the 1982 campaign for Massachusetts State Attorney General.
Richard and Ona pursued their shared interest in traveling and studying world history. Sitting on the beach or poolside was not Richard’s idea of a vacation. Among their travels they did a legal study tour of the Soviet Union during the Summer of 1984 and in 1986 on a Sea Cloud cruise in the Mediterranean shortly after US military operation and upheaval off the coast of Libya, Richard assured the passengers not to worry, that he would play backgammon for their lives if captured by Libyan forces. They went to China in 1987 as part of a trade conference with Ed Meese and went to Tokyo and Hiroshima Japan in 2001. Several times visiting South Korea as part of veterans and military history tours.
Richard enjoyed doing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle along with the other puzzles in the magazine section of the paper. He created word puzzles, two of which were published in the Sunday NY Times Magazine and had others in the works. Richard collected books, records and sheet music. When his nephew David Jr. and wife Barbara brought him to visit a new library in Virginia, he found only a few titles by his favorite mystery writer Elmore Leonard, when he got home he packed up a box of duplicates that he had and shipped them off to the librarian.
One of his greatest joys was helping people who had no place to turn for help.
Richard is survived by the love of his life, Ona, his daughter Victoria, his son David, brother Stephen, five grandchildren, Geoffrey, Jacqueline, Miranda, Julia and Andrea and four great grandchildren, Remy, Gabriel, Liam and James. He was predeceased by his sister Muriel, brother William and grandson James.
Calling hours will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont St., Brockton on Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. and a memorial service at Conley Funeral Home on Friday, March 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Richard’s favorite charity, the Salvation Army, 216 Centre St., Brockton, MA 02302.