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Richard Burton Colby

April 4, 1937 October 27, 2019
Richard Burton Colby
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Obituary for Richard Burton Colby
Richard Burton Colby, 82, died October 27 at home at Laurelmead in Providence, RI. A lifelong Rhode Island resident, he lived in Barrington most of his life until moving to Laurelmead a few years ago. He was the son of George Edwin and Annabel Fitzgerald Colby. He leaves his wife, Janet McWain Colby.
Richard graduated from Moses Brown School, Class of 1955 and Williams College, Class of 1959. He worked for Bendix Radio on Project Mercury. In 1961 he joined Magnetic Seal Corp., his family’s manufacturing business, where he worked for 58 years. He led Magnetic Seal as President for three decades, and he was instrumental in building it into an international aerospace engineering and manufacturing firm. He served on Boards at his church, the Rhode Island Country Club, and at Laurelmead.
He loved making things with his hands. He has shingled buildings, laid a brick walk, built furniture and other wood items, and completed many electronic devices. He and his sons built their first computer. These skills he learned from his father then taught to his sons. He liked to say “the right tool for the right job”. He also enjoyed boating, golf, and travel. He loved playing games and working on puzzles, especially with his grandchildren. He loved summers spent with family in Westport Harbor, Massachusetts and Morgan, Vermont.
He is survived by his two sons, Tom and Jeff, and their wives, Kate and Stephanie and a sister, Marcia Truslow. He is also survived by his grandchildren Amanda, Kimberly, Calvin, and Charlotte. He was pre-deceased by his sister Susan Smith.
A memorial service is being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Laurelmead Employee Education Fund (LEEF) in Richard’s memory c/o Laurelmead Cooperative, 355 Blackstone Blvd, Providence RI, 02906.
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