STAMFORD - Richard "Dick" Thomas Little, 85, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 9, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Beacon, on May 2, 1932, to Thomas and Roberta Little. He graduated from Ossining High School and attended Oswego State University and SUNY New Paltz, where he received his masters and administrative degrees.
Prior to becoming an administrator, Dick taught industrial arts, science, and reading in the Ossining School System. He then became assistant principal at the Claremont Elementary School.
While teaching in Ossining in September of 1956, Dick met his future wife, Priscilla Dickson, a fourth grade teacher. Three months later they were engaged, and were married on June 29, 1957. Dick never tired of telling his grandchildren the story of his whirlwind romance, claiming that he caught Priscilla at her only weak moment.
While on a camping trip with their children in 1970, Priscilla and Dick discovered Stamford Central School, where Dick became elementary supervisor. In 1971, he became assistant principal and then served as superintendent of schools from 1972 until his retirement in 1987. Following "retirement," Dick served as interim superintendent in South Kortright, Andes, Roxbury, Gilboa, Delhi, and the Northern Catskills Occupational Center. He also served as an adjunct professor at Hartwick College. Numerous students through the years have shared their recollections of Dick, calling him inspirational and often referring to the "tough love" he delivered.
In addition to his work at local schools, Dick also served on the Stamford Village Board and as supervisor of the Town of Harpersfield from 1987 to 1991. He also worked as an appraiser for the National Bank of Stamford, as a real estate salesman and in carpentry.
Dick was extremely committed to community involvement. He was a member of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Catskill Area Study Council, New York State Teacher's Association, and the Catskill Players theater group. He served as chairman of the Utsayantha Park Agency Parks and Recreation Committee, trustee of the United Methodist Church, co-chairman of the Antique Auto Show from 1977 to 1987, and was a promotor of the first Winter Special Olympics in New York State. Dick was especially proud of his role as founder of the Stamford Flag Day Parade, which celebrates its 45th anniversary next year.
When his children were young, Dick enjoyed spending time camping with his family and friends. Later in life, Dick and Priscilla traveled extensively with their friends, including trips to Alaska, Europe, Egypt, and the Panama Canal. While at home, Dick spent many happy hours working in his workshop, the "chicken coop," and taking meticulous care of his beautiful home and yard. He also always enjoyed a rousing card game of Hand and Foot on a Friday night. As his family grew, he became a fixture at his grandchildren's school events, rarely missing an opportunity to share in their lives. His children and grandchildren will forever remember his love, his joy in living, his sense of humor, and his sweet tooth. He was the epitome of a good man. Dick created a fitting epitaph for himself when, on his 85th birthday, he proclaimed: "It's been a great life."
He is survived and remembered with love by his wife, Priscilla, and children Tom (Susie) Little of Delhi; Jim (JoAnn) of Hobart; and Karen (Brian) Ogborn of Manlius. He was the proud grandfather of Jason and Kelsey Little, Callan and Daniel Little, and Gregory, Lauren, Kaitlyn, and Chad Ogborn. He recently became a great grandfather to Griffin James. He is also survived by his sister Joan (Robert) McBride of Athens; brother-in-law James (Juanita) Dickson of San Rafael, California; and several nieces and nephews.
Dick's family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Robinson Terrace Bathgate for their care and compassion.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Stamford United Methodist Church on Friday, June 23. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on June 24, at the Stamford United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richard T. Little Scholarship Award, Payable to Stamford Community Dollars for Scholars, C/O Stamford Central School, 1 River Street, Stamford, NY 12167.
To share a condolence with the Little family visit, www.macarthurfh.com.
Published on June 19, 2017