Obituary of Richard Allen LaRhette

Richard LaRhette

Richard Allen LaRhette of St. Croix, USVI and Great Barrington, MA passed away at his home in Great Barrington on November 21, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

Richard, known as “Dick,” is survived by his wife, Diane B. Moran; brother John M. of Naples, FL; son Sidney (Marlene) of Frye Island, ME; daughter Leslie J. LaRhette (Robert Spinner) of San Rafael, CA; Marc T. (Alicia Murray) of Moraga, CA; stepdaughter, Deborah E. Moran of New York, NY; grandsons Justin (Martina); Nicholas Spinner;  Cooper and Finn and two great-grandsons, Matyas and Filip and his former wife, Sally LaRhette, with whom he raised his five children.

He was predeceased by his parents, John Allen and Elizabeth E. LaRhette, his brother Douglas C. LaRhette, and daughters, Lorene B. LaRhette and Melody J. LaRhette.

Dick grew up in Natick, MA and graduated from Natick High School, Class of 1953, where he had been a star football player. Following his graduation from Boston University School of Arts & Sciences (B.S.) in 1957, he served for six months in the Army National Guard.

He lived in Sudbury, MA for many years where he raised his children and was a member of the First Parish Unitarian Church. He spent many summers on Martha’s Vineyard.

Dick began his career in insurance sales for Paul Revere Life Insurance Co. and then Mass Mutual Insurance Co.

He became a pioneer in the retirement planning industry founding LaRhette Retirement Services Group in 1974 in Wellesley, MA (which later became LaRhette/Manin Insurance Agency in 1999) serving as President until his retirement in 2002.

Richard implemented an innovative approach to meet the retirement needs of New England hospital employees. He designed and developed a then novel approach to retirement plans called “Partnership Plan.”  The plan used employer matching contributions to incentivize employees to save a portion of their pay for retirement in partnership with the employer.  Now this is a common approach,  but new at that time when traditional pension plans were the main type of retirement plans large employers offered.  In addition to the employee savings component, the Partnership Plan was portable between employers.  Finally, he designed the Personal Retirement Income system, which helped retiring employees create an income stream from the retirement plan. He ultimately installed and serviced pension plans at over fifty New England hospitals, among them, Berkshire Health Systems in Pittsfield, MA, which includes Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.

After his marriage to Diane, formerly of Rye, New York, they lived in St. Croix, USVI and Great Barrington, where he became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix and Unitarian Universalist Membership of the Southern Berkshires.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather Dick was dedicated to his family.

Also athletic, he was a runner for ten years and later became an avid cyclist for another decade, biking the Berkshires and enjoying cycling trips with Diane in Europe, Canada and the U.S. He golfed at Carambola Golf Club in St. Croix and was a member of Wyantenuck Golf Club in Great Barrington.

Dick enjoyed dining and was a serious wine enthusiast. He especially loved reading biographies and the New York Times. He enjoyed the rich cultural offerings of the Berkshires – classical, jazz & folk music, dance performance and theater – and the natural beauty of the Berkshires, especially Monument Mountain.

A memorial “Celebration of Life” will be planned for the summer of 2022.  Check for updates at Birches Roy website: birchesroyfuneralservices.com

Donations in Richard’s memory may be made to:

HospiceCare of the Berkshires, Inc.

c/o Birches-Roy Funeral Home, 33 South St. Great Barrington, MA 01230

Condolences may also be sent in care of Birches-Roy Funeral Home.

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