SALEM – Mr. Richard A. O’Leary 78, of Salem, beloved husband of Katherine B. (O’Keefe) O’Leary, passed away peacefully Monday evening April 13, 2020 at Salem hospital following a brief illness.
Born in Beverly, he was the son of the late James and Anna (Heidish) O’Leary. He was raised and educated in Salem and was a graduate of Salem High School, class of 1959.
Richie and Kathy were a true American love story. They met at a young age, when Kathy was Richie’s bat girl on his little league team, they maintained a friendship that blossomed to love as they matured to adults and were married for over 53 years. They only had eyes for each other and would both light up in the presence of one another. It was a true and everlasting love, through thick and thin, for better or worse. They truly were each other’s best friend and confidant. Always at each other’s side throughout the years, you could feel and see the love they shared for each other. Most recently, Richie had spent every day visiting and supporting his beloved throughout her illness. It is a true testament to the man he was and the love they held for each other.
Richie began his professional career as a leather worker with the former Flynntan Leather company of Salem and then began a long and successful career as a Corrections Officer with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. He spent over 30 years working as a Deputy Sheriff until the time of his retirement in 1996.
Richie was a Hall of Fame athlete at Salem High School and an avid sports fan. You could always find him watching a game or cheering on the hometown team. During his days in Florida, he looked forward to going to Fort Myers to watch the Red Sox during spring training. Richie and Kathy had Patriots season tickets for many years, until his children were heading to college.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, Richie was a long-time active member of the Knights of Columbus, Veragua Council 76 of Salem, the Polish Club of Danvers, and was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 18 of Salem. He was an avid collector who had a vast and extensive collection of Baseball Cards, Beanie Babies and coins. He was extremely proud of his family and supported his children and grandchildren in all of their endeavors and activities. He especially loved watching them all play on their various sports teams.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Katherine (O’Keefe) O’Leary, his daughters, Maureen Ouellette and her husband Steven of Salem and Bethann Jellison and her husband Robert of Salem, his son, Richard O’Leary Jr. and his wife Nicole of Salem, his grandchildren, Hayley, Tayla, Jessica, Kyle, Kory, Bobby, Cassadi and Ryan, his sisters, Barbara Sirois of Salem and Patricia Cohen of Florida, and several nieces, nephews and extended family and friends. He was the brother of the late Nancy D’Allessandro, James, Leonard and Ronald O’Leary and his close cousin, Adam Kowalski.
ARRANGEMENTS: At this time, the services are private. However, The O’Leary family will be holding a public Celebration of Life Service which all will be invited, at a date and time to be announced. Assisting the family with the arrangements is O’Donnell – Cremations – Funerals – Celebrations, 84 Washington Sq., (at Salem Common) Salem. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Salem High School Athletics, C/O Salem High School, 77 Wilson St., Salem, MA 01970 (Please make checks out to Salem High School). Sharing written remembrances and condolences, during this time will be essential in helping Richard’s family reminisce, celebrate and heal. We encourage you to share your memories of Richard by visiting his eternal tribute at www.odonnellfuneralservice.com
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