Richard R. Gourdeau
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S. Hamilton - Richard Roch Gourdeau, 86, died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on September 4, 2019, of complications related to Parkinson's disease. Fourth of five children, Dick was born June 2, 1933, in Danvers, Mass., to Henry J. and Elizabeth A. (Shinnick) Gourdeau. The family lived in Salem and Marblehead before moving to Hamilton in 1944.

Dick devoted his life to his family, to building structures and relationships, to his community and to his deep faith. A highly respected general contractor, integrity, quality, and collaboration are values Dick exemplified throughout his career and were the hallmark of the Gourdeau Construction Company.

Following graduation from Beverly High School, Dick entered Northeastern University in 1951 to study civil engineering. He left his studies to join the U.S. Army and returned to complete his degree, graduating in 1960. After a stint at Daniel O'Connell's Sons in Holyoke, Mass., Dick joined his father at the Gourdeau Construction Company. Over time, the company's focus became institutional clients, especially secondary schools, colleges and churches. The firm built significant buildings across New England, perhaps none more meaningful to Dick than the A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel in Wenham.

Dick met his wife Constance O'Neill in Boston in 1959. Married in 1962 in Holyoke, Mass., they raised four children. Memorable summers were spent on Bridgewater Hill in New Hampshire and in Brewster on Cape Cod. Beyond family, Dick's passions included flying, skiing and golf. An occasional poet and musician, he loved to sing. His ever-present sense of humor was contagious.

An unassuming leader, Dick gave much to his community and to his trade. He served as president of the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, chairman of the Wenham Planning Board and chairman of the Miles River School Building Committee. He served on the board of the Hamilton Wenham Education Fund and found great joy in his work with Bethany House Ministries. He dedicated countless hours to the Trustees of Reservations and the preservation of the Crane Estate. He was a longtime Director of the Salem Five Cents Savings Bank and a member of the Myopia Hunt Club.

Richard R. Gourdeau is survived by his wife Connie; his children Peter and wife Donna of Hamilton, Mass., Martha Fenton and husband John of Andover, Mass., Henry and wife Deborah of Andover, Mass., and Jule Whelan and husband Tom of Freeport, Maine. He dearly loved his 11 grandchildren, Jack, Clint, Peter (Hamilton, Mass.), Jordyn, Adelaide, Aidan (Andover, Mass.), Oliver and Samuel (Andover, Mass.) and Molly, TJ and Teddy (Freeport, Maine). He also is survived by three sisters, Elizabeth Ober and Jean Larchez of Ipswich, Mass., and Gail Jacus of Kirkwood, Mo., and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Joan Dunn of Beverly, Mass.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, at First Church in Wenham, Mass., followed by a reception. A private graveside service for family will precede the memorial.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research or to a charity of your choice.
Published on September 16, 2019


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2 posts

Tom Lattof
Sep 20, 2019
It is with great sadness that I learned of my dear friend Dick's passing. My heart goes out to Connie, Peter, Martha, Julie and Henry. He will forever be in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace my friend
David Gardner
Sep 16, 2019
Sweetest Sunrise Bouquet was purchased for the family of Richard R. Gourdeau by David Gardner.  Send flowers