Obituary: Richard Alexander Booth — Father of Darien resident, World War II veteran
Richard Alexander Booth, a Norwalk resident for nearly 60 years and dedicated community volunteer, died on July 19th at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. Mr. Booth is survived by his three children and their spouses Richard A. Booth, Jr. and his wife Deborah Fagan of Shorewood, WI, Lorene E. Bora and her husband Douglas Bora, Jr. of Darien, CT and David Fisk Booth and his wife Debra Booth of New Milford, CT; five grandchildren Abigail Booth Cassell and her husband James, Scott Bora and his fiancé Spencer Jardine, Nathaniel Booth, Elizabeth (“Libby”) Bora, and Juliann Booth as well as two great granddaughters Ellowyen Booth and Riley Bora. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Elizabeth Fisk Booth. He was also predeceased by brothers John F. Booth Jr. and George Booth, and sister Norabelle Doherty.
Born on July 17, 1922, he was the son of Scottish immigrants John F. Booth and Nora Anderson Booth of Pittsburgh, PA. Following high school graduation, he was employed by Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Company, for which he would remain employed for 49 years. His employment with Pitney Bowes went on hiatus from 1942 until 1945 when Booth joined the Army Air Forces and served in the South Pacific during World War II.
In 1950 he was married to Elizabeth (“Betty”), and they began their family in Rochester, NY. The Booths moved to Norwalk in 1957, briefly living in Shorefront Park and then moving to the home they shared in West Norwalk for over 50 years.
While raising his family, Mr. Booth, known to his friends as Dick, attended night school and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Bridgeport, graduating in 1963. Throughout his years in Norwalk, he was an active community volunteer attaining many leadership positions in the organizations that he served. He was a Scoutmaster for Norwalk Troop 19 from 1964 to 1966 and later served as commissioner of the Sasqua District of Boy Scouts. Mr. Booth was appointed to the Norwalk Fair Rent Commission in 1985 and became its chair in 1995, serving in that capacity until 2008. He was a board member and later president of the Norwalk Historical Society. Mr. Booth also served on the boards of Norwalk Methodist Church and the Fairfield County Computer Users Group. A collector, Booth owned a number of early computers, and rode his vintage Triumph motorcycle with “The Lemmings” into his eighties.
The Booths were avid travelers. Purchasing a Cox Camper in 1965, the family embarked on the first of three ten week coast to coast camping trips. Over many summers, Dick, Betty and the children travelled the United States and Canada with the camper in tow, seeing new sights and visiting family and friends along the way. In their retirement years, Dick and Betty set off to see the world, travelling extensively throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East, as well as many of the countries of the former U.S.S.R., China and India. Remarkably, the Booths’ travels took them to nearly all of the 50 states and 39 countries/regions.
Mr. Booth will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather. He was an intellectually curious and gregarious individual who was sincerely interested in everybody and everything. In his last year as a resident of Atria Darien, he availed himself of the many activities and learning opportunities the community had to offer, and was proud to have started a chess club. He was teaching the art of the game to fellow residents, staff and even a few Darien High School students. The night before he fell ill, he was reading about the history of the opera in anticipation of attending a program about “Aida” and famed opera singer Leontyne Price the next day.
Calling hours will be held at Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Avenue, Norwalk, CT on Friday, July 28 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A funeral service will take place at the Cornerstone Church, 718 West Ave., Norwalk on Saturday, July 29 at 10:30 a.m. followed by a burial service at Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lifetime Learners Institute at Norwalk Community College, 188 Richards Avenue, West Campus Room W102, Norwalk, CT 06854. For directions or to leave an online condolence, please go to www.magnerfuneralhome.com