It is with great sorrow that his family announces the death of their loved one, Richard (Rick) Suydam, on March 18 after a lengthy illness that he ferociously fought. He was born in Portland on Nov. 19, 1941, to parents Richard Marion Suydam and Beatrice Peace Suydam.
Richard graduated from Skowhegan High School and enlisted into the Army in 1960. In 1964, he graduated from Officer Candidate School and was assigned to Fort Dix, N.J., where he met and married Michele Lake of Ewing, N.J., in 1966.
Assignments to Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Bliss, Texas, followed, where he attended training prior to be assigned to Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. In 1969, he graduated from the Infantry Officer’s Advance Course as well as the Airborne School in Fort Benning, Ga., and was again assigned to Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. During these tours, he was awarded the Silver Star medal and two Bronze Star medals.
Following his tours in Vietnam, he was stationed at Fort Devens, Mass., with the 10th Special Forces Group from 1971 to 1975 and completed assignments in Bad Tolz, Germany, and Sculthorpe, England. From 1975 to 1979, he was assigned to Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany, as the deputy commander.
After retiring from the Army, he and his family lived in Hudson and Stow, Mass., where he ran a successful auction business before moving to Bar Harbor in 1984. In Bar Harbor, he restored two Victorian homes and ran them as bed and breakfast inns for eight years with his wife.
Richard and family next moved to Lahaska, Pa., where he continued the antique business he started in Maine, with a show circuit on the East Coast as well as in the central U.S. He became an avid collector and appraiser of antiques for over 40 years with a fondness for early toys.
His last years were spent in Ellsworth, where he belonged to St. Joseph Church. He enjoyed traveling, fine dining, cooking, hunting and fishing. He had a great affection for cats and rescued several throughout the years, Big Mac being the last.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Michele, and his two sons, Chief Petty Officer Richard M. Suydam, retired USCG, and his wife, Sandra, of Juneau, Alaska, and Capt. Shaun R. Suydam and wife, Laurie, of Trenton, as well as two grandsons, Korin and Morgan, and several great-grandchildren. He also leaves brothers-in-law, Michael Lake (wife, Carol), Merritt Lake (wife, Debra); sister-in-law, Mary Lake, nephews Michael, Edward, Daniel and Kyle Lake; and nieces Kathleen (Lake) Wood and Ansley Lake.
Maj. Suydam (ret.) will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., with full military honors. Donations may be made in his name to the SPCA of Hancock County and to St. Joseph Church in Ellsworth.