Richard Whitney Freethey

BROOKLIN — Richard Whitney Freethey, 63, succumbed to esophageal cancer May 6, 2014, surrounded by his family at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. Richard was born Dec. 23, 1950, in Blue Hill, the son of William Robert and Frances Marian (Tapley) Freethey.

He graduated as valedictorian from Brooklin High School’s Class of 1968. He spent three years in the U.S. Army in the early ’70s, and afterward attended the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in 1976 (with highest distinction) with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He started his distinguished career in government procurement in 1976 after moving to the Washington, D.C., area, and served at various government agencies including the Government Printing Office, Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and starting in 1987, the United States Coast Guard (USCG). He was the chief of the Office of Procurement Management at USCG, and became the deputy head of contracting activity. He earned two master’s degrees: one in public financial management from American University, and one in national resource strategy from National Defense University. Richard retired in January 2006 after nearly 33 years of federal service. When he retired, Richard returned to Brooklin, the town he loved, to enjoy his friends and family, and especially to spend time with his mother. He became an active member in the Brooklin community. He served as the president of the Brooklin Keeping Society, was an officer in the Brooklin Alumni Association and served on the Library Board. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 133. He worked on various Brooklin town projects such as the Veterans Memorial and the Safety Committee. He was also a regular contributor to the Brooklin Times, sharing his knowledge of the town lore and his own personal observations on life. His interests included gardening, adding to his vast traditional music collection, reading, genealogy and historical research, and following the Boston Red Sox. He is remembered for his hearty laugh, warm heart and positive influence on others.

He is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Diana Freethey of Brooklin; son, Ethan Freethey of Brooklin; daughter, Miranda Collins of Maryland; sisters, Melanie Freethey of Brooklin, Tammy Freethey Archer of Bucksport, Linda Freethey Gray of Blue Hill; brothers, Robert Freethey and Darrell Freethey, both of Brooklin; cousin, Steve Tapley of Kittery; along with numerous other cousins, nieces, nephews, and a host of longtime friends. He was predeceased by his brother, William Edward Freethey of Brooklin.

Richard’s immediate family would like to thank all his friends, family, and community who provided love and support. Special thanks to Steve Tapley, who stayed by Richard’s side as his advocate and brother, and Melanie Freethey, whose dedication to Ethan provided them the time to devote to Richard in his time of need.

A celebration of life will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, May 25, 2014, at the Brooklin School. Donations may be made to: Brooklin Keeping Society, P.O. Box 4, Brooklin, ME 04616. Flowers may be sent to: Freethey Family, 924 Bay Road, Brooklin, ME 04616. Condolences may be expressed at

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