Bro. Richard Joseph Rancourt, F.M.S.

October 30, 1930 - April 03, 2015 

Bro. Richard Joseph Rancourt, F.M.S.

October 30, 1930 - April 03, 2015 

Obituary for Bro. Richard Joseph Rancourt, F.M.S.

Bro. Richard J. Rancourt, FMS's tenure at Marist College spanned four decades as a teacher in the philosophy and mathematics departments and in longtime service to the Office of College Advancement. Bro. Richard was 84 years old and had retired from the Marist campus in 2009 to the Champagnat Hall residence at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx.
A Marist Brother for 67 years, Bro. Richard followed the ideals set forth by St. Marcellin Champagnat and committed his life to education and service. A 1953 Marist College graduate with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, Bro. Richard held a master of arts in philosophy of mathematics and a doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University; a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Pace University; and a doctorate in mathematics education from Fordham University. In 1951, he joined Mount Saint Michael Academy to teach mathematics and Spanish, and in 1956 was made chair of the Mathematics Department. After completing his graduate education in philosophy, he was appointed to the Marist College faculty and taught from 1959 to 1969.
Bro. Richard served as principal of St. Agnes High School in New York City from 1970 to 1974 before moving to Pace University, where he assumed many roles including assistant to the dean for the School of Education, assistant professor of education, and acting chair of the Secondary Education Department. In 1984, Bro. Richard returned to our College to serve as director of the Vietnam Refugee Assistance Program at Marist and instructor of mathematics and philosophy.
Bro. Richard's service to Marist extended far beyond the classroom. Throughout the 1990s, he gave exceptional service to the Marist Fund, the College's annual giving program. He served two terms as national alumni chair and multiple terms as campus campaign chair. Under his leadership, the Marist Fund's strong tradition of faculty and staff giving was created and has been carried forward to this day. True to the Marist Brothers' motto of doing good quietly, Bro. Richard wrote more than 1,000 personalized notes to Marist faculty and staff urging their support of the Marist Fund and thanking them for their generosity. He was well-known to a generation of Marist student-athletes through his service on the sidelines as chaplain of the football and basketball teams.
Bro. Richard was also one of the longest-serving members of Marist's Alumni Executive Board, with his dedication to the College and his quiet wit gaining him the affection of all with whom he served. In 2013, in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to others and his exceptional dedication to the College, Bro. Richard received the Dr. Linus Richard Foy Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Marist College Alumni Association.
In addition to his many contributions to Marist, Bro. Richard was also a talented musician with a beautiful voice. At celebrations and other events, he would always be surrounded by guests at a piano as he played songs from various eras by ear, entertaining his audiences for hours on end. Raymond A. Rich, a friend and benefactor of Marist, was sometimes on hand for Bro. Richard's performances, and in getting to know him and his many qualities, decided to establish a scholarship in his honor at the College.
We are grateful for Bro. Richard's many contributions to Marist and will always remember the special way he touched people's lives as a Brother and friend.
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY

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