Richard Dorsey

Obituary of Richard Dorsey

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Richard Jones "Dick" Dorsey, 95, of Old Chatham NY, passed away on March 4, 2023 at home with his beloved family by his side after a brief illness. Dick was born on December 30, 1927, in Flushing NY to Daniel A. and Edna C. Jones Dorsey. He graduated from Great Neck High School (NY) in 1945, where he met his future wife, Patricia Augusta Craig. Dick attended Harvard University on a full scholarship and graduated with honors in Physics in 1949. He then earned a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1952. Following graduation, Dick joined the US Navy and served as a communications officer with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific during the Korean War. In 1954, Dick returned to the US to marry Patricia Craig and attend Officer School in Newport, RI. During his final year of service, with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, their first child, a daughter, was born at the Naval Base in Newport, RI in 1955. The young family moved to Rome, NY in 1957, where Dick was an attorney in private practice. In 1963, they moved to Albany where Dick worked in the New York State Attorney General's Office. He held several positions there and spent many years as an assistant attorney general, arguing cases before the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. During this time Dick and Pat's family grew to six children with the addition of three sons and two more daughters. Upon "retirement" in 1990, Dick set up his own law practice in Valatie, finally retiring for good in 2019 at the age of 91. The couple bought an abandoned 200-year-old farmhouse in Malden Bridge in 1969. Over the decades they restored it, and in 1986 moved there permanently. The farm was a joy-filled gathering place for generations of their extended family. He loved visits from family and grandchildren and enjoyed showing them his many hobbies and projects. Dick was a warm, friendly person whose steady, positive influence was cherished by all. Dick had a strong passion for the history of Columbia County. He published a series of books about northern county hamlets and became a fixture for monthly local history articles in the Chatham Press. In 2017 he was named Historian of the Town of Chatham. Dick was very active in the Catholic Church. Dick served on the Board of Directors for the Catholic Charities of Columbia-Greene Counties, as a lawyer for the Knights of Columbus, and taught religious education at local churches, including St. John the Baptist in Valatie. He was a long-time member of the Old Chatham Hunt Club, served on the boards of the Riders Mills Schoolhouse historic site and the Malden Bridge Community Center, and participated in community life in numerous other ways. In addition to his parents, Dick was predeceased by a son, Paul C. Dorsey, as well as his brother, James L. Dorsey. Dick is survived by his wife of more than 68 years, Patricia A. Dorsey; children, Mary D. Brewster (Robert) of Warwick, RI; Richard F. Dorsey (Cheryl) of Henrico, VA; Susanne M. Opalka (William) of Old Chatham; John J. Dorsey (Linda) of St. Charles, MO; Paul's widow Martha J. Dorsey of Hampstead, NH; and Ann D. Cole (Richard) of Columbia, SC. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, several step-great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Church in Valatie on Friday, March 10, at 12:30 p.m. with Rev. Gary Gelfenbein officiating. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Albany. Visitation will be held at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook St., Valatie, on Thursday, March 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice Foundation and the Catholic Churches of Northern Columbia County.
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Richard Dorsey

In Loving Memory

Richard Dorsey

Saturday, March 4, 2023

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