Richard T. Hazzard

Sep 27, 1943 - Mar 18, 2022

Richard T. Hazzard of Patterson, NY passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2022, in Savanah, Georgia at the age of 78. He was born on September 27, 1943, in Mount Kisco, NY, son of the late Herbert “Hap” and Marjorie (neé Wilkinson) Hazzard. He grew up in Brewster, NY, graduated from Brewster High School in 1961, attended Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY and became a Licensed Funeral Director. He spent the majority of his career working at the Beecher Funeral Home in Brewster, NY; purchased the business in 1977 as well as the Dwyer Funeral Home in Patterson, NY; and held a registered license to this day. 

On May 1, 1965, he married Donna Mae McLagan at the United Methodist Church in Brewster. From humble beginnings, they raised four boys, and committed themselves to their family, community, and funeral service. There are no words that can express the support, love, and loyalty that they felt for each other through their 56 years together. Although he may not have said it to her as often as he should have, he knew his success in life would never have been realized without her by his side.

He loved to be around people and socialize; giving to others and expecting nothing in return. 

Dick was a caring, compassionate person that consistently put others before himself. He never met a stranger and always greeted people with a smile and a handshake. Dick was a “people person” to the core. He loved to be involved in local organizations not only for business purposes, but more for the comradery and interaction with others; truly a social creature. He was a member, former president, and board member of dozens of organizations throughout his life. To name a few and with respect to those we may have forgotten:

Past President of the NYS Funeral Director’s Association
Past President Brewster Lion’s Club
Past President and Life Member of Brewster Volunteer Fire Dept.
Member of the Patterson Volunteer Fire Dept.
BPO Elks Lodge #2101
Patterson Lion’s Club
Brewster, Patterson, North Salem Chamber of Commerce
Past President-Board of Directors of Patterson Library Association
Members since childhood of the United Methodist Church in Brewster
Member and committee participant of the Holmes United Methodist Church
Past President and Present Board Member of the Maple Avenue Cemetery
Present Board Member of the Milltown Cemetery
Board Member of M&T Bank
Past Board Member of Putnam Hospital Center
Putnam County Cooperative Extension

When he could break away from his business, he loved to take his family on extended camping trips across the country and to the Chesapeake Bay. He loved to sail and be near the water, never spending enough time at their Rhode Island home. His favorite toy and pastime; driving his 1959 MG on a beautiful Summer day, or taking the old Brewster Fire Chief’s ’38 Chevy for a ride around Brewster. He liked to cook when he could, but his preference was eating out at restaurants with Donna and his closest friends at the “watering hole” of the month. He loved to tinker and play handy-man to keep busy, but rarely missed an episode of Jeopardy. After retirement, he and Donna traveled the world making up for lost vacations from the 70s, 80s, and 90s because business came first. He loved a good thunderstorm and if there was a rocking chair nearby, you could always find him relaxed and peaceful. 

Dick and Donna became very close to the Waycross, GA community. From early in their marriage, they traveled to the South annually at Eastertime to be with Donna’s parents and sisters. After Donna’s parents passed away, they decided to call Waycross their Winter home. Over the past many years, their friendships grew, and they truly felt they were a part of this simple, peaceful place in the South. In addition to the beautiful Southern weather, they loved to attend services at the Trinity United Methodist Church, and for the last several years the Kettle Creek Church.

Richard is survived by his loving and devoted wife Donna, his four sons Richard Jr and his wife Carol, Drs. Timothy and his wife Kelly, Matthew and his girl Jennifer Eckwerth, Geoffrey and his wife Heather; beloved grandchildren Greer, Sloane, Alexa, Mikayla, Justin, Kiera, Dillan, and Joshua; his brother David and his wife Louise; sisters-in-law Carol “Kiki” McLagan and Meriliss White, nephews Ed Hazzard(Lorrie) and Norman White, niece Jackie Holmes(Ron), and the many countless friends and business associates that he considered family.

Friends and family may call on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Beecher Funeral Home in Brewster, NY. The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 28, at the Holmes United Methodist Church in Holmes, NY; interment will follow at Maple Avenue Cemetery in Patterson, NY. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution in Dick’s name to the Holmes United Methodist Church, PO Box 146, Holmes, NY 12531; or the NYS Tribute Foundation at http://tributefoundation.org