We are saddened by the passing of Richard R. Lessard in the early morning of Monday, December 21, 2020. Born on March 15, 1943 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Richard was gifted by God with both an exceptional intellect and musical talents that he shared with everyone throughout his life.
His adolescent years were spent with the Marist Brothers of the Schools. As a Marist brother Richard was consecrated to God, and instructed to follow Jesus in the way that Mary did, dedicating himself to the education of children and young people, with a preference for those who are most neglected. Richard’s passion for education was reflected in his lifelong involvement with charitable donations to educational institutions, but also in his attention and devotion to the education and development of his children, extended family members, and friends.
Richard’s drive for education earned him a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a PhD from the University of Maine. Richard spent his career with Exxon-Mobil Research and Engineering, retiring as a section-head. His outstanding accomplishments with Exxon-Mobil included the development, and patent of several innovative oil-spill remediation agents. Richard had a love for nature, especially the ocean. Combined with his interest in ecology, and exceptional intellect and education, he provided much of the direction for the cleanup of the massive oil spill from the Exxon Valdez in 1989. In 2003, Richard received the annual ASTM Award of Merit for his guiding contributions to oil spill cleanup techniques that have been adopted by several countries around the world.
Richard’s passion for music brought him to a crossroads at a young age: to pursue a musical career as a very talented trumpet player, or choose the aforementioned career that fulfilled his passion for ecology. Although Richard’s choice had a vast impact on our world and he shared his musical talents in his circle of family and friends, it was his deep love for people that leaves us with broken hearts with his passing. Richard has helped many throughout his life and willingly gave his time, and love. He always left us in a better place after spending time with him. Our world has less in it without him. May Heaven receive what we have lost.
Family will receive relatives and friends at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church,
4040 Durham Rd., Ottsville, PA 18942 on Wednesday, December 30th at 9:45am followed by Richard's Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am. Interment will immediately follow at Cathedral Cemetery, 1708 Oram Street, Scranton, PA 18504. Those wishing to send flowers may send them to the church. However, In lieu of flowers, on-line donations in Richard’s name can be sent to: The Marist Brothers