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Richard Dean Hovey, a resident of Peacham, VT for 26 years, passed away on Thursday May 27, 2021 at the age of 92. His daughter Valerie was by his side.
Richard was born on June 25, 1928 in St. Johnsbury, VT, to Carl and Bertha Hovey. He was educated in St. Johnsbury—graduating from St. Johnsbury Academy. Richard enjoyed sports and captained the football, basketball and baseball teams. He was invited to try out for the Boston White Socks. However his practicality overruled passion, by choosing to move to Cambridge MA to attended Harvard University. There he earned his MS in Geology, with a focus in Gravity Magnetics. Upon graduation he was recruited to work for Standard Oil of California. However, before heading west he asked Dorothy Weeks (also a graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy) if she would marry him. They located in Bakersfield, CA where they had two children Valerie and Dean. In 1960 Richard was transferred to the San Francisco Bay Area and settled in Los Altos, CA.
The love of Vermont was strong in their hearts calling them back most every summer on vacation. In 1965, they purchased a small farm in Peacham, Vermont as a summer home. Soon after Richard’s retirement he and Dorothy made Peacham their permanent home.
Richard was a collector and historian. He used his craftsmanship talents and research to rebuild their farmhouse to its original 1791 structure. The house was furnished with early American country furniture and for a time was a showroom for his modest antique business.
He also researched Peacham’s historical roots and led the efforts to restore the Peacham blacksmith shop and the Peacham snow roller barn which is believed to be Vermont's only original surviving snow roller barn. Visitors to Peacham can tour the blacksmith shop and visit the snow roller barn museum housing the largest collection of antique snow rollers from around the state. Richard and Dorothy identified many of the historic buildings in Peacham and for almost 30 years crafted small scale replicas of the buildings to give away to friends and family as Christmas gifts.
Richard was a faithful Christian man. He enjoyed singing in church choirs and in later years, served as a deacon of the East Peacham Baptist Church.
Richard is survived by his daughter: Valerie Hovey of Peacham, VT; his son: Dean Hovey and wife, Marie Elizabeth of Los Altos, CA; 4 grandchildren: Lindsey Happ and husband, Jason, of Philadelphia, Michael Powers and wife, Emma, of Seattle, WA, Sheena Mawson and husband, Sven, of Woodside, CA, and Amber Heffernan and husband, Gary, of Woodside, CA; 8 great-grandchildren: Lilian and Ezra Happ, Jack and Davis Powers, and Serevina, Samuel, Soren, and Scarlett Mawson.
A celebration of life will be held in Peacham in early August with burial at Peacham Corner Cemetery.
Condolences and memories can be shared with the family at www.saylesfh.com.
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