Richard R. Ryea

RICHFORD: Richard R. Ryea, age 77, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at his home in Richford with his family by his side. The family is thankful for the exceptional support from Franklin County Home Health and Hospice.

He was born in Bakersfield on April 6, 1945, to the late Raymond and Doreen (Ducolon) Ryea.

Richard graduated from Richford High School in 1964 where he was a member of the Future Farmers of America and Class President. He loved playing basketball and being part of the team, and he continued to enjoy playing the sport with his children and grandchildren. He was a Celtics fan. After graduation he joined the Navy, then on February 20, 1965, he married his high school sweetheart, Prudy Saulters of Montgomery. He worked for the Dairy Herdsman Association followed by the Mason Union until setting out to build his own company in 1972 — Richard Ryea Masonry. After his two sons joined the business, it became Richard Ryea &

Sons Masonry. In 2000, he started RTW People’s Plaza with his two daughters, which provided the community with a nationally accredited childcare program that incorporated family and adult education services, as well as a local gym, laundromat, and hair salon. One of Richard’s favorite movies was Kevin Costner’s “Field of Dreams.” In the early planning stages of People’s Plaza, he would remind us all that “if you build it, they will come.” His ultimate goal was to provide a place where children and families could thrive. In 2012, he also founded a third business, Premier Signs & Graphics. 

Richard instilled in his children and grandchildren the importance of compassion, generosity, and helping others in need. Quality workmanship and efficiency were his trademarks of a job well done. His legacy will live on through the lessons he taught to all he loved.

Richard is survived by his wife of 57 years Prudy Ryea of Richford; his beloved dog and best friend, Ruby; children, Tammy Ryea of Richford, Wendy Mercy and her husband John of Montgomery, Christopher Ryea of Enosburgh, and Ritchie Ryea of Richford; grandchildren, Kristin Fletcher, Melinda Ryea, Ethan Mercy, Jenessa Ryea, Joshua Ryea, Branden Ryea, Samantha Ryea, Cassidy Ryea, and Seth Ryea; nine great-grandchildren; his brother, Hollis Ryea and Sally of Westminster West, VT; sisters, Christine Paradee, and Mary Lou Pierce of Enosburg Falls, VT; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Richard was predeceased by his siblings Raymond, David, Fred, Reginald, Rachel, and Eleanor.

Family and friends are invited to Richard’s Life Celebration events to include visitation on Friday, October 14, 2022, from 6 – 8 pm at the Goss-Spears Life Celebration Home and a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 11:00 am at the St. Isidore Catholic Church, 169 Mountain Road, Montgomery Center, VT 05471. Interment will follow in St. Isidore’s Catholic Cemetery, with a reception at the St. Isidore Parish Hall.

For those who wish to make a contribution in Richard’s memory, we will be establishing a scholarship that will go to a senior going into the trades, 100% of the donations will go to the scholarship fund: Richard Ryea & Sons Masonry Scholarship Fund, 1647 St. Albans Road, Richford, VT 05476.

Goss Life Celebration Homes is the area’s exclusive provider of Life Celebration events. Please visit our website to share condolences, photos, and favorite memories at