ForeverMissed
This website is in memory of the life of Richard George Gonci of Cambridge MA. This website may be reached at richardgonci.life. Thank you for visiting and we invite you to share a remembrance or tribute, which you can do by scrolling down this page. Those who wish to express condolences or to send other personal messages to family are invited to email them to richard@gonci.com and they will be forwarded as appropriate. The story of Richard's abundant life is arrayed in the three tabs showing at the top of this page. The LIFE section has his Curriculum Vitae as he presented it on Linked-In. The GALLERY section has photos, as well as  images of his writings and of articles about him. The STORIES starts with his obituary, followed by a short bio blurb that he composed accompanying a recorded interview with transcript, along with other stories from his past. We invite you to add photos and/or stories. We look forward to seeing this site expand and evolve and we hope that you will return to it in the future. After a brief illness, Richard passed away on February 11, 2020 - having completed nearly 70 years of an exuberant and brilliant life walk. This site is managed by his brother and his brother's wife for the benefit of family, friends, and fans. Persons considering donations in his memory may contribute to one of the following organizations that he served:  the Charles River Watershed Association or Wings of Help/Aviation Without Borders.
Posted by Sandra Lambert on March 10, 2020
Richard and I are cousins. I didn’t know Richard very well until my junior year in college. In 1969-70 Richard, my roommate and I spent quite a bit of time together.

Richard would ride his bike from Boston to our dorm which was an old Victorian house off of Mass Ave in Cambridge. We’d have long discussions and conversations making and eating special brownies in the communal kitchen. It was a girls’ school and the aroma of brownies baking drew girls to the kitchen like moths to a flame. Music followed with energetic conversations and dancing. Richard always created the joyous mayhem!

Richard’s jobs in various capacities with theater companies and affiliates allowed us opportunities to have tickets to several shows including HAIR. One night, Richard, some of his friends, my roommate and I had a great night together and were walking back to his dorm. Being young and adventuresome we ran, skipped and even jumped into a fountain along the way. It was late, the street lights seemed brighter than usual and our exuberant chorus of voices could be heard above the noises of the street. Richard led us like a Pied Piper and always orchestrated the best of times. 

That year we learned to accept, appreciate and love each other as we struggled to grow up and overcome our personal demons. 

Our most recent conversations rekindled our mutual story and strong bond. Our connection built a love that has taught me how easy it is to love unconditionally. Richard’s legacy is the unconditional love in my heart. I miss him and know he’s at peace. 

Posted by Susan Stratton on February 27, 2020
Richard's loss is endlessly painful. He wasn't a "best friend" of mine though he was a friend. My husband was his best friend. They talked almost every day for 40 years. I could hear my husband's half of the conversation and the murmuring of Richard's voice on the other end. They comforted each other, laughed (sometimes gallows laughter), told stories. I can't believe how much I miss that. Here is a poem that's helping me to cope. I hope it helps others who are grieving the loss of this wonderful man. 

Stages
By
Hermann Hesse

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
Posted by Linda Mothersele on February 23, 2020
Richard was my older cousin with a wonderful sense of humor. He also had a zest for life and shared that with others. We didn’t see him often but he was always at our Gonci family reunions. We got to know sweet Joanna and to see and feel the love they shared, along with their son. We will miss you dear Richard but wish you peace and love with your relatives and friends above. 
Posted by Joan Sheehan on February 22, 2020
Richard had a way with words that few could compete with, nare I try. He lived life with a passion and an indomitable energy. He was always hoping to leave the world a better place.

Richard was always one to follow his own path and I admired that about him. Growing up, I was eight years younger than him so my memories are of his high school years; leading the Fife and Drum Corps, acting in Trigon Players performances at RHAM and returning from work at Arbor Acres. I also clearly remember the rendition of “Hey Jude” that he and David led after Maggie’s wedding to Lee.

He accomplished many things over the course of his sixty-nine years and did it all his way. Finding his soul mate in Joanna and his cherished son, Noah; he seemed to radiate with their love. I am grateful to have had him in my life and will miss his kind words, wit, intelligence and big hugs.
Posted by Paul Petro on February 17, 2020
My dear Uncle Richard was a man of tremendous strength and wit. In my view, his ethos was to live out loud by rules he designed, and to bring the willing souls who dared along with him for the merry ride. He is responsible for arguably the best shared laugh in my friend Val’s and my friendship, owing to a cleverly timed remark about a Bengali chicken. Once, when I had taken very ill, he magnanimously lightened the burden placed on me by making sure I could enjoy several great meals at a very nice place, and told me to make sure I never dined alone. And of course, I would be remiss if I were not to mention the counsel Uncle Richard gave me on several occasions, which helped me to learn and grow more than I can say. The booming, joyful echoes of the force of your life will persist, dear Uncle; of that you may be sure.
Posted by David Gonci on February 15, 2020
Burned by my vision of a world that shone/ So brightly at the last, and then was gone- Clive James, critic, broadcaster, essayist, novelist and poet

Richard and I were best friends four decades. To look back now and grasp the enormity of that breadth, commitment and love, these four decades, later seems unfathomable. We loved one another deeply, shared trials, triumphs, infective laughter, disappointments, and deep sorrows was quite a ride.

I miss my best friend, but am comforted knowing his brightness will warm my heart for decades to come. Richard was a supernova. Wow!

-David Sumner
Maitland, FL
Legacy.com
Posted by Noreen Cullen on February 15, 2020
My brother-in-marriage

Richard is a bright presence in my life and memories. I am grateful that we had so much time before he passed, so that many words could fall out of my heart while he was still with us. Here is the way I think of him, as I wrote just after he flew off the planet.

Richard Gonci of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who embraced life fully and with great verve, has slipped out of his body to go on to the next adventure. He was colorful and generous, gregarious and personable, smart and skilled whether working with his mind or with his hands. He shared of himself and his many creative talents unstintingly and he loved wholeheartedly, especially his wife, Joanna Fink, and their son, Noah Gonci.

He lived in the world of commerce in a big, big way and took on creative projects that were often groundbreaking and technically advanced. He knew many, loved most, and was friendly toward anyone who might cross his path, whether famous or homeless. He was fiercely protective and would not tolerate threats to another's safety.

He loved and was loved by so very many.

Boundless energy and enormous creativity were characteristics for which he was well known. He was a skilled sailor in adulthood and had been a cross-country bicyclist in his youth. He held opinions passionately. When Richard did something, he did it in a big way.

Richard strove to excel in everything he did, right from his youth. He was president of his senior class at RHAM High School in 1968. His parents, George and Elinor (West) Gonci, owned a dairy farm and he worked hard on it, along with his younger brother, David Gonci. They went on to work at a chicken farm together, adding that to their tasks at home. Richard learned to have an intense work ethic, a family hallmark.

Memories of Richard will be held in the hearts of so very many.

Enjoy your wings and your reunions on the other side, dear Richard.

Love, Noreen

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Sandra Lambert on March 10, 2020
Richard and I are cousins. I didn’t know Richard very well until my junior year in college. In 1969-70 Richard, my roommate and I spent quite a bit of time together.

Richard would ride his bike from Boston to our dorm which was an old Victorian house off of Mass Ave in Cambridge. We’d have long discussions and conversations making and eating special brownies in the communal kitchen. It was a girls’ school and the aroma of brownies baking drew girls to the kitchen like moths to a flame. Music followed with energetic conversations and dancing. Richard always created the joyous mayhem!

Richard’s jobs in various capacities with theater companies and affiliates allowed us opportunities to have tickets to several shows including HAIR. One night, Richard, some of his friends, my roommate and I had a great night together and were walking back to his dorm. Being young and adventuresome we ran, skipped and even jumped into a fountain along the way. It was late, the street lights seemed brighter than usual and our exuberant chorus of voices could be heard above the noises of the street. Richard led us like a Pied Piper and always orchestrated the best of times. 

That year we learned to accept, appreciate and love each other as we struggled to grow up and overcome our personal demons. 

Our most recent conversations rekindled our mutual story and strong bond. Our connection built a love that has taught me how easy it is to love unconditionally. Richard’s legacy is the unconditional love in my heart. I miss him and know he’s at peace. 

Posted by Susan Stratton on February 27, 2020
Richard's loss is endlessly painful. He wasn't a "best friend" of mine though he was a friend. My husband was his best friend. They talked almost every day for 40 years. I could hear my husband's half of the conversation and the murmuring of Richard's voice on the other end. They comforted each other, laughed (sometimes gallows laughter), told stories. I can't believe how much I miss that. Here is a poem that's helping me to cope. I hope it helps others who are grieving the loss of this wonderful man. 

Stages
By
Hermann Hesse

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
Posted by Linda Mothersele on February 23, 2020
Richard was my older cousin with a wonderful sense of humor. He also had a zest for life and shared that with others. We didn’t see him often but he was always at our Gonci family reunions. We got to know sweet Joanna and to see and feel the love they shared, along with their son. We will miss you dear Richard but wish you peace and love with your relatives and friends above. 
his Life

CV

Richard's CV content on LinkedIn

Commencing with studies in scenic and lighting design for legitimate theatre, I was a founding member of the Portland Stage Company (Maine.)

I then migrated to the commercial marketplace in the 80's designing major public spaces from China to South America as Gonci Associates, Inc. In 1980, I was commissioned to design entertainment venues for the athletes of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. We also staged many large corporate events for Fortune 500 companies worldwide, including major installations at PC Expo, COMDEX and DECWorld, to name a few.

I became a filmmaker in the mid 80's, subsequently writing, producing and directing a number of documentaries for PBS and an array of high-end corporate-imaging films. During this period, I was actually living on a houseboat in the middle of Boston's financial district. Ironically, while living on the water, I conceived, co-created, and produced America's first nationally televised TV series on landscape architecture for HG/tv called "Breaking Ground." The show won numerous Cable Ace Awards (the "EMMY's" of cable TV.)

From the mid-90's until 2001, I was the Creative Director for video and events at Quantic Communications, creating marketing programs primarily for global hi-tech, financial services and medical/pharmaceutical clients.

Since 2001, my principal role has been as Senior Creative Director and Content Architect for two renowned film/animation studios. I have been privileged to work with a panoply of clients spanning disciplines from biotechnology to urban master planning. The soles of my shoes have landed in several continents in pursuit of the best stories for these great clients to project to the world.

Throughout my career I have been blessed to be a part of great creative/communication teams. And, my leadership role in my profession has continued to evolve over the last 15+ years. I also delight in mentoring emerging talent.

My wife and I are devoted rowers, having created a sculling club in 1995.

Experience

Executive Producer
Theatrical Production Company 
Aug 2018 – Present, 1 year 7 months,
Manhattan and London.
Currently serving as Executive Producer to a Broadway-bound musical comedy. Details to follow.
Currently serving as Executive Producer to a Broadway-bound musical comedy. Details to follow.






Sr. Creative Director
Neoscape
Jul 2002 – Sep 2007  5 years 3 monthsFilm Director



Curtiss Butler and Associates,
Jan 1987 – Feb 19872 months
Boston
Filmed America's Cup in Fremantle, Australia for Digital Equipment Corporation
Filmed America's Cup in Fremantle, Australia for Digital Equipment Corporation






Volunteer Experience

Board Member, 
Aviation Without Borders
, Jul 2010 – Sep 2016   6 years 3 months; 
Disaster and Humanitarian Relief



Publications

Blanche DuBois (circa 1985)
Points East January 26, 2016


At the Crossroads of Tradition and Modernity...Mega Projects in Islamic Nations Today
studio amd/Richard Gonci December 9, 2013
A lecture created by Mr. Gonci, inclusive of three short films produced by studio amd under his direction, discussing the confluence of cultural traditions and modern influences in the context of mega-projects in Islamic countries. The lecture is being delivered live on college and university campuses throughout North America and Canada and will be recorded and distributed electronically thereafter.
A lecture created by Mr. Gonci, inclusive of three short films produced by studio amd under his direction, discussing the confluence of cultural traditions and modern influences in the context of mega-projects in Islamic countries. The lecture is being delivered live on college and university campuses throughout North America and Canada and will be recorded and distributed electronically thereafter.



An Uncertain Age 
Points East Magazine; Sep 2012; 
A mini-remembrance of a bygone era in Boston Harbor.
A mini-remembrance of a bygone era in Boston Harbor.




The Fate of the Documentary
; MIT Press, May 4, 2003
"…a report on historical events, or social conditions, that has not been fictionalized."

So says Webster in defining "documentary." I contend that there is a great deal of fictionalizing evident in many documentaries produced in recent years. In this case, fiction takes the form of conscious romanticizing and sentimentalizing of seminal events. This trend to morph legitimate journalism into treacly middle-mind infotainment isn't merely an aesthetic offense. It has had, and continues to have, consequences in the realm of policy planning, while dulling the critical judgment of the citizenry.
"…a report on historical events, or social conditions, that has not been fictionalized."

So says Webster in defining "documentary." I contend that there is a great deal of fictionalizing evident in many documentaries produced in recent years. In this case, fiction takes the form of conscious romanticizing and sentimentalizing of seminal events. This trend to morph legitimate journalism into treacly middle-mind infotainment isn't merely an aesthetic offense.

Projects

Vilnius
 2007 – 2007
, Winner of SIGGRAPH Jury Prize (animation) and CINE Masters Award


KaCare

 Animated TV spot produced to promote the emergence of a new city in Saudi Arabia, to be founded on principles of renewable energy. I was the Producer/Director/Creative Director. Winner of CINE Gold.
 Animated TV spot produced to promote the emergence of a new city in Saudi Arabia, to be founded on principles of renewable energy. I was the Producer/Director/Creative Director. Winner of CINE Gold.




Honors & Awards

SIGGRAPH Jury Prize
: SIGGRAPH Jury Committee, 
Jul 2008. The jury award for the best animation in category for the film submission by architect Daniel Libeskind in the design competition for the Vilnius/Guggenheim Museum. We made this piece for his studio in less than 6 weeks. SIGGRAPH is the ultimate showcase for the work of animation studios worldwide.


CINE Gold Eagle 
CINE Awards Committee
, Jul 2005: 90+ computer-generated 3D HD capital campaign film for which I was the creative director/director. The client was the College of William and Mary. The architect was Robert A. M. Stern.

Worldwide Marketing Gold Award
 International Association of Marketing Professionals
, Jun 2004: Top international award in category conferred on us for our film for the Plaza Hotel. The World Awards Ceremonies were held in Hamburg, Germany, where we were honored to share the stage with the giants in international marketing.


EMMYs
 - Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 
Nov 2003 For Writing and Producing "Beyond the Roads," a six-minute animation of the future of the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston.


CINE Gold Eagle 
CINE Awards Committee
, Jun 2003: CGI marketing film for the residences at the Plaza Hotel. At the time, the world's most valuable residential property valued at over $5000./sq. ft. raw.


Golden Apple 
Society of Documentary Filmmakers
, Nov 2001:The definitive broadcast documentary on the clean-up of Boston Harbor, aired nationwide on 47 PBS affiliates. I was Executive Producer and Co-Writer
.



Languages: The Queen's English

A note: Richard began his work career on his parents' dairy farm as a child and added his work on a chicken farm, which he did with his brother, David. In his last few years, Richard became a lauded Air B&B host.
Recent stories

Broadway

Shared by David Gonci on February 23, 2020
From David Sumner, Maitland, Florida:

My great friend Richard Gonci dreamed of producing both Broadway, and cabaret shows. Though Richard produced a plethora of shows and projects over four decades and had co-founded Portland Stage Company, and as a young man, worked at Charles Playhouse on their most successful show ever “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well Living in Paris”, that Broadway dream failed to materialize until the final years of his life. When opportunity knocked, Richard responded.
In the early spring of 2018 my close friend, Chet Walker, a famed Broadway director who I’d known since the mid 80’s called asking if we might put our former creative team back together. He said he had a new business partner from London, playwright, Shaun McKenna, who had written a number of musicals they wanted to produce. One of those scripts “Maddie and Me” was a funny romantic comedy in the Hepburn/Tracy style but with a serious twist- Maddie was to be a projected holographic ghost. They were pitching an idea where the lead actress in the show was a projection. This had never been attempted on Broadway.

Shaun, Chet and I tossed out some very preliminary ideas, and shared our thoughts. Given the extreme projection challenges, I quickly suggested we bring in someone onto the team comfortable with film production. Financial experience and some knowledge behind a winning prospectus would be an added plus. Of course, I had Richard in mind.

When later that summer I broached the idea of Richard, both Chet and Shaun instantly agreed. We quickly set up a subsequent meeting for late August 2018 in New York with Richard. On a perfect summer day we four sat curbside at a small café on the upper west side in New York making our introductions, discussing Broadway shows, and outlining a road to funding a proof of concept video shoot. Richard was an instant hit as he began laying out the tasks before us.

When Richard returned to Boston he instantly caught fire. It didn’t take long before the man had lined up potential funding with School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, had interested investors lined up based upon his brilliant track record, had created a visual storyboard, informed us that he’d reached out to Industrial Light and Magic in LA for some special proof of concept special effects reels, and had consulted with numerous creative specialists about our visual challenges. Richards revised CV now read:

“Currently Executive Producer for a (hopefully) Broadway–bound musical comedy now under development.”

We four spoke numerous times in the subsequent months, each of us with a mission. By the late spring of 2019 our new LLC.“Maddie and Me” was born. It was a joyous day. That joy proved short lived. With summer Richard started having serious medical issues. Yet, still, we kept at it. That fall we agreed to meet in Florida come mid-January because David had moved to Florida earlier that year and Shaun announced that he had plans to in be in Florida as well. But when we turned around next, Richard was suddenly gone.

That our dearest friend spent the final months of his life filled with so much hope and joy and that he got so very close to such a life-long dream means everything.

Richard, we remaining three are agreed, you were such a bright light, are truly missed, and were so very loved. RIP.

- David Sumner, Maitland FL 2/2020

Richard's Obituary

Shared by David Gonci on February 15, 2020
The obituary below is from the Hartford Courant.  The link below is to the obituary in the Boston Globe, which is slightly different due to the different reference points.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?n=richard-gonci&pid=195420662

On February 11, 2020, the life force known as Richard Gonci went off to his next adventure. Born on February 22, 1950, and raised in Marlborough, he was the son of the late George and Elinor (West) Gonci and a 1968 graduate of RHAM. Richard was the beloved husband of Joanna Fink, and father of Noah Gonci. He was the loving brother of David Gonci, sister-in-law Noreen Cullen, brother-in-law of Aaron Fink & Anne Mastrangelo; proud uncle of Paul Petro, Nathaniel Fink (Dave Bermingham) and Abigail Fink.

Richard began his career in theatre, was a founding member of the Portland Stage Company (Maine) and later a lighting designer at Boston’s Charles Street Playhouse. He produced corporate shows for leading tech firms, while also designing discotheques internationally, as well as entertainment venues for the 1980 Winter Olympics. In 1994, Richard co-created and produced America’s first national TV series on landscape architecture for HG/TV, “Breaking Ground." He was creative director for several communications groups and film/animation studios in the Boston area, producing virtual animations of major new commercial and residential buildings, schools, hospitals, museums, and other public places in the U.S. and abroad. Richard’s creative work was recognized with national and international awards. Richard served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and produced broadcast documentaries as well as public service messages for the state.

Richard managed Boston’s Harbor Rowing Club, and later he and his wife founded the Cygnet Rowing Club in Newton. He competed regionally and internationally, and coached from novice to Olympic levels. Richard was most happy skippering a boat, enjoying time at the family vacation home in Rockport, MA, or helping someone in need. Richard was a prolific writer, with commentaries published in major national media, as well as stories and articles in various periodicals. He brought clarity and elegance to worthy causes. He was often called on to produce and speak at special events. Words were Richard’s lifeblood and now the silence is unimaginable.

A celebration of Richard’s life will be scheduled in the future. Remembrances may be posted to richardgonci.life.


Interview of Richard in Portsmouth, NH at "Pecha Kucha Night"

Shared by David Gonci on February 13, 2020
https://www.pechakucha.com/presentations/art-as-dialogue-not-decoration

Please click the link to see and hear the presentation.

From a 2018 Presentation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire