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March 10, 2020
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. 

February 27, 2020
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. 

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.
February 23, 2020
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. 
February 22, 2020
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.
February 17, 2020
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.
February 15, 2020
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
February 15, 2020
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

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