Richard's Story

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NORTH ANDOVER,- Richard (Dick) Erwin Neal, 80, a longtime resident of Andover, passed away peacefully on January 20, 2018, following a long battle with cancer.
Born on February 20, 1937, Dick was the son of the late Erwin and Florence (Hatch) and had many fond memories of his childhood growing up in North Andover. He was predeceased by his loving wife of nearly 40 years, Barbara (Gerry) Neal. Together they traveled through life and around the world. Their shared love for travel brought them to many far away destinations including international cruises, cross country trips with friends, and their beloved Cancun, Mexico.
Dick graduated from Johnson High School in North Andover in 1954 (the last class to graduate from Johnson) and from Brown University with a degree in mathematics in 1958. He received a Master's degree from Salem State College in educational administration and a CSS from Harvard University where he was the first recipient of the Derek Bok prize for community service.
Dick retired as Superintendent of the Andover Public Schools in 1998 following over 40 years in education, many of which were in the Andover School System. He began his career teaching math in New Hampshire, soon transferring to Andover. He quickly rose through the positions of guidance counselor, assistant principal of the Andover West Junior High School, principal of the Westford Middle Schools, and principal of North Andover Middle School, before returning to Andover to serve as Superintendent of Schools. Dick was also elected to the Andover School Committee for three terms from 1980 to 1989, serving as the chairman for three years. In 1989 Dick was named Middle Level Administrator of the Year for Massachusetts.
An avid sports fan, Dick was a longtime coach in the Andover Little League (Cardinals) and was the founder of the Andover Hockey Association where he coached the Andover Bantam team. Prior to that, he also coached the Cubs in the Lawrence Central Little League. Even in his retirement, his love of sports drew him to employment at the TD Garden in Boston where he worked for 17 years as a Guest Relations Supervisor. Never one to slow down, he found a second retirement job with Westat as a supervisor for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Dick is survived by his son, Stephen (Andover Police Sergeant) and his wife, Trina of Bradford; daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Greg Oswitt of Princeton, MA; daughter, Jessica and husband, Thomas Janeczak of Andover; and his brother, Jack and his wife, Sandy, of Salem, N.H. Dick was the proud grandfather of his six grand children: Tyler and Samantha Neal; Caroline, Christopher, and Matthew Oswitt; and Jacqueline Janeczak. Dick always enjoyed being with his family and his grandchildren, and loved bringing them along to Disney, Cancun, and Cape Cod.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Monday, January 29, 2018 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Conte Funeral Home, 28 Florence St., Andover, Ma. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Spring Grove Cemetery in Andover. For online condolences please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Jimmy Fund c/o Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Dick to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber, P. O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.jimmyfund.org/gift.
Published on January 31, 2018
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