Bromfield graduate, aeronautical engineer, avid gardener
Dick Hall. (Courtesy photo)
Richard A. Hall, 85, devoted husband, uncle, and great-great-uncle (Gruncle), known to family and friends as Dick, died at home in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 8, 2020. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, to A. William and M. Viola (Messenger) Hall on Feb. 25, 1935, he grew up in Still River with brothers Bill and Robert, sisters Marilyn and Eunice, and graduated from the Bromfield School in 1953. A gentle giant of a man known for his humility and his dry sense of humor, Dick liked to joke that he graduated ninth in his class at Harvard.
He served in the National Guard and U.S. Army from 1952-57, specializing in guided missile electronics. Upon discharge, Dick enrolled at UMass Amherst, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and was hired by Sprague Electric in North Adams. Thus began his 38-year career in design, test, and product engineering in the aeronautics industry.
Dick married Aloyce (Susie) Ramfield in 1970. They lived in Williamstown and Annapolis, Maryland, and in 1985 moved to Fort Worth when Dick accepted a position at General Dynamics. They built a home in Benbrook, Texas, and as avid gardeners created a source of joy for all who visited. They were volunteers at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden for much of that time.
During his career Dick was a major contributor to the design of the F-111, F-16, F-22 Raptor, for which he was commended, and the F-35 fighter aircraft, till his retirement in 1999. Dick and Susie enjoyed travel to China and South Korea when he was called out of retirement to consult on the design of the KAI T-50 during its development in 2001.
Throughout his life, Dick’s dedication to family was paramount, and included researching his parents’ lineage from Sweden and Nova Scotia and sharing his findings with the clan. In 1993, Dick planned the first memorial Bill and Viola Hall family reunion, honoring his parents and their legacy. Reunions have since alternated from east coast to west, with 40-60 family members attending from across the country. Dick’s standard family greeting was to hold up three fingers, and say, “I have two questions. Have you missed me as much as I’ve missed you?” Followed by, “Can I have a hug?”
Dick is survived by his wife Susie, cousins, and three generations of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and siblings.
A celebration of Dick’s life will be held at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden this summer. Memorial contributions may be made in Dick’s honor to Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Ft. Worth, TX 76107.