Obituary: A. Richard "Rick" Purchase, 1944-2019 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: A. Richard "Rick" Purchase, 1944-2019

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Rick Purchase
  • Rick Purchase

A. Richard “Rick” Purchase, 75, of Calais, Vt., passed away on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, surrounded by his family at the University of Vermont Medical Center following a sudden and acute illness. Born in Washington, D.C., on February 29, 1944, to Albert Richard and Marian (Duke) Purchase, he was the eldest of two sons and grew up in Montpelier, Vt. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and loyal friend to many.

A steadfast Vermonter, Rick graduated from Montpelier High School in 1962 and attended the University of Vermont, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in political science in 1966. Soon after graduation, he married, Nancy, his wife of nearly 53 years, and they moved to Maple Corner in Calais, Vt., to raise their family. They had five children: Kristen Purchase Werner and her husband, Michael, of Richmond, Vt.; Kimberly Purchase Luebbers and her husband, Robert, of Williston, Vt.; Bill Purchase of Braintree, Mass.; Lt. Col. Kathryn Purchase Sanborn and her husband, Lt. Col. Marc Sanborn, assigned to Fort Shafter, H.I.; and Neal Purchase and his wife, Anne, of Goffstown, N.H. He was also the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren: Kyle Werner, married to Shannin; Jack, Elle and Annabelle Werner; Samuel and Henry Purchase; and Theodore and Elliot Purchase. He is also survived by his brother David Purchase of Santa Fe, N.M., and lifelong family friends George and Jill Edson and family of Cornish, N.H.

Many will remember Rick as an exceptional home builder, general contractor and owner of Capital Builders and, later, the owner of Johnson Artesian Well Drilling. He subsequently worked with Spafford & Sons Water Wells as a consultant. An active volunteer and community leader, he served as a lister for the Town of Calais for many years and also served as a selectman. He was a proud, longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of Montpelier, served on the board of directors for Westview Meadows and the Gary Residence, and was an active member of the Vermont Ground Water Association. From his years of hard, dedicated work for his employees and customers, as well as his active community involvement, Rick leaves behind a large circle of lifelong friends and colleagues.

Rick will be remembered by many for his honesty, kindness and love of family, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. A dedicated family man and stoic Vermonter, he took great pride in his family and his work. When not devoting his time to family and work, Rick enjoyed classic cars, particularly Ford Mustangs, gardening and caring for his well-manicured lawn.

Memorial contributions may be made in Rick’s honor to the UVM Medical Center Critical Care Nursing Education Fund at UVM Medical Center, Courtyard at Given North, 3rd Floor, 11 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, or the Scholarship Fund maintained by the Montpelier Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 741, Montpelier, VT 05601-0741.

A memorial service will be held at the Old West Church in Calais, Vt., on Wednesday, August 21, at 2 p.m. with a celebration of life to follow at the Capitol Plaza at 3:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and share memories.

Those wishing to leave condolences online may do so at Guare and Sons.

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