Richard Merlin Pierce, of North Ft. Myers, FL, passed away peacefully on April 6, 2020, with his loving wife by his side. He was 65 years old. Richard was born in La Rochelle, France, on October 21, 1954, to Merlin Gerald Pierce and Jacqueline Cecile (Didier) Pierce.
Richard was born into a military family in France. He lived in France, Germany and Ethiopia as well as Louisiana and New York before his parents settled in North Haven, CT. There, he completed high school and one year at Quinnipiac University before making a career in the railroad industry. He later moved to Southwick and Granville, MA.
Richard spent 41 years working for multiple railroad companies and specialized in fixing derailments in Massachusetts, Connecticut and parts of New York. He worked for Penn Central, Conrail, Amtrak and retired from CSX in 2014. He was the former owner of The Cleaning Wizards in Westfield, MA.
In 2014, Richard and his wife, Marla, retired to Myrtle Beach and later moved to North Ft. Myers, FL, in 2018. He was an RV enthusiast and loved exploring. He and Marla visited 47 of the U.S. states and the Canadian Maritimes in their 5th wheel RV. He was especially fond of Maine for its beauty, lobster and blueberries. He also loved to kayak.
Richard was a member of Heron’s Glen Men’s Golf Association, Heron’s Glen Softball team and a former member of Heron’s Glen Couples Bocce League. He played goalie for Quinnipiac University for the 1973-74 season. He also played on numerous travel hockey teams in Connecticut and in numerous championship playoffs in the northeast and Canada until his late 50’s. He played on numerous travel men’s softball teams in Connecticut and resumed playing in Florida after a 20-year hiatus. He played on both the Heron’s Glen team and Over 50 Men’s League in Ft. Myers. Richard was also an avid golfer in Massachusetts, Myrtle Beach and North Ft. Myers.
Richard is survived by his wife, Marlene “Marla Meehan” Pierce of North Ft. Myers, FL; daughter, Chelsea Sopet (Robert) of Feeding Hills, MA; stepdaughter, Sabrina Bull and her son Max, (preceded in death in 2011 by their mother Carol Pierce) of Westfield, MA; stepsons, Matthew Meehan (Lindsay Carvalho) of Chester, NH and Patrick Meehan (Patricia Pope) of Oxford, MA; sisters, Patricia Pierce of Brookfield, CT and Claudia Rusk (Lawrence) of Crestwood, KY; one niece and four nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Hope Hospice, 2430 Diplomat Pkwy, Cape Coral, FL 33909.
It was Rich’s final wish that family and friends do not gather in his name during the current pandemic.
Funeral services will be held at a later date.