Many years have passed since Richard Lewis DeKany retired from his Pinecliff Pharmacy business in the West Milford shopping center and moved south, but there are still people in the West Milford area who remember him.
They speak of the help he gave to those who were hurt, ill or with some type of problem. He is also remembered as a former dedicated, active member of West Milford BPOE Lodge 2236 and West Milford Rotary Club. Richard died at age 88 on Nov. 17 in Bradenton Florida.
After he retired Richard and his wife Carol moved from West Milford to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. In 2018 they decided to again move to Bradenton, Florida where their son and daughter-in-law reside. Carol shared that after moving there they created many new and wonderful memories. “Dick” was a devoted husband, brother, father, grandfather and great grandfather.
After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy Dick spent nearly four decades providing care to the greater West Milford community through his Pinecliff Pharmacy business. After he and Carol retired to Hilton Head, Dick continued his life’s work as a pharmacist, becoming a volunteer with an island group known as “Volunteers in Medicine” for 13 years. He was the driving force behind setting up the group’s Pharmacy. Their mission is to understand and serve the health and wellness needs of medically underserved people and households on Hilton Head and Daufuskie Islands.
During that time, he mentored many pharmacy students and developed personal and professional relationships that lasted well beyond his mentorship. He enjoyed being able to help others and was passionate about guiding those who shared his enthusiasm for community service in the capacity of working as a pharmacist. A Citizens Honor Award, in recognition of his extensive volunteer work, was presented to Dick in 2014.
He had many interests to successfully pursue and became qualified for a private pilot’s license. He was a golfer, traveled extensively and was the proud owner of a Porsche 911 affectionately known as “Baby.” Dick loved life and he enjoyed living to the fullest. Some of his West Milford buddies from long ago can relate tales of the good old days with Dick at Elks and Rotary meetings and events.
“Richard was often the life of the party with his silver tongue and twinkle toes,” Carol shared. “He personified a ‘a life well lived.’ He was an exceptional person. Of all of Richard’s experiences and accomplishments, he was most proud of his family.”
In addition to his wife Carol, he leaves his children: Richard (Pam) DeKany Jr., Lori (chris) Leal, Patricia DeKany, JoAnn DeKany, John (Virginia) Birdsall, Lynda Bundy, and grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and his brother Donald DeKany. He was predeceased by his brother Louis DeKany and daughters Meg Smith and Kathy Birdsall and granddaughter Dominique McComas.