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Inside NBP

Remembering Our Supporter and Friend, Dick Willis

Posted by Edie Shimel on 7/16/2021

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to longtime supporter and friend of NBP, Richard (Dick) H. Willis, who passed away on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the age of 88.

Dick’s career was in banking, and his involvement with NBP spanned five decades in which he served on our board, and as a member of our investment committee. He enthusiastically introduced his circle of friends to National Braille Press and actively raised funds through his network for NBP’s mission.

An original member of the Braille for Life Alliance, NBP’s Legacy program, Dick was passionate about ensuring that blind children and adults would have access to braille materials to read. He was a kind, soft-spoken, and friendly person who faithfully attended our Annual Meeting and our A Million Laughs for Literacy Gala.

Dick lived his long life to the fullest. He had a lively social life and was an avid traveler and athlete, particularly enjoying marathon running, downhill skiing, cycling, and tennis into his 80’s. He was a lifetime member of The Country Club in Brookline. He climbed all of New England’s 4000-footers and took long walks daily along the Charles River.

Always, but especially after retirement, Dick gave back. He was a benefactor of many local philanthropic organizations dedicated to the arts, historic preservation, and education. 

National Braille Press had the great privilege to be one of those organizations, and he will be remembered for his hard work, leadership, and most of all, friendship.

“Dick was a wonderful and caring man and will be missed by all who knew him. He was a good listener and I always valued his thoughtful counsel.”  -Paul McLaughlin, long-time Trustee, former Board Chair, and Investment Committee member.

“One of the benefits of serving as a NBP trustee has been meeting truly wonderful and caring individuals.  Dick ranked at the top.  He will be missed.”  -Kennedy, long-time Trustee and Investment Committee member.

I enjoyed getting to know Dick at our lunch meetings at Henrietta’s Table in Harvard Square, one of his all-time favorite spots. He asked great questions and always had an idea on who to reach out to. I will always remember his calls when he would let us know a donation was coming and you could hear the joy in his voice. He truly loved to help others.”  -Joe Quintanilla, VP of Development and Major Gifts.

His obituary can be found here: http://concordfuneral.tributes.com/obituary/show/Richard-Hutchinson-Willis-108521657


Bill Raeder, Jeanne Flanery, and comedian, Paul Reiser, withDick Willis at the 2013 A Million Laughs for Literacy Gala

[Image: Bill Raeder, Jeanne Flanery, and comedian, Paul Reiser, with Dick Willis at the 2013 A Million Laughs for Literacy Gala]


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