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Obituary: Richard Sargent, Helped People Conquer Addiction

Sargent died Wednesday, Dec. 11. He was 81.

The following is from DeVito Funeral Home.

Richard Charles Sargent, of Medford, recently of Arlington, finished his last Times Crossword at home on Thursday, Dec. 11 2013.

Dick spent the last several months actively enjoying the company of his loving wife Susan Jordan, his children, Lucy Sargent of Medford, Nicolas Sargent of Watertown, Laura Sargent Hall of Edgartown, Anne Sargent Arcano of Bronxville, N.Y., and Stephen Sargent of Nashua, N.H. He loved his nine grandchildren. The family is grateful to the many friends who have called and visited to share a laugh and a story with Dick. He especially enjoyed reliving memories of the amazingly varied chapters in his journey, from his depression era upbringing on farms in Indiana to his most recent incarnation as a counselor to incarcerated sufferers of addiction. Dick, a longtime friend of Bill Wilson, spent nearly half of his life helping people conquer addiction and many hundreds are better off for his sharing his own struggle.

After earning a bachelor's degree at Indiana State, Dick spent time patrolling Georgia for the U.S. Army, an experience that was transformative. He took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study in Germany, and never lost his love for that culture, visiting several times. Dick could hop quickly from discussing the work of German philosophers to the intricacies of writing complicated commercial policies at Lehrer and Madden of Natick where he had a long and successful career.

He was thankful for the groundbreaking treatment he received for his amyloidosis from Boston Medical Center and for the compassion and dedication displayed by his caregivers, Anita and Joan Frank. Even as he became more philosophical about life in general and his own sense of being in particular, he was cheerful and quick with a joke, most of which he will thankfully take with him.

Friends are invited to celebrate Dick’s life and memory on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 147 High St., Medford, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory would be welcome at the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, 29 Winter St. Boston MA 02108, http://www.moar-recovery.org.

Arrangements under the care of DeVito Funeral Home, 1145 Mass. Ave., ARLINGTON. For directions or to send an online condolence, visit www.devitofuneralhomes.com.

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