- BORN: December 22, 1945
- DIED: September 13, 2016
- LOCATION: Chester, Connecticut
Richard Thiel, 70, of Chester, passed away peacefully after suffering a stroke on September 7th. Son of the late Ava and Lloyd Thiel, Richard was born on December 22nd, 1945. He and his wife, Christine Darnell, were married seven years. Richard was born in Highland Park, Michigan, but lived a good part of his life in San Diego, California. He attended San Diego University, and played football for the college. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War, and flew a helicopter for most of his tour of duty. After Vietnam he lived in Wyoming for a few years, and then moved back to San Diego, where he worked as a deputy sheriff. He started making his living as a writer in the eighties, and wrote several books on diesel engines and motor yachts. He became a father in his forties, and his daughter Rikki Lee was the light of his life. Richard is best known for helping to shape the boating magazine Power and Motor Yacht, where he served at the helm as editor and chief for over twenty-five years. He was a legend in the boating industry, nurturing many people as editors and writers who flourish today, and he developed an innovative style of testing boats; which is at the core of the magazine. Stories abound about some wild adventures on the high seas, but colleagues and co-workers always come back to how supportive he was, that even in the toughest of times, he was a real leader and a true professional.
Richard was a natural storyteller, vibrant and gregarious. He endeared himself to people almost immediately with his wonderful wit, and could always make someone laugh. Many people considered Richard a good friend. Along with his devoted wife Christine, he leaves behind his daughter, Rikki, his stepson, Matthew, and his beloved dog Stella, as well as friends and neighbors who cared deeply about him.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 3:00PM at the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, 9 Novelty Lane in Essex. Arrangements have been entrusted to Robinson, Wright and Weymer Funeral Home, in Centerbrook, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers any contributions can be made to Adopt a Classroom.Org. The email address is: www.adoptaclassroom.org/ways-to-give/