Cheney, Richard P, passed away on September 12, 2018 after a heroic three-year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 54. He was born and raised in West Medford but had two places that he called home, Old Orchard Beach Maine and the greater Boston area. Rich graduated from Medford High School in 1982 and UMASS Boston in 1988 with a degree in Economics.
Rich’s passion for swimming started in high school and defined his career. He was the Director of Aquatics for the Somerville Public school system. He loved teaching and coaching swimming, which began with the Community Stars n Stripes in Medford. He owned the Seven Seas Swim Club and co-owned the D and R summer swim program. He worked with Magnus Aquatics and the Charles River Country Club swim programs. He coached the boy’s and girl’s swim teams in Winchester, Medford, and Somerville. He helped lead, mold, and develop the lives of hundreds of swimmers, young and old. A professional highlight for Rich was his induction into the Interscholastic Swim Coaches Academy Hall of Fame in April of 2013. During high school and college, he was a lifeguard at Old Orchard Beach in Maine.
Rich was an avid traveler, lover of movies, his ’67 Pontiac LeMans and all outdoor adventures. He enjoyed skiing, hiking, boating and socializing. Rich’s real and abiding passions were his family and friends. Although a less than average life span, Rich did not live an average life. He travelled where he wanted to travel, laughed often, learned what he wanted to fix, helped everyone and was loved by all.
Rich was the cherished best friend and loving partner to his fiancée Heather Farrell of Old Orchard Beach Maine. He was the devoted son of Mary Cheney of Tewksbury and the late Harold Cheney. He was an amazing friend and brother to Susan Johnson and her husband Brian of Upton, Michael and his wife Melissa of Woburn, Marie of Tewksbury, Harold and his wife Ellen of Saugus. He was the adored uncle of Ben, Erica, and Bill Johnson; Trevor and Cassidy Cheney.
Rich asks that you spend time with your family and friends, take a walk on the beach with your loved ones and make a toast to enduring friendships lifelong and beyond.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate and honor Rich Friday 4-8pm at Gaffey Funeral Home Medford at 43 High Street and again at 10 AM Saturday morning before leaving in procession to St. Raphael Church in Medford for a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in his honor at 11 AM.
To send flowers to Richard's family, please visit our floral section.