Richard Wright Dearborn, a founding partner of the law firm that became Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting LLP, died peacefully at his home in Worcester on December 14. 2018, at the age of 98.
Born and raised in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Mr. Dearborn began his distinguished career with an AB degree cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Bates College in 1941, serving as class valedictorian, and an LLB degree from Harvard Law School in 1948.
During WWII, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy on LST 53 at Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and two months later, in the invasion of Southern France. As part of Operation Iceberg, he served on LST 53 during the Allied invasion of the Pacific Island of Okinawa, Japan, in April 1945.
After the war, Mr. Dearborn practiced law with a major Wall Street firm before moving to Worcester in 1952 to join what is now Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting, where he remained a partner for more than sixty years. He specialized in the law of corporations, trusts, and estates, and he was a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He was appointed a governor of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers and served on numerous corporate boards.
Mr. Dearborn served the Worcester community as a trustee and supporter of many nonprofit organizations. Among his volunteer activities, he was an early board President of Preservation Worcester, a trustee of the Worcester County Horticultural Society who helped to spearhead the creation of Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, and a loyal member of the Worcester Club for more than fifty years. In addition, he served in nonprofit leadership positions at the Museum of Russian Icons, Children’s Friend, and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.
Known for his dry wit, Mr. Dearborn was also a passionate gardener, an avid solver of the Sunday New York Times acrostic and crossword puzzles, and a lover of poetry. He was a mentor, a respected colleague, and a beloved friend. He will be profoundly missed by all of us at the firm.