Richard M Learned
April 30, 1950 - October 23, 2020
LEARNED, Richard M. Ret. Newton Firefighter Of Tamworth, NH, died suddenly Oct. 23, 2020. Richard was born on April 30th, 1950 in Brighton, MA to Thomas and Anna (Sheridan) Learned of Newton, MA. Raised in Newton, MA and graduated from Our Lady's High School in 1968. While attending Our Lady's, Richard participated in baseball and was the captain and MVP of his basketball team. Richard was also a member of Our Lady's Church, where he was an altar boy for many years.
After high school, Richard enrolled in the US Army. In 1969, Richard was deployed to Vietnam where he served as a Crew Chief in the 1st Cavalry Division, one of the most famous and well decorated units to ever serve in Vietnam. During his time there, he spent a majority of his days as a door gunman on a Loach helicopter, widely known as one of the most dangerous jobs in Vietnam. He ran over 50 combat missions which took on heavy enemy fire and almost lost his life being shot down twice. He was awarded two Air Medals, Vietnam Campaign, Good Conduct, National Defense, Sharpshooter and later received a Purple Heart. When Richard returned from the war in 1971, he dedicated his life to the fire service. Richard served 31 years for the Newton Fire Department. From the time he was appointed in January 1972, until he retired in May 2003, Richard continued to dedicate his life to protecting others.
Richard was a beloved brother to his late sister Mary Russo and brother Thomas Learned. He is survived by his brother Joseph Learned and his wife Jeanne, brother-in-law George Russo, life partner Debbie Mercurio, children Melissa Forbes, Nicole Learned, son-in-law Keith Forbes, Terri Mercurio, Ronnie Mercurio, Greg Habeeb, and his adored grandchildren Skylar, William, Devonte, Alyssa and RJ. Visiting Hours will be held on Sun., Nov. 1, from 3-7 PM in the Eaton & Mackay Funeral Home, 465 Centre St., NEWTON CORNER.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited and all attendees must wear face coverings and follow COVID-19 social distancing requirements. His Funeral Service will be private. A public Graveside Service will be held on Tues., Nov. 3, at 12 Noon, with US Army Military Honors at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Richie to Clear Path for Veterans, The Fund Development Dept., 8 Chicatabut Rd., Norfolk, MA 02056, www.clearpathne.org would be appreciated. To share a memory or send a note of condolence to Richie's family, please visit www.eatonandmackay.com Eaton & Mackay Funeral Home Newton Corner 617-244-2034
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Published in Boston Globe from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, 2020.