To the Williams community,
I write with the sad news that Richard William Cummings, who was the college’s equipment manager in the Department of Athletics for more than 30 years, has passed away. Dick died on March 10, at age 68, at his home in Pownal, Vt.
Dick grew up in South Williamstown and spent most of his life in the area. Nicknamed “Atlas” by childhood friends due to his impressive stature and notable strength, those who knew him best remember his kindness and gentle demeanor.
He attended local schools and graduated from Mount Greylock Regional High School in 1968. Dick’s reputation as a gifted athlete was forged in his teens when he was member of his high school’s varsity football and track and field teams. He also played for a year on the school’s baseball team. At the University of Massachusetts, he continued playing varsity football and then signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots. “While I unfortunately never saw him play the game of football, the stories I’ve been told of his high school days at Mt. Greylock and his college days at UMass are legendary,” says Glenn Boyer, a longtime friend and colleague at Williams.
After returning to Williamstown Dick joined Williams in 1984 and followed his passion for team sports through his work until his retirement in 2015. Dick enjoyed the outdoors—hunting and fishing were two of his favorite passions—as well as raising miniature horses and chopping lumber at his home in the woods. “He would never mention any of his many athletic accomplishments, being very humble and modest,” says Pete Haig, a fellow Williams staff member and Dick’s friend since the fourth grade. “We had many good life experiences, and he will be sorely missed.”
A member of the Second Congregational Church in South Williamstown, Dick was also a devoted family man who took particular delight in spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Diana Lynn (Jones) Cummings; his daughter, Melissa, of Pownal, Vt.; and his son, Dustin, of East Wallingford, Vt. He also leaves his four grandchildren, Areanna, Bode, Chloe Campbell, and Makaela; one aunt, Joan Burdick, of Hancock, Mass.; and three cousins, Marc Burdick, Scott Burdick, and Julie Snow.
A wake will be held on Wednesday, March 14, from 4-7 p.m. at Fynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals-West Chapel, 521 West Main Street in North Adams.
A mass in celebration of the life Dick Cummings will be held on Thursday, March 15, at 11 a.m., at the Second Congregational Church in South Williamstown. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to the Pownal Rescue Squad in care of the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home.
Our thoughts are with Dick’s family and many friends.