Richard D. Weisse Sr. was born October 1, 1955, in St. James, New York, to Edward and Irene Weisse. A son, husband, father, and grandfather, he still found the time to incorporate a devoted life to the Saint James Fire Department, where he was an active member for 42 years.
Growing up, Richie was always around the firehouse. Seeing the SJFD through his grandfather’s and father’s eyes, he developed a deep love and pride for SJFD. He joined in 1972, continuing a third generation of service. He continued their legacy, giving a strong example to his own children, who followed in their beloved Dad’s footsteps. Richie, Badge #47, captain of Rescue, member of Ambulance Company, lieutenant of Engine One, director of Junior Firefighters, Fire Prevention Committee member, and member of the Wildcats Drill Team.
Richie was a proud custodian for the Kings Park School District for over 25 years. He was known for his always ready-to-help attitude with students, teachers, and administrators. Without being asked, he was always lending a hand.
An active member of the fire department and the community, Richie organized food drives through the Junior Fire Department twice a year, overpacking the pantry every time. Pantry volunteers were always impressed with Richie’s helpfulness and dedication. He also mentored the Juniors, creating a family morale, showing them his passion for service to others, and the numerous responsibilities of becoming a firefighter. And, of course, he shared the joy he had at Christmas as he played Santa for the SJFD and St. James!
Richie’s children witnessed his love and dedication in many ways. A role model and hero to both his children, they have continued the family tradition of being a part of the SJFD as the 4th Weisse generation. Rich Jr. served side-by-side with his dad on Engine 1, while Tricia serves as an active EMT on the EMS Company. After Richie passed, Tricia joined Engine 1 to follow her father’s footsteps.
Richie was married to his dear wife, Theresa, for 33 years. Always a helping hand, a caring and devoted dad to Richard and Tricia, he was the best father-in-law to Kerry. He was over the moon to become “Papa” to Avery, Ryder, and Kennedy Richele. Being Papa gave him two extra bonuses: sharing his birthday with grandson, Ryder, and the honor of having Kennedy Richele named after him. He was also brother-in-law to Louis and Kathy Boutin and Robert Boutin; uncle to Louis Jr., Christopher, and Patrick; devoted nephew to the late George Yeager; and a dear best friend for over 50 years to Fred and Lee Orth. He was a devoted and true Jets and Yankees fan. He was a true people person who left his hand print on the community and in our hearts!