Cover photo for Richard L. Duckoff's Obituary
Richard L. Duckoff Profile Photo
1934 Richard 2024

Richard L. Duckoff

November 27, 1934 — March 8, 2024

Manchester, NH

   

   Richard L. Duckoff, 89, of Manchester, passed away peacefully on March 8, 2024, at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack after a period of declining health. Born and raised in Manchester, he was the son of the late Maxwell E. Duckoff and Florence (Perkins) Duckoff.  Dick attended Webster Elementary School and graduated from St. Paul’s School in Concord (class of 1952), Williams College (class of 1956) and Boston University School of Law (class of 1961).

    After an early career of law practice, Dick turned his focus to issues of social justice and activism. He was intent on contributing his talents and energy to improve the quality of life for citizens in whatever way he could. This led him to engage in an extraordinary life of selfless commitment to the residents of Manchester and greater New Hampshire.

   Dick was a passionate advocate for the underprivileged in the areas of affordable housing and tenants’ rights. His desire to encourage and support others was reflected in every aspect of his life. Once referred to as “The Standard Bearer of the Little Guy,” Dick’s influence was far-reaching. He was the co-founder and president of New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity, chair of the board of Manchester Neighborhood Housing Services, a board member of The Way Home, a co-founder of the North End Neighborhood Association and a co-director of the Queen City Tenants Association. Additionally, he was a member of the New Hampshire Citizens’ Action Committee and the Low-Income Housing Network and served on various committees of NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire. He was instrumental in the passage of the Just Cause Eviction Statute and the Certificate of Compliance Ordinance in Manchester.

    Dick was a long-time trustee of the Manchester Historic Association and developed several historic walking tours with his associates at the MHA that focused on the history of Manchester’s downtown, North End and cemeteries. He was involved with the now-defunct Friends of Valley Cemetery and succeeded in preserving a section of St. Augustin Cemetery that was nearly lost. His thorough work in the field of history and his service memberships helped build the community through a shared culture and sense of continuity.   As a former vice president and long-time supporter of the Friends of Stark Park, he solicited funds and booked the bands for the summer concert series at Stark Park.

   Dick was a current associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, W.W. Brown Camp #1, Manchester. Past memberships include the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, Free and Accepted Masons, the New Hampshire Sons of the America Revolution and Queen City Rotary.  Dick’s service to his community has left an impact on all who knew him. 

    His recreational activities included playing ragtime piano, attending jazz concerts, educating others about the history of Manchester, doing research at local libraries and, in recent years, traveling in the Midwest.

    Dick is survived by his devoted wife of 36 years, Diana; daughters, Missy Susag of Edina, MN, Anne Morciszek (Henry) of Irvington, NY and Mary Aull (Luke) of Leesburg, VA; beloved granddaughter, Lauren Spotkov Johnson (Ryan) of Brightwaters, NY; stepdaughter, Carole Beekman of Clarksville, TN and other grandchildren. He was predeceased by his stepdaughter, Cheryl Beekman Tobin. He also leaves many close and cherished friends, including Manchester historian and collaborator John Jordan and fellow jazz aficionado Jim Townsend.

    SERVICES:  Calling hours are on Friday, April 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., Manchester. A memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday, April 20, at 1 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul at St. Paul’s School, 325 Pleasant St., Concord. Private burial will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dick’s name may be made to the Manchester Historic Association, 129 Amherst St., Manchester, NH 03101, Friends of Stark Park, P.O. Box 1485, Manchester, NH 03105, and The SPS Fund at St. Paul’s School (designated to The Heritage Fund), 325 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301.

    The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the compassionate staff at the Community Hospice House (Merrimack) for their care of Dick in his final days.

   

 

   

 

 

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Friday, April 19, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03104

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

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