Richard A. Caron, age 83, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at home in Avenel, NJ. He was born in St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, on March 5, 1940. He was the son of the late J.B. Robert and Lillian (Rioux) Caron. Richard (“Dick” to his family and friends) was a 1957 graduate of North Plainfield High School. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Rutgers University, where a lifelong passion for learning was foreshadowed by his completion of 165 credits in areas of study as varied as science, engineering, humanities, mathematics, and Spanish -- 45 credits more than required for graduation.
While at Rutgers, Dick was a member of the Army ROTC. He subsequently served as an Army Lieutenant during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, as well as the National Defense Service Medal. While stationed at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, Dick also taught English and English literature at Puerto Rico Junior College in Cupey Alto.
After his military service and through retirement, Dick worked as a librarian, auditor, and bookkeeper while residing in Kendall Park and New Brunswick, NJ. Most notably, he worked as a Biological Sciences Librarian at Rutgers University and later headed the largest corporate R&D library of Cities Service Company, the predecessor to CITGO Petroleum. While at Cities Service, he was instrumental in planning their new corporate library and the development of a computerized information system designed to provide access to the information within all small department libraries in the company. He also served in several capacities as an officer of the Special Libraries Association, including terms as President and Director of its local chapter. In retirement, Dick volunteered to teach English as a Second Language (ESL).
Two pillars of Dick’s life were music and reading. A highly talented pianist, Dick had an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music. He also possessed a vast personal library of books and was a voracious reader on all topics, fiction, and non-fiction. He freely shared his wide knowledge and sought to learn from others, while leading thought-provoking discussions at family gatherings and in private conversations. No subject -- philosophy, law, science, history, literature, or otherwise -- was beyond his command.
A devout Catholic, Dick undoubtedly left this world with the firm belief that even greater knowledge lay ahead.
He is predeceased by his sisters Doris Fano, and Lorraine Spencer, and his older brother, Robert Caron.
He is survived by his siblings Lucille Meyers, Annette Wright, Elizabeth Menard, Lillian Kolbus (and husband John), Claudette McCann (and husband Robert), sister-in-law Gale Caron, and 34 nephews and nieces.
A visitation will be held on Friday, October 13, 2023, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ 07069. The funeral services will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the funeral home, followed by a 9:30 a.m. funeral mass at St. Joseph's RC Church in North Plainfield, NJ. The interment will be held at Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains.