Richard's Story

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OLD TOWN - Richard (Dick) A. Eustis, 83, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at a local health care facility.

He was a mentor to many, a tech geek (how many seniors have 2 desktops, 2 laptops, an iPad, and over 3000 people in their e-mail contact list?), and a respected member of the State, National, and International Civil Engineering community.

Dick was born in Strong, Maine, on October 24, 1932, to Ralph and Marion (Richardson) Eustis. He graduated from Strong High School in 1951, and from the University of Maine with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1955. At the University of Maine, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and served as class treasurer for the past 50 years. Dick served in the military (2nd Armored Division, US Army, Germany) from 1955-1958, ending as a decorated Sargent.

At the time of his passing, he was a Maine Professional Engineer (PE), a Fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute (FCSI), a Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA), and a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering. Dick spent nearly 40 years working for the University of Maine System, beginning in 1958 as Assistant to the Maintenance Engineer at the Orono campus. In 1970 he was appointed Assistant Director of Facilities for the UMaine System, rising to Director of Facilities in 1974. A few years later he became Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities, and retired from that position in 1998. During his years with the UMaine system he oversaw construction and maintenance of many new and existing buildings at all 7 campuses.

Dick was also heavily involved in the Engineering profession outside of his work for the University. In 1970 he joined the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and over the years served in multiple capacities with the Maine and Northeast Region chapters, as well as the National organization. He was appointed a Fellow of CSI in 1986, and served as National president in 1996-97. Under his leadership CSI became the lead society in coordinating National Engineers' Week. In 1994 he took his engineering interests internationally, and was an active member of the Atlantic chapter of Construction Specifications Canada (CSC). Dick was one of the founding members of the Northern New England Chapter of the Eastern Region Association of Physical Plant Administrators, and served a term as president of the Eastern Region. In 1995 he also began serving on the Maine Association of General Contractors (MAGC) Building Committee.

Retirement simply meant that Dick had more time to devote to Engineering (continuing with his CSI, CSC, and MAGC work) and other interests, and was active in all of these up until the time of his passing. He traveled extensively, attending and giving presentations at state, regional, national, and international meetings of Engineering organizations of which he was a member.

Since 1998 he has been a member of the Old Town Museum Board of Directors, and has served that organization in various capacities - most recently as treasurer. Also in 1998, he became a facilitator for Maine QBS (Qualifications Based Selection) which guides clients in need of construction/design services on how to best select designer professionals based on their qualifications for conducting a specific project. Dick participated in many Penobscot Valley Senior College programs, and served a term as the organization's President in 2011. He became a member of the AARP Capital City Task Force in 2009, and spent time lobbying lawmakers in Augusta on issues important to Seniors.

Ever the technology geek, Dick was involved in creation of both print and digital resources (newsletters, websites, collections databases, etc.) for numerous organizations, including the Old Town Museum, and State, Regional, and National chapters of CSI. From 2002 until his death he was editor of the National CSI newsletter The Fellows.

Dick is survived by his daughter, Debbie Eustis-Grandy and her husband Matt Grandy, of New Sweden, Maine; dear friend and companion Laura Messinger, and her family; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his wife Elizabeth Currier Eustis, his sister Marjorie Eustis Smith, and nephew Mark (Joe) Duane Smith.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the Old Town Museum, PO Box 375, Old Town, Maine, 04468.
Published on  February 6, 2016
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