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Richard Bechtel

March 15, 1937 — May 27, 2023

Richard Allen Bechtel, 86, of Caribou passed away unexpectedly May 27, 2023. Richard enjoyed living in Maine but was proud to be a native Hoosier. He was born March 15, 1937, in Elkhart Indiana to Albert and Mildred Bechtel. Richard was educated in Elkhart area schools and graduated from Concord High School in 1957.  After high school, Richard went directly to work for Whitehall Laboratories.  After receiving draft papers, Richard decided to enlist in the United States Air Force.  He was stationed at Loring Air Force Base from 1959-1963 as part of the 42nd Organizational Maintenance Squadron.  It was during his time at Loring that Richard met his future wife, Patricia Erickson of New Sweden.  They were married on July 20, 1963, at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church. Soon after, Dick and Pat made their way back to his hometown of Elkhart. Dick spent the better part of the next 30 years working in the shipping and receiving department back at Whitehall Laboratories. While living in Indiana Dick was an active member of Beulah Missionary Church.  Dick and Pat served as the church custodians for a better part of a quarter century. Dick also enjoyed bowling and was involved in multiple leagues over the years.

In 1976, Dick and Pat welcomed their only child, Erick. In 1999, Dick and Pat made the decision to move back to Maine to follow Erick and be closer to Pat’s family.  During his time in Caribou, Dick was an active community member.  He was a volunteer with Aroostook RSVP for more than 15 years. He spent many hours volunteering at the Maine Veterans Home and the Aroostook Wildlife Refuge.  Dick truly enjoyed the visitors who crossed his path.  He always had time for a story and was eager to share their stories when he got home.  He was also an active member of Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church where he served as head usher for many years.  He was also a member of the American Legion Post 15 in Caribou. 

When Dick wasn’t volunteering or helping out at home, he was rooting on his grandchildren.  Being a Grampie was one of his proudest achievements.  Whether it was a gymnastics competition, a cross country meet, flag football, soccer, basketball, or baseball, he tried to get to as much as he could.  If he wasn’t watching his grandkids play, he was watching some kind of sport on tv.  When he moved to New England, he learned to be a Red Sox and Patriots fan, but he was forever a Cubs fan. 

Dick is survived by his wife Pat. His son, Erick and his wife Nichole and his grandchildren Kate, Jack and Ethan Bechtel all of Caribou.  His sister, Sharon Allman and her husband Mark of Elkhart Indiana. A special sister-in-law, Janet Erickson of New Sweden. Many nieces and nephews, and his favorite four-legged companion, Chloe.  He was predeceased by his parents, an infant sister, Connie Sue and a granddaughter, Sarah Bechtel.

Dick was very passionate about God and country.  He wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he thought was right. His commitment to his faith, his family, and his willingness to help others will never be forgotten and deeply missed.  Asking him for help wasn’t necessary. He was always there to lend a hand, and if you needed a story and a smile, he always had one. 

Friends and family are invited to visit at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church Sunday, June 4th at 1pm until the time of service which will be held at 2pm with Rev. Dr. Robert Smith officiating.  Interment will take place immediately after the service at New Sweden Cemetery.  Friends are invited to join the family for refreshments at Svea Hall immediately following the services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Richard Bechtel to the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church, PO Box 54 New Sweden, Maine 04762.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Bechtel, please visit our flower store.


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