Richard Walter Heurtley


Richard Walter Heurtley, gentleman, scholar, sportsman, adventurer, Renaissance man par excellence, died in his 95th year at his home in Sea Cliff on Jan. 19, 2015.
He was born in Manhattan, son of Richard Heurtley and Helen Thatcher Heurtley. Richard attended Allen-Stevenson School and Philips Exeter Academy, graduating at 15 with a full scholarship to Harvard University. After two years he left Harvard looking for adventure.
He was adept at canoeing and embarked on a solo canoe trip form his parent’s summer home in Darien Connecticut to Daytona Beach, FL. Later he traveled to Panama where he bought a 36-foot ketch and sailed her through the Panama Canal and up to Stratford, CT. He then lived on the ketch for several years while working on an oyster boat hauling “spat” to the Oyster Bay Oyster Company.

In 1944, Richard sold the sail boat and entered Columbia University where he earned BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees, majoring in Western European history. He specialized in German history and German intellectual history. He held teaching posts at Columbia University, North Carolina University, Carnegie Institute, and Long Island University.

He eventually settled in Sea Cliff, where he continued sailing, running—which he did competitively into his 80s—and traveling with many adventures.

Richard had a lifelong love of music, his favorite being the works of J.S. Bach and the Baroque composers. He was a sponsor of Music at St. John’s, a professional group performing masterpieces of the Baroque. He also loved opera and attended as much as he could. He loved dancing, especially folk dancing and in his youth belonged to a folk dance group. He could often be seen joining dancers at local folk festivals. After retiring from teaching at C.W. Post, Richard turned his talents to investing, and enjoyed stock market trading. He was a very “handy” man and enjoyed working on his property and maintaining his antique furniture collection.

His was a well-rounded life, filled with energetic enjoyment of good things, good friends, good conversation and sharing with family.

Richard is survived by his wife Janette Kling Heurtley, stepchildren Peter Ames of Boston, Hugh (Sheila), and Kristian (Kristen) Mariaca of Loudonville and Teresa Mariaca Barnett (William) of Bloomington, IN. Grandchildren Loran Cook, Amya Crounse, Nicholas Mariaca, Nathan, Tyler, Emma, Tessa Barnett and Liliana Mariaca.

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