Richard Avery Rollins (11/1/1932 – 4/18/2023)
His welcome character makes him many friends…
Richard Rollins passed away peacefully, at The Birches of Concord, on April 18, 2023, at the age of 90. Dick, as known by most, was born in Storrs, CT, where he grew up the youngest of three, with his parents, Howard and Helen, and his siblings, Patsy and Jack. Dick enthusiastically became an Eagle Scout at the age of 13. Dick graduated from Mt. Hermon High School and then attended The University of Connecticut where he graduated in 1954 with a BS in Agriculture. Dick then went on to proudly serve two years as an Army Ranger, at the rank of First Lieutenant Platoon Leader in the US Army.
After honorably discharging from the Army, Dick worked for 4 years as a Technical Representative with Rohm and Hass Chemical Co. selling herbicides and pesticides to farmers, which is when he first realized his interest in sales. That is when he began his lifelong career with New York Life Insurance Company. After moving with his family to Wolfeboro in 1964, he continued to follow his passion for selling life insurance, which lasted an extraordinary 47 years. He loved his job at NYL, and during his tenure, he won countless awards, most of them multiple times: among them were the Star Club, Grand Slam, Cornerstone Campaign, Group Leaders, National Sales Achievement, National Quality, and NH General Agent and Managers Association Associate of the Year Award. As one of the prominent recognitions that an agent qualifies for as a New York Life Agent is the “Councils,” Dick did modestly achieve; Quality Council (30 years), Executive Council (17 years), Presidents Council (15 years), and lastly the most prestigious Chairman’s Council (5 years), and Senior NYLIC (25 years). Dick’s proudest professional achievement was having qualified for the New York Life Million Dollar Round Table for an extraordinary 25 years of his 47.
Dick always said “we must have goals for a good life.” He firmly believed that “whatever our minds could conceive and believe, we could achieve; we just need to know where we are going and what we want to accomplish.” He frequently reminded his children that “Inch by inch, everything’s a cinch!” Dick certainly did set many goals for himself because, in addition to his incredible success at New York Life, he was also an integral part of the community. Nearly every day he could be seen, with his infectious smile, waving to friends, neighbors and colleagues, as he walked from his office in downtown Wolfeboro to the Post Office to get his mail. Among Dicks community contributions, many positions of which he held for years were: Senior Warden, Stewardship Chairman, Chairman, and Chairman of the Building Committee at All Saints Episcopal Church; Cub Master for Wolfeboro Cub Scout Troop and received the Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Award; President and on the Board of Directors for the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce; President of the Wolfeboro Lions Club, and he received the 2003 Lions Club Barry Lougee Award for his 18 years of volunteer service on Smith River Canoe Race committee. Dick was also on the Executive Committee for the New Hampshire Estate Planning Council, Director and Executive Board member of the Daniel Webster Council, Director and Financial Committee member of Wolfeboro National First Bank, President of Lakes Region Life Underwriters Association, and Director of Lakes Region Charitable Foundation. He was also Director of Intelli-Tech Corp, Director of YMCA Camp Belknap, helped run the balloon booth at the annual Huggins Hospital Street Fair with his wife Carolyn for more than 20 years, and was Endowment Trustee and Board of Directors member for Wolfeboro Area Children’s Center for 20 years. Dick was also most proud to be one of the original founders, and Director, of The Community Bank and Trust Company of Wolfeboro. And last, but certainly not least, Dick was on the board of trustees at the Wolfeboro Children’s Center for 15 years, and he helped with the 2000 Mission Endowment Campaign that raised $2M. In 2014, his final year on the board, he was named Emeritus Trustee, an honor bestowed on him for his years of dedicated service that helped establish the Children’s Center as a success story in the community.
Dick was also an active yet humble philanthropist, always there to graciously lend a helping hand to others, including with his time and his heart. He always wanted to give back and make a difference in the community, leaving a legacy of kindness and generosity.
After retiring, Dick spent his summers in Tuftonboro, NH, enjoying more time spent “living Lake Life,” and winters in Hilton Head Island, SC. He loved boating, sailing, downhill and cross country skiing, gardening, jogging, biking, attending The Iditarod, and above all else, spending time with his family and many friends.
Dick is predeceased by his beloved wife of 40 years, Carolyn who passed in 2004, his parents Howard and Helen Rollins, his sister Patsy (Robert), and his brother Jack (Lucille). Dick is survived by his current wife Sylvia and his six children, Steve (Desiree), Lisa (Rich), Lynne (Ridgely), Douglas (Karen), Debbie (Calvin) and Leanne. Dick is also survived by his eleven grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, sister-in-law Phyllis (Tommy), and sister-in-law Laura; as well as many nieces, nephews, and dear friends. Dad was a true inspiration to all who knew him, and his passing will leave an immeasurable hole in our hearts!
The family would like to sincerely thank The Birches of Concord staff for their sincere compassion, friendship and loving care in the final three years of Dicks life, as well as Concord Hospital and Hospice for their kind hearted care for him in his final days.
Calling hours will be held at Lord Funeral Home, 23 Club Lane, Wolfeboro, NH, on Friday, May 19th from 3 – 5 PM. The memorial service will also be held at Lords Funeral Home, on Saturday, May 20th, at 1 PM. A private family graveside service at Lakeview Cemetery will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial donations are made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001.
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