Rich Francis Carmichael
Rich Francis Condon Carmichael, “Connie”, died of brain cancer in his home in Merrimack, aged 93.
He was born in 1924 in Portland, Maine but grew up in Antrim, New Hampshire with five brothers and sisters. He attended a one room schoolhouse there and was awarded a prize for reciting poetry, including Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar”, a poem he was still able to recite from memory eighty years later. In 1943, he entered the army and he and his unit underwent arduous training in the sweltering jungles of Louisiana. Naturally they were then deployed to France in the frigid winter of 1944-1945. His division immediately entered combat in the Battle of the Bulge, helping to blunt the German attack. In January, near the village of Grand-Halleux, Belgium, his battalion was forced to attack uphill through knee deep snow against entrenched German machine guns, suffering heavy casualties. He then participated in the Battle of Colmar and the Rhine Crossing and helped to liberate starving prisoners of Nazi labor camps. After the war, he studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine in Orono and worked for General Electric as an engineer and manager in the Jet Engine division, including working briefly on the Nuclear Aircraft Engine project until that idea was abandoned for being ridiculous. He married Mary Joanne Sloan in Cincinatti and they had five children, William, Michael, Patrick, Renny and James. The family moved several times until settling in Merrimack in 1974 on their much cherished farm. Francis retired from General Electric and worked subsequently for Kollsman Instruments in Merrimack and Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford. He also pursued hobby farming, which he enjoyed but at which he was terrible. He swam and played golf almost to his last days. As a Yankee of Scottish descent who grew up during the Great Depression, he valued thrift highly, but always thought that the price of a book for one of his children was money well spent. Broad minded and tolerant, he suffered fools gladly and believed that “a Man’s a Man.” Died after a brief and peaceful decline. Deeply missed.
Burial will take place at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Tuesday February 6th at 2 PM. To leave an online condolence please visit www.rivetfuneralhome.com.