Richard (Richey) Vernon Baptiste, 65, of New Bedford, passed away on Friday, January 22, 2021 at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.
Born in Manhattan, New York, he was the son of the late Frank J. Baptiste Sr., a veteran of World War II, and Eva L. Abrue Baptiste. He was the brother of the late Frank (Dee Dee) Baptiste, Jr., Robert W. Baptiste, Michael L. Baptiste, and Jeffrey Baptiste.
A lifelong resident of New Bedford, Richard attended Clark University, where he majored in Performing Arts and also Quinsigamond Community College.
Richard was baptized and made his first communion at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in New Bedford. In 1984, he became a member of the Bahá’í Faith, a religion which he practiced until the end of his earthly life.
One of Richard’s greatest memories was his Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2012, where he visited the Bahá’í World Center in Haifa, Israel, and prayed at the Holy Shrines of that faith.
He deeply loved his faith and would teach it to anyone who would listen. A lot of joyful time was spent in the Bahá’í communities of Hyannis, Bourne, New York, Newark, NJ; London, California, Naples, Fl, and of course, New Bedford. He truly believed that “The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” – a quote from Bahá’u’lláh, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
Richard loved to travel and was a real “people person”, interested in all humanity – its cultures and races. He deeply enjoyed helping people when he could, especially those who suffered from issues of substance abuse as well as physical and mental abuse. Richard was a longtime member of AA NA and often spent holidays volunteering with the elderly and at Green Acre Bahá’í School.
Some of his work was in the Community Health Link Detox Program and DUI Program in Worcester. At one point he became a certified Nurse’s Aide and also worked in community programs such as the Battered Women’s Support Group as a volunteer. He loved helping others whenever he could.
What made Richard the happiest was when he was able to be with his family. Richard is survived by his siblings Karen L. Baptiste Rogers of Centerville, MA; Ricardo M. Barros of New Bedford, MA; Kimberly Baptiste Coates, of New Bedford, and Alex Barros of Acushnet, MA.
In addition to many late and surviving aunts and uncles, Richard leaves behind his nephews Robert “Robbie” Hull, Jr. and Darnell J. Baptiste. He also leaves behind the following nieces: Deajanni Baptiste, Wanda Baptiste, Michol Baptiste, Amy Baptiste, Dagney Baptiste, Francine Baptiste, Jasmine Barros, Nateasha Barros, Brandie Barros, and Cassandra Soares.
A funeral service will be held at Perry Funeral Home in New Bedford on Tuesday, January 26, from 11:00 A.M.-12:00P.M., followed by interment at Acushnet Cemetery at 12:30. Appropriate COVID 19 protocol will be observed including the use of face masks, social distancing, and wait times in line due to temporary limited capacity.
In lieu of flowers, please perform an act of kindness for someone in need.
Arrangements placed in the care of Perry Funeral Home 111 Dartmouth St. New Bedford, MA 02740.
The funeral will be on Zoom at Jan 26, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)