WOLFEBORO/ALTON — On Dec. 12, 2017, the Rev. Richard H. Wegman died at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. He was 89 years old.
Father Wegman was born and raised on Long Island, New York, but lived most of his adult life in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
After graduating from Jamaica High School (New York) and earning a bachelor’s degree from Queens College, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served in Korea during the Korean War, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant.
From an early age, Father Wegman aspired to the Roman Catholic priesthood, but family circumstances prevented his pursuing this dream while young. Instead, he started his own business in Boston and in 1957 opened the Hammond Organ Studios of Boston as a co-owner with business partner Anthony R. Totaro. The business grew, opening several branch studios in the Boston area and becoming in the 1970s the Boston Organ and Piano Company, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts. That company is now owned and managed by the Totaro sons.
In 1985, upon the impending death of his widowed mother, Father Wegman resigned his position with Boston Organ and Piano, leaving to begin a year of preparation for the priesthood at Boston College’s School of Theology. The following year he entered the Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts – a Catholic seminary for candidates age 30 and older – to complete theological studies leading to priestly ordination.
On June 2, 1990, Father Wegman was ordained a priest in Saint Joseph’s Cathedral in Manchester for the Diocese of Manchester by Bishop Odore J. Gendron.
After ordination, Father Wegman served for six years as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Hampton. He then served as pastor of Saint Joan of Arc Parish in Alton.
In 2001, his health required his retirement from being pastor in Alton, but he continued to serve as assistant pastor at Saint Katharine Drexel Parish, serving Alton and Wolfeboro, where he had established his residence following retirement.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, the Rite of Reception of the Body will take place at Saint Katharine Drexel Church, 40 Hidden Springs Road, Alton. Father Wegman will lie in state in the church from 2-6 p.m., concluding with Mass.
On Monday, Dec. 18, Father Wegman will lie in repose at Saint Katharine Drexel Church from 9-10:45 a.m. The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, will preside at a Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m., followed by a community luncheon.
The Rite of Committal will be celebrated in the spring at Lakeview Cemetery in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, at a time to be announced. Peaslee Alton Funeral Home has care of the arrangements, to express condolences, please visit www.peasleefuneralhome.com.
The Diocese of Manchester will offer three Masses for the repose of his soul. Sympathy cards or notes to the family can be sent to the following Saint Katharine Drexel Parish, P.O. Box 180, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0180. Father Wegman requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Retired Clergy Fund, Diocese of Manchester, 153 Ash St., Manchester, NH 03105-0310.