On September 9, 2021, Greater Fall River lost an endearing member of its community. Richard Proulx, known better as "Ricky," lost his battle with COPD after many worn-out years.

Proulx was born and raised in Fall River and spent the majority of his life helping out families and friends in the area who needed a helping hand. He was a well-rounded and skilled maintenance guy who would give his shirt off his back to anybody.

Back in January of 1993, Proulx walked through the doors to begin working for the Greater Fall River RE-CREATION program, and the rest of the team quickly became more than just his co-workers – they became his family.

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"He came on as the head maintenance person and in charge of all the deliveries," said Executive Director Grace Gerling. "Even before COVID, we delivered and handed out brochures that were developed each season to all of the public and private schools in the area, including local organizations and he was in charge of that. He was there for us for the past 28 years, was a dear friend, and would do anything for us at any time."

Courtesy Greater Fall River RE-CREATION
Courtesy Greater Fall River RE-CREATION

Although Proulx was a single man, it allowed him more time to help out families in need and also help out around the building.

"He was a good man with a good heart," Gerling said. "There are few people like him out there nowadays. He was a close and dear friend of mine who started when I was just the assistant director and when I became the executive director- he would do anything I asked. He was always there for me."

Early morning tasks for Proulx included being the first one to show up at the Rec Center so he could open the doors for everyone. He and Gerling would begin their day with a cup of coffee and a friendly conversation. It's something that sounds so simple to most, but meant the world to Gerling.

"It's just not the same and it's weird coming in and not seeing him here when I arrive," Gerling said. "We would take a few minutes to just sit together and talk before starting the day. Something I'll miss dearly."

Courtesy Greater Fall River RE-CREATION
Courtesy Greater Fall River RE-CREATION

Proulx's funeral was held on September 15 at the Hathaway Home for Funerals on Robeson Street in Fall River. He will be greatly missed by many who were not only a part of the Greater Fall River Rec Program but as a loving and key figure from his extended family.

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