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Dick Clemence, Hyde Group Chairman, Passes Away

Dick Clemence

Richard “Dick” Clemence, chairman of the board of Hyde Group Inc., passed away at the age of 83 on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

Dick was born December 20, 1939 in Southbridge, Mass., to Robert and Elizabeth Rees Clemence. Dick was born and raised in Southbridge, graduating from Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H. He returned to Southbridge where he obtained a business degree from Nichols College and an industrial management degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Dick was a HVAC engineer at MECO Inc. before joining Hyde Manufacturing company for 61 years. Starting as a foreman, then plant manager, before becoming the chairman of the board in 2010. During those years, he was a board member of several local businesses including Savers Bank and Harrington Memorial Hospital, the Tri-Community Chamber and United Way.

Hyde Tools was founded in 1870 in Southbridge, Mass., by Isaac Hyde, who sold the company to the Clemence and LaCroix families in 1893. So Dick’s 61-year tenure with Hyde represents nearly half of the Clemence family’s 130-year business legacy.

From 1965 to 1985 Dick was a member of the Southbridge Call Firefighters, retiring as a Captain of Hose 1. He spent many years as a member of the Airport Commission and was a director of the New England Helicopter Association.

Dick enjoyed spending time in Marshfield, Mass., where he met the love of his life, Patty Brandt, on the South River. They were married in 1959 and raised three children and four dalmatians. Dick and Pat met while enjoying boating, a passion they shared their whole life. Both achieved 100 Ton Captains licenses and enjoyed boating up and down the East Coast from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas. Dick and Pat, both rotor pilots, also enjoyed flying their helicopter, taking many trips across the United States or just enjoying a nice weekend flying around the local area.

Dick is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia Brandt Clemence, his children Bob (Denise), Rick (Regina Payne) and Tammy (John Rawls). His eight grandchildren: Jillian Ciapocha, Janelle (Mike Zuziak), Myron (Courtney), Tarrah (Angel Guzman), Mason Clemence (Katie Dam), John (Jessica), Michael and David Rawls. His eight great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Mina Zuziak, Harrison, George, Vivian Clemence, Taivyn Clemence, Christopher, Riley Rawls; and a brother-in-law, Richard Hardy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Upham and Elizabeth Walters Rees Clemence, and his sister Sarah Clemence Hardy.

For details on the celebration of life that is planned for Thursday, June 15 and to view a video tribute, click here.

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