Obituary: Richard Wallace Munkelwitz, 1945-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Richard Wallace Munkelwitz, 1945-2022 

Former businessman took great pleasure in mentoring Vermonters who wanted to start their own business

Published August 23, 2022 at 6:10 a.m. | Updated August 23, 2022 at 1:36 p.m.

click to enlarge Richard Munkelwitz - COURTESY
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  • Richard Munkelwitz
Richard Wallace Munkelwitz was born in Mineola, N.Y., on July 6, 1945, and died on August 6, 2022, in Burlington, Vt. His death was the result of kidney cancer that he had been living with for several years, but it was sudden and unexpected.

Richard was the son of Prescott and Elizabeth Munkelwitz of New City, N.Y. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Virginia; his sons, Karl Prescott Munkelwitz and his wife, Christina Rosan, of Philadelphia, Pa., and Alexander Stokes Munkelwitz and his wife, Brandy, of Vancouver, B.C.; his grandchildren, Owen, Anya, Eli and Maxwell Penman; and his sister, Virginia Duddy, of New City, N.Y.
Richard was a person of many deep interests. He loved history, model railroading, stamp collecting, Chinese cooking, exploring his Mohawk heritage, and especially music. His musical interests were eclectic and deep, and he listened extensively to the works of well-known and minor composers.

Richard was a graduate of Clarkstown Central High School in New City, N.Y. (1963);  Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. (BS, 1967) ; and Columbia University in New York City (MBA, 1968). He worked in operations research and different forms of finance, including mergers and acquisitions. He derived great pleasure from the relationships he made during his business life and especially enjoyed helping employees of Union Products do a management buyout. Union Products manufactured molded plastic flamingos, Santas, elves and penguins that gradually appeared in our home. He had four flamingos that represented our four family members, which he deployed to a new location every time he mowed the lawn, providing great amusement for the kids in our neighborhood. After retirement, Richard taught small business courses at Community College of Vermont and took great pleasure in mentoring Vermonters who wanted to start a business. His students came from a wide range of backgrounds and were interested in a wide range of businesses, which made it exciting for Rich.

Richard’s primary love was his family. He loved to play games, take hikes, camp and spend time listening to all the wonderful, creative ideas young children imagined. In return, he shared stories about Native Americans and took both his sons to Kanatsiohareke, a Mohawk community in New York. His last trip abroad was to Ireland, which he loved because of the deep relationship between the Irish and Native Americans.

A celebration of Richard’s life will be held in the fall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Akwesasne Freedom School, foafs.org. We are grateful to the University of Vermont Medical Center caregivers, especially Dr. Steven Ades; Janet Ely, NP; and Jordan Tolstoi, PA-C, all of whom treated Richard with wisdom and kindness.
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