American Patriotic 10

Atty. Richard M. Plotkin

May 7, 1935 ~ March 14, 2022 (age 86)

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ATHOL- Attorney Richard M. Plotkin, 86, of Athol - Richard M. (Dick) Plotkin passed away Monday, March 14, 2022 at Apple Valley Center, Ayer after a period of declining health.

Born in Springfield, MA to Judge A. William and Ethel M. Plotkin, Richard was a lifelong and proud resident of Athol.

Richard graduated from Athol High School in the class of 1953 and Babson College in the class of 1958. After graduating from Babson on a Saturday, he reported to Newport, RI on Monday morning to begin Officer Candidate School as an enlisted officer in the Navy. He served in the Navy from 1958-1961. Upon discharge from the Navy, he began work as an auditor for Peat Marwick in Boston and enrolled in Suffolk Law School at night. He graduated from Suffolk Law in 1966 and returned to Athol to begin practicing law with his father. He retired from full-time law practice in 2010.

Richard believed Athol was welcoming and supportive to his grandparents, father and uncle as they emigrated from Russia in the early 1900’s. He believed in giving back to the community and was a past member of the Athol Finance Committee, a Babe Ruth Coach and a member of the Athol Credit Union Board of Directors. Most recently he was a long term member of the Athol Economic Development and Industrial Commission, an Athol Savings Bank Corporator, a member of the Athol High School Scholarship Association and a 49 year member of the Athol YMCA Board of Directors, which was one of his favorite local organizations. He was also a member of Temple Israel and Camp Cheneo.

Outside of work and family, he had a passion for sports, cars and ice cream, which he passed along to his son. He enjoyed attending local high school sports as well as watching the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots on TV. He was a member of the Porsche Club of America for over 50 years and a Driver’s Education instructor at club track events at tracks such as Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Bryar (NHIS) and Bridgehampton for decades. His favorite ice cream spot was Kimball Farm in Westford, a place he found in the 1970’s and frequented for decades. He could always find a way to detour there on the way back from a Red Sox game, from the Registry of Deeds after doing research for work or from any other event that had him driving within 10 miles of the exit.

He was also an animal lover who had many dogs and cats over the years. He had a particular affection for German Shepherds and could be seen walking Ruffy, Cleo or Heidi in various locations around town for exercise. He also had many cats and enjoyed watching their antics as well as enjoying their company while he watched a sporting event on TV. A favorite ploy to eat in the living room and enjoy the game was “I don’t want to disturb the cat,” who was either sleeping on his lap or somewhere on the chair with him.

He leaves his wife of 52 years, Pauline J. (Shepardson); his son Erik and his wife Heather and their children, Tyler, Alisa and Gavin of Groton; his sister Toby Lee Gilfix of Longboat Key, FL and her children, Ron Gilfix and his wife Suzanne of Southboro, MA and Lisa Kleeman and her husband David of Owings Mills, MD and their families. He also leaves stepson Greg Rushford of Phillipston and his partner, Lisa; brother-in-law Rolly Rochon of Winchendon; as well as niece Deborah Knott and her husband Bill and their family; and nephews Paul Rochon and his wife Babs and their family, Glenn Rochon and Daniel Rochon. 

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by brother-in-law Benjamin Gilfix, sister-in-law Helen Rochon, mother-in-law Rachel Rushford and father-in-law Victor Shepardson.

Burial will be private.

A celebration of life will be held this spring for family and friends and details will be shared at that time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his honor to the AHS Scholarship Association for a scholarship to be set up in his honor for 2023, which would be his 70th class reunion ( Athol High School Scholarship Association, P.O. Box 338, Athol, MA 01331-0338 or online at - please specify: Richard Plotkin - AHS class of 1953), or towards the newly established Richard M. Plotkin Community Fund at the Athol YMCA (545 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331 or online at and select fund under “campaign”).

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Atty. Richard M. Plotkin, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced

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