Tuesday, July 5, 2022

James Richard ‘Dick’ Storey Sr., 93, longtime member of the Williamsburg Choral Guild

James Richard 'Dick' Storey Sr.
James Richard ‘Dick’ Storey Sr.

WILLIAMSBURG — James Richard “Dick” Storey Sr., 93, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. He was born July 2, 1927, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to James Robert and Mildred Ethel (Strawbridge) Storey.

The second of two children, he grew up spending summers at a family cottage in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River, where he learned to love swimming, rowing and outdoor life.

He was a precocious student. He skipped a grade and graduated early from John Harris High School to start college at Penn State before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He never saw combat duty, but liked to say that when he finished Basic Training, the Germans became alarmed and surrendered, and when he finished Specialist Training three months later, the Japanese became alarmed and surrendered.

After decommissioning, he returned to Penn State to complete his degree in agricultural and biological chemistry. On Aug. 27, 1949, he married his childhood sweetheart, Ann Englehart. They settled first in Bergenfield, New Jersey, where Dick worked as a food chemist for the National Biscuit Company. Just before their first son, Douglas, was born in 1952, they relocated back to Harrisburg, starting a pattern of periodic movement that lasted for most of their married life.

In 1955, after the birth of their second son, James, he took a new job as a quality control manager with Campbell Soup Company. The family moved to Merchantville, New Jersey, where their third son, Robert, was born. Over the next 40 years with Campbell Soup Company, they lived in 10 different locations around the United States, New Jersey, Minnesota, California, Arkansas and Ohio.

Dick was active in civic organizations, including the Masons, YMCA, Scouting, and with church and music everywhere they lived. Dick played the trumpet, sang tenor in the choir and served in church leadership positions in Presbyterian and Methodist congregations around the country.

He had an adventurous spirit and a love for nature and history that he shared with his family, taking them on marathon summer camping trips to national parks and monuments in the Pacific Northwest, the Sierras, the U.S. and Canadian Rockies, the desert Southwest, the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge. After his children grew up and moved out, the small tent trailer was replaced by an R.V. that took Dick and Ann all over the United States to revisit many favorite places and to visit new ones like Big Bend and Alaska.

Upon retirement in 1992, Dick and Ann relocated from South Jersey to Williamsburg, where they were both active in the church choir and music programs at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, as well as the Williamsburg Choral Guild, and were devoted patrons of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra.

Long into retirement, he stayed active with hobbies, chopping firewood was a particular favorite, participating at archaeological digs at the Jamestown historical site and building a harpsichord. He served for several years as a docent at the Jamestown dig and at the archaeology lab in Colonial Williamsburg. He and Ann continued to be ardent travelers, making numerous trips to Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, East and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Guides on the Milford Sound trek on New Zealand’s South Island applauded them as one of the oldest couples to complete that strenuous walk. In 2015, they moved to The Williamsburg Landing retirement community.

Dick was preceded in death by Ann, his wife of nearly 70 years; and his sister, Marjorie (William) Reinaker.

He is survived by three sons, Douglas (Claire), James (Robin) and Robert (Anne); seven grandchildren, Robert (Kate), Sarah (Brendan) McGillick, Brian, Nathan (Zara), Elena, Nicholas and Michael; three great-grandchildren, Madison, Jane and Mattax; and many nieces and nephews.

Interment will be held in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, Pennsylvania. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date when in-person gatherings are easier.

Dick and Ann were longtime members of the Williamsburg Choral Guild, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to bringing magnificent choral music to the Greater Williamsburg area community. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made “In Memory of Dick Storey,” to the Williamsburg Choral Guild, P.O. Box 1864, Williamsburg VA 23187; or to the charity of your choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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