Obituary of Richard V. Villeneuve, Jr.
NORTH CREEK: Richard Villeneuve, Jr., a skilled fly fisherman, hunter and skier, who loved to share his knowledge and affection for the outdoors with family and friends, died on October 28, 2023. He was 76. His death followed a lengthy illness at Albany Medical Center.
Rick was born on February 21, 1947 to the late Richard and Dorothy (Bateman) Villeneuve. Rick graduated from Johnsburg Central School in 1966. During high school Rick met the love of his life, Peg Jugon, whom he married in 1973.
After high school, Rick was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam. He returned home from the war and enrolled at Adirondack Community College and earned an Associate Degree in Drafting. After college, Rick worked on the ski patrol at Gore Mountain and then trained to become the head electrician. The job sometimes entailed showing up at the mountain in the middle of the night during a sleet storm to keep the lifts running. A devoted union member, Rick retired from Gore in 2004.
Raised in North Creek, Rick started hunting as a kid and would never miss a trip into hunting camp where he had memorized every inch of the woods and could spot a deer standing still from a hundred yards away. At the end of the day, Rick would entertain the camp with jokes and his signature hors d’oeuvre: smoked trout mousse and perch, which he liked to call, “poor man’s shrimp.”
Rick was known for his keen sense of humor and generous spirit, especially when guiding others on ponds and rivers. Rick knew how to catch fish and he took great pleasure and pride in showing others how to catch them, too. He studied the hatch and tied his own flies, sharing them with everyone. Whether working as a guide on the Hudson River or fishing with friends on Cape Cod, Rick’s skills stood out. “He was the best fisherman I ever fished with,” said Pete Burns, a longtime friend. “For whatever reason, Rick somehow always knew where the fish were.”
At one point, Rick took up rock climbing and is credited with establishing a route on Moxham Mountain in Minerva that other climbers still use. Even as he got older and faced health challenges, he never lost his curiosity and zeal for nature. “Anything in the outdoors Rick was very good at,” said his friend Jim Harrison.
Rick took some of his greatest joy spending time outdoors with Peg, his daughter Jennifer Villeneuve and granddaughter Elizabeth Dague. Camping, canoeing, fishing and skiing – even just a short snow-shoe with Elizabeth around the backyard – Rick was always getting outside with his family and friends. He found a way to enjoy every season. For many summers, Rick and Peg raised a large garden at their house in North Creek, where once again, Rick’s hunting skills shined through – something the woodchucks and deer trying to eat their vegetables can attest to.
Besides his wife Peg of 50 years, daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Elizabeth, Rick is survived by his sister Vicki Smith; nephews Danny (Tammy) Phillips and their son Richard and Scott (Emma) Phillips. He also leaves behind in-laws Antoinette (Dennis) Corkery; nephews Dennis Corkery and Michael (Emily Kauff) Corkery and their children Julia and Thomas.
Donations in memory of Rick can be made to C.R. Wood Cancer Center, Pruyn Pavilion at Glens Falls Hospital, 100 Park St., Glens Falls, NY 12801.
Friends may call on Rick’s family on Monday, November 6, 2023 from 11am – 1pm at Alexander Funeral Home, 3809 Main St., Warrensburg. A funeral service will take place at 1pm following visitation. A reception will follow services at Basil & Wicks, 3195 Rt. 28, North Creek.
Please visit www.alexanderfh.net for online condolences, guestbook and directions.