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Richard Allen Couch

NORTH CANAAN — Richard Allen Couch of North Canaan and formerly of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., died at home on Feb. 15, 2019. He was 80.  

Dick was born in Bremerton, Wash., on April 4, 1938, to Harriet Frances (Gilmor) and  Richard Bailey  Couch. 

His family moved to Bethesda, Md., where his father became the chief naval architect of the United States, and later to Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Dick earned two degrees in forestry from the University of Michigan and joined the United States Army, where he developed a philosophy that guided his whole life: “Keep your head down and don’t step in anything.” 

Dick loved the outdoors, bluegrass music, researching his family tree, reading Jane Austen, and yodeling when people least expected it. He earned his law degree from Wayne State University in 1973 and went to work for the Army’s Tank-Automotive Command. 

After returning to the Washington, D.C., area, he managed all complaints against contract awards and made significant contributions to the Army’s procurement and protest procedures during his career as assistant command counsel at the headquarters of Army Materiel Command. He won commendations and medals for both his military and civilian service. 

Dick retired in 1998 and moved to Sault Ste. Marie in his beloved Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he and Janet snowshoed, enjoyed a state of pure bliss at their cabin on Sugar Island, and kept track of the lakers passing by in the Saint Marys River.  

Dick is survived by his wife, Janet (Beaujon) Couch, and three children: Andrew Beaujon and his wife, Ewa, of Alexandria, Va., Benjamin Riley of Lyon, France, and Keri Baughman and her husband, Tim, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; and six grandchildren, Nicholas, Isabelle, Parker, Cameron, Hadley and Euan. His brother, John Couch, lives in Menlo Park, Calif.; his sister, Frances Couch, died in 2014. 

The family celebrated Dick’s life at a private memorial in North Canaan on Feb. 24. 

Anyone wishing to remember him is encouraged to make donations to North Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, North Canaan’s Douglas Library or the Canaan History Center. 

You can also greet your friends as “Fellow patriot,” encourage young people to “work hard and save your money,” and say “Thanks for seeing me” when visits end—they’re all phrases that pleased him very much.