A champion of the people
The low-income residents of Hillsborough and Rockingham counties lost a champion with the recent passing of Richard “Dick” Delay Sr. of Bennington.
For more than 35 years, Dick provided strong and effective leadership to the organization through his work on the board of directors of Southern New Hampshire Services. On an annual basis, between 35,000 and 40,000 low-income individuals rely on SNHS for assistance in areas such as workforce training, child development, financial capability, energy, housing, food and nutrition and crisis services. It is the leadership “at the top” which is ultimately responsible for providing the resources and the environment necessary for staff within the organization to do their job and make a difference in people’s lives.
Dick was central to that leadership, servicing as vice-chair of the SNHS board for 19 years, and for the last 10 years serving as chair, until his retirement from the board last December. Dick’s long tenure on the board speaks not only to his commitment to the agency’s mission, but to the respect other board members had for him, re-electing him to a leadership position multiple times.
Dick’s leadership style was one of thoughtful consideration and a willingness to listen to input from others. He cared deeply about the mission and the work of SNHS, and was committed to doing whatever he could to make people’s lives better. He was one of the representatives on the board from the towns in SNHS’ service area, living in the western part of Hillsborough County. But that did not hinder his participation in activities central to his role as a leader of the board. He was always willing to travel to wherever he was needed, whether it was a regular board meeting, a meeting with funders or a committee of the board, a special event such as a dedication of a new elderly housing site or a staff retirement or a visit to one of the agency programs by a member of our congressional delegation.
We join with Dick’s family and friends in mourning his loss, as we too have lost a good friend. We want to publicly recognize his contribution to the community in which he lived and the people of Hillsborough and Rockingham counties whom he served. His life was a model of caring and commitment, and we were privileged to know him and work with him.