Richard W. Albrecht, lifelong resident and citizen of Killingworth, died on July 7.
Rick embodied the difference between a resident and a citizen. He didn’t just live in Killingworth. From the beginning, he was actively engaged in almost every aspect of Killingworth’s life as a community and as part of a great country.
He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1973, and he was a proud veteran for the rest of his life. We relied on him to organize Memorial Day observances every year. He advocated for veterans and their families. Less visibly, he made sure that flags were placed on the graves of veterans and that town flags were in good condition and honorably retired when they were worn.
Rick returned to Killingworth after his discharge and was elected a selectman in 1975, at age 27. He served four terms on the Board of Selectmen, one as first selectman.
He was appointed or elected to public committees from the Advisory Council for Civil Preparedness in the 1970s to the Board of Assessment Appeals, of which he was currently chair. He was Killingworth’s delegate to the Representative Policy Board of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority for more than two decades.
Rick guarded the safety of the town and its residents in so many ways—as Killingworth’s open burning official for the last 20 years, as a county sheriff and a state marshal, as an election monitor, as a regular Town Meeting moderator, and, most important, as a lifelong member of both the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company and the Killingworth Ambulance Association (KAA), which his father helped found.
Year after year, Rick was one of KAA’s top responders. More than a few families owe lives to his response, and even more people owe a sense of security to his reassuring presence. When Rick arrived on the scene, those who called gave a sigh of relief.
Rick was a constant, active member of the Killingworth Congregational Church, where he served as a deacon for many years. He volunteered for countless committees and was elected moderator more than once.
A loyal Democrat, Rick served on the Killingworth Democratic Town Committee (DTC) for decades, filling roles from setting up bake sales to representing Killingworth as a delegate to local and state conventions, from chairing the DTC to registering voters. As he was for so many of the organizations in town, Rick was our historian and our parliamentarian.
For a number of years, Rick delivered newspapers in town. That would take him out on the road before sunrise, and so he knew not only the people of Killingworth but its animal residents—its otters and turtles and hawks.
To call Rick a citizen is to give him the highest of honors. But Rick’s death leaves so many holes that we must each also honor his legacy by stepping up and taking on a small part of the duties he fulfilled throughout his life.
This article was first published on July 19, 2018, here.