John Rich dies

John Rich, a retired respiratory therapist and paramedic for Stratford EMS who later became a major advocate for the creation of a town dog park, has died.

Rich was well known in town, specifically in Lordship. Most recently, he became a vocal advocate for the establishment of a dog park in town. He was co-chairman of the Stratford Dog Park Subcommittee. He and other dog park supporters celebrated last March at Town Hall after the Town Council approved the placement of the dog park in Roosevelt Forest at the site of an old ranger station.

John Rich

Rich also ran for office last year as he sought the Democratic nomination for 1st District Town Council. He came in third behind to Bieu Tran and Beth Daponte.

Messages of remembrance were posted Friday morning on Rich’s Facebook page. Former Town Councilman Gavin Forrester said of Rich, “Today I not only lost my mentor but one of the best friends a person could ever have. Rest well my friend.”

Mayor Laura Hoydick offered her thoughts and prayers to Rich’s family and friends.

“John was a passionate advocate for many causes in Stratford, from his volunteerism with Stratford EMS to his work with the Stratford Democratic Town Committee, and his recent run for the Town Council in the First District,” Hoydick said in a statement. “John’s philosophy of giving of self to help others was second to none. He gave much of his life to the service of the people of Stratford, and it is a powerful legacy we will always remember. I will miss him and my deepest condolences to his family.”

Stratford EMS Director Michael Loiz remembered Rich as “a very well respected EMS provider and educator in our area and especially at Stratford EMS.”

“He was a fierce supporter of Stratford EMS.  He was also a very kind, loving soul.  We are saddened by this tremendous loss and will always count him as not just a colleague but a true friend,” Loiz added. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and he will stay in our hearts always.”

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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