Richard Carlton Compton of South Hadley, MA died peacefully at home on Dec. 20, 2020. He was born in 1950 in Stamford, Connecticut and as a child lived in Salisbury and then Thessaloniki, Greece before he and his family settled on the Gill, Massachusetts campus of Northfield Mt. Hermon School. Richard attended Mt. Hermon School and was an outstanding student and a leader of the Nordic ski team and Outing Club. He went on to Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 1972. Richard traveled in India and the American West, lived briefly in New York City and completed a graduate program in Film Studies at Syracuse University in New York.
Richard was a deep thinker, an avid reader and writer, and a highly skilled photographer who loved to challenge his body and his mind. He was reserved and introspective, but loved a good party and was the first onto the dance floor and the last to leave. Richard spent most of his adult life in Colorado, primarily in the Aspen area, where he pursued his passions for outdoor recreation and wilderness preservation. During his years in Colorado, he worked as a wilderness mapper, a mountaineering guide, a ski instructor and an environmental grant writer and advocate.
In 2014, Richard moved back to New England and lived in South Hadley from then until his death. He is survived by his siblings, Betsy (and husband, Eric) and Bob and their children and grandchildren. There will be a private memorial service for the family. Donations in Richard’s memory can be sent to Northfield Mt. Hermon School – One Lamplighter Way, Gill, MA 01354; www.nmhschool.org – or Wilderness Workshop – 520 South 3rd St., Carbondale, CO 81623; www.wildernessworkshop.org.