Eight Bells: Richard Allsopp
Published on December 3rd, 2018
Richard Edgar Allsopp, a pioneer in powerboating and sailing education, passed away at the age of 84 on Thursday, November 29, 2018.
A native of Huntington, New York, Dick had a long and honorable Navy career which included serving as a pilot; Commander of the V.S. 28 squadron in Cecil Field, FL; Navigator aboard the aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy; Captain of the USS Canisteo; and Chief of Staff for Group 12 in Mayport, FL and the Southern Command in Panama, Central America.
After retiring from the Navy in 1988, Dick continued to work tirelessly for the rest of his life as a volunteer for U.S. Sailing where he infused many young people with a love of sailing, mentored countless sailing instructors, and made significant contributions to sail training and race officiating.
Dubbed the “godfather” of U.S. powerboating, Dick was co-author of the book, Start Powerboating Right!, and worked to promote U.S. powerboat handling standards. A lifelong sailor, Dick was a devoted member of the Rudder Club in Jacksonville, FL since 1973.
“Dick Allsopp was a Navy Pilot and Ship Captain, Patriot, selfless volunteer, accomplished sailor and powerboater, and beloved member of the training committee,” said Rich Jepsen, Vice President of US Sailing. “His gruff voice disguised a tender heart with tons of compassion for others. As a thoughtful leader, he saw strengths in us that we didn’t see in ourselves.
“He was always there for members of the Training Committee with direct advice or enthusiastic encouragement. As a long time Navy man he revered the chain of command. That caused him to get on board with plans he disagreed with and execute on them to the best of his ability.
“He also was indefatigable. He never once, even in failing health, said ‘no’ to a request for his wisdom or sweat. We won’t see someone like him again.”
He is survived by Rosemary Allsopp, his loving wife of 58 years; Elizabeth McDonough (Beth), daughter; Richard Edgar Allsopp, Jr. (Rick), son and his wife, Sharon; Robert (Rob) and Eric Allsopp, grandsons; Corey and Matthew McDonough, grandsons; Alice Widmier and her husband, Mike, sister and brother-in-law; and Judith Lazaar and her husband Bob, sister and brother-in-law. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Helen Allsopp; and his brother, James Allsopp (Jim).
A visitation will be Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 6-8 p.m.; the funeral service will be Thursday December 6, 2018, 11:00 a.m., both at Hardage-Giddens Rivermead Funeral Home, 127 Blanding Blvd Orange Park, FL 32073.
A burial with military honors will follow at Jacksonville National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m., 4083 Lannie Rd Jacksonville, FL 32218 Arrangements are under the care of Hardage-Giddens Rivermead Funeral Home.
Donations in his memory may be made to Dick’s alma mater, Jacksonville University for the Sailing Team: https://www.ju.edu/give/sailing/.