Cover photo for Richard Charles Heritage's Obituary
Richard Charles Heritage Profile Photo

Richard Charles Heritage

December 21, 1953 — May 29, 2024

Richard Charles Heritage

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Rich Heritage lived these words, always making those around him feel unique and special.

As a birthright Quaker, Rich believed that there is a special light, that of God, in every one of us. That truth guides us through our life. His beliefs and upbringing made him the person that he was in both his personal and public lives.

Rich grew up in Mickleton, NJ – a small South Jersey community – ‘Exit 2 on the Turnpike’ as he affectionately referred to it.

He graduated from Kingsway Regional High School in 1972 where he captained three sports (football, basketball, and baseball) and was an All-State performer in each.

He went on to play football and baseball at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), where he was awarded the John A. Alexander Medal, given to the member of the senior class with the most exceptional record in athletics.  After graduating with a degree in Health and Physical Education, Rich attended Indiana State University to earn his master’s degree in Athletic Training while serving as a Graduate Assistant Coach for the football program.

In 1977, he returned home to Mickleton to teach Health and Physical Education and coach baseball and basketball at Penns Grove High School, while also coaching lightweight football at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1979, after knowing each other since elementary school, he married his soulmate, Jodee (Engle) and they moved back to his alma mater in Westminster, MD, where he coached running backs under Head Coach, Jim Hindman, who was also the founder of Jiffy Lube International, which Rich worked for as well.

As fate would have it, Jiffy Lube grew quickly, and Rich and Jodee moved to Virginia Beach, VA, for two short years so Rich could take advantage and work at franchise headquarters. In 1985, Rich and Jodee moved to Cheshire, CT where they laid roots, raising their three children, and still calling the town home today. Through this move, Rich joined two of his college football teammates and friends, forming Backfield Inc. where their franchising adventures began focusing on growing Jiffy Lube’s presence in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Long Island, NY.

In 1991, Rich and his partners sold their Jiffy Lube franchise and Rich quickly returned to his passion, coaching football at Wesleyan University and Junior Varsity Lacrosse at Cheshire High School.

After a few years, Rich invested in another small business, Green Pages, where he managed the operational side of the business before ultimately becoming a member of the Board of Directors.

Rich adamantly believed in the importance of volunteerism and giving back to his community, especially when it came to leveraging the power of athletics to build lifelong skills and relationships, particularly for his three children but also well beyond. He was the President of CONNY Lacrosse and the CT Lacrosse Foundation for a number of years, as well as the Cheshire Youth Lacrosse Program (boys’ and girls’). To top it off, Rich also officiated as time allowed at the youth and high school levels, while also assisting as Head Coach of CHS Freshman Football for 3 years. For his years of service and dedication to the sport of lacrosse, Rich was an inductee into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2019, despite having never played a game of the sport himself.

Rich always felt so fortunate to be surrounded by so many other ‘teammates’ who worked tirelessly alongside him to grow any sport they touched and foster the leadership qualities that only athletics can afford.

He was immensely proud of his sons, Brad, and Todd, who went onto play college lacrosse at Dartmouth College and Bucknell University, respectively, as well as his daughter, Dana who played both field hockey and lacrosse at Middlebury College. Rich made sure to attend every game and to follow every aspect of their sporting endeavors as they were the highlight of his life!

He also cherished traveling on countless family vacations over the years and keeping Jodee company at the beach in Watch Hill, RI and Ocean City, NJ. His smile will live on the side porch at the corner of 12 Larkin Road forever.

Rich is survived by his wife Jodee, their three children and five grandchildren: Bradley Heritage (Elizabeth Bennett, Lucy, Jamie, and Scottie) of Wellesley, MA, Dana Heritage Testa (Zeke Testa, Blake, and Cole) of Wellesley, MA, and Todd Heritage (Erin Horleman) of New York, NY, his brothers, David Heritage (Barbara) of Madison, CT, and John Heritage (Sue) of Roseland, NJ, as well as many nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held on Monday, June 17, 2024, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., at Alderson-Ford Funeral Home, 615 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT. A celebration will follow at the Cheshire Academy Dining Hall, 10 Main Street, Cheshire, CT, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., that evening.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Rich can be made to his beloved Cheshire Lacrosse Club via Venmo (@CLClax1983), visiting CheshireLacrosse.com (see link on main page), or by sending a check made out to Cheshire Lacrosse Club, Inc. to 84 Linwood Drive Ext., Cheshire, CT 06410.

 

 

 

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, June 17, 2024

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alderson-Ford Funeral Homes - Cheshire

615 S. Main Street (Rt. 10), Chesire, CT 06410

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