Two members of the Burlington police community, Richard Leon Hovasse and Richard Noel Sheppard, passed away within days of one another.
Hovasse passed away Feb. 12 at the age of 81 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers. Born in Chelsea, Mass. in 1941, Hovasse and his family moved to Burlington when he was a high school freshman. Hovasse was a member of the Burlington High School football team and was inducted into the Burlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
After graduating high school, Hovasse served as a Marine, and later joined the Burlington Police Department, where he worked for over forty years. He worked with police dogs, and was even featured in an episode of the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries.”
In his free time, Hovasse loved golf, gardening, and going out to eat with his wife Dianne.
Hovasse’s former colleague in the Burlington Police Department, Richard Noel Sheppard, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 14 at the age of 82. Sheppard graduated from Burlington High School in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He joined the Burlington Police Department in 1965, serving as a juvenile officer, detective, firearms instructor and later as a sergeant. Sheppard’s son has followed in his footsteps to join the Burlington Police Department.
Sheppard enjoyed attending car shows and supporting his children and grandchildren’s sporting events and school concerts.
According to his obituary, Sheppard enjoyed the camaraderie he shared with Hovasse and fellow officers.
“They would spend their days working and then socialize as families. His gang of friends, Jerry Crocker, Harry Sawyer, Dick Hovasse, Sonny Morandi, Doug Hyde, Bob Aloisi, and Bob Matarazzo were friends for life,” the obituary states. “They had their poker and backgammon games, went on trips and cruises together, breakfasts at Bickford’s, dinners at The Cafe Escadrille, family cookouts, and always had each other’s backs.”
In Facebook posts, the Burlington Police Command Officers Union offered condolences to both families.