NEWPORT, R.I. — Richard M. Vars, 93, passed away on August 13, 2019. He was the husband of the late Barbara Vars, his wife of 64 years, who passed in 2012, and the father of late Rick Vars who passed in 2015.
Known as Dick, he was born on July 12, 1926 to the late William and Jennie Vars. A true Newporter, he took great pride in his birthplace, and lived most of his life on Aquidneck Island. He joined the Merchant Marines when he was 17 and served during World War II. He was an automobile salesman, working at many dealerships, but mainly at Saccucci Lincoln-Mercury Honda where he retired. He also worked for many years at Viking Tours after his retirement.
Dick believed deeply in serving his community. He was a member of the Jay-Cees and the Newport Lions Club (where he served as President). He served on the vestry, sang in the choir and was a reader at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. He also worked many years for the Miss Newport Pageant, the Sea Cadets and the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals. A true showman, Dick worked tirelessly for the Lions Club Key Club, directing and performing in their shows for many years. He also donated his time to the Salvation Army and many other organizations.
He had a deep love for sailing and enjoyed restoring old, wooden boats for his own pleasure. He was a past member of the Newport Yacht Club. Dick will be remembered for his very social nature, his love of “the Newport Game” and his vast repertoire of jokes. He especially loved spending time with his family. He is survived by his son Thomas and his partner Stacie Paquette of Portsmouth, his daughter Rebecca and her husband Chris Key of West Palm Beach, Florida, his daughter-in-law Claudia Vars of Warwick, Rhode Island, four grandchildren (Matthew Vars, Taylor McCaffrey, Andrew Chilabato and Emma Chilabato) and one great-grandson (Tommy McCaffrey).
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, August 18, 2019 from 2- 5 pm at the Hambly Funeral Home, 30 Red Cross Ave., Newport RI.
The funeral service will be held on Monday, August 19, at 10:00 am in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 324 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI.
Burial will be in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Portsmouth following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association- RI chapter, 245 Waterman St Suite 306, Providence RI 02906.