• October 14, 2019

Richard Marley Boccelli, 95 - Ocean City Sentinel: Obituaries

Richard Marley Boccelli, 95

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 9:45 am

Richard Marley Boccelli, aka Dick Richards of Bill Haley’s Comets, passed away on 7/12/2019 at the Shores at Wesley Manor in Ocean City, NJ. He celebrated his 95th birthday in February. Richard was born on 2/12/1924 in Delaware County, Pa. He was predeceased by his brother Philip (1922-1986). He attended Upper Darby High School, Fairleigh Dickinson College, and West Chester State Teacher’s College majoring in physical education and earning a teaching degree. In 1950 he married Elizabeth (Betty) Kurtz (1930-1986). They had three daughters: Beverly Walker (Steve), Denise Kubaska (Michael) and Betsy Young (deceased 2011). There are six grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Chris Kubaska, his wife Michelle Tacconelli and their daughter Pearl, Gordon Kubaska, Steve and Janvier Walker, and Becky and Rachael Young. After Betty’s untimely passing Dick was fortunate to again find love and companionship with Shirley Kubaska for the past 33 years. 

Dick Boccelli became the drummer for Bill Haley and the Comets in 1953. He continued to play nationally and internationally for over 69 years in the Jodimars, The Original Comets, and locally with the Ready Rockers. He had an extensive theatrical career acting in various movies and television shows and two Broadway plays, ’The Ritz’(1975) and ‘Gemini’(1977). He received several awards including the Key to the City of Ocean City and the coveted induction to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He was an active member of S.A.G., Actors Equity, and the Ocean City Exchange Club.

Throughout his life Dick’s positive spirit, his boundless energy, and his love of friends and family made him immensely successful. He has always been a bright light in the lives of those who knew and loved him. This light will continue to inspire and guide us for many years to come. We are sure he is “Rocking” it among the stars!!

A Celebration-of-Life will be held on Wednesday, August 7th, from 3:30-7:30pm, at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, NJ.

 In lieu of flowers donations to honor his memory may be made to any of the following organizations: American Heart Association, United Methodist Communities Foundation, Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley, PA

For condolences to the family, visit www.godfreyfuneralhome.com.