Rockport — Major General Richard J. Geehan, Retired, 85, of Rockport, passed away on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at Den Mar Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. He was the husband of Dorothy (Couturier) Geehan of Rockport. Major General Geehan was the Air National Guard Special Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Communication Command.
General Geehan was born in Boston on September 27, 1926. He graduated from Revere High School in 1945. He received an associate in electronics degree from Lincoln Institute, Northeastern University in 1961. In 1965, he received a bachelor of business administration from University College, Northeastern University and a bachelor of science from the same college in 1967. General Geehan’s military education includes the Air Command and Staff College in 1971, Air War College in 1974 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1977.
General Geehan enlisted in the Reserve Corps (inactive) in August 1944 and received Infantry Basic Training at Camp Blanding, Fla. In April 1945, General Geehan was transferred to the Army Air Corps and received technical training as a fire control technician (B-29) at Lowry Air Base, Colorado. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater from October 1945 until October 1946 and was discharged at Fort Dix, N.J. as a sergeant in November 1946.
In May of 1947, General Geehan enlisted as a sergeant in the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He served in the 101st Fighter Squadron, Massachusetts Air National Guard, Logan Airport, Boston, first as a weapons technician and later as a fire control radar technician. He served in the enlisted ranks and attained the rank of master sergeant until August 1957 when he was discharged for the purpose of accepting a commission in the air National Guard.
General Geehan received a direct commission as a first lieutenant in August 1957 and was assigned as the armament systems officer in the 101st Fighter Squadron, Massachusetts Air National Guard. His squadron assignments included duty as an Avionics Officer in the 102nd Armament and Electronic Maintenance Squadron at Phalsbourg, France during the “Berlin Call-Up” from October 1961 to August 1962. He reverted back to “inactive status” in August 1962 and served in various capacities at both the group and wing level.
General Geehan became the Director of Logistics, Headquarters, Massachusetts Air National Guard in November 1976. He became Commander of the 253rd Combat Communications Group, Massachusetts Air National Guard on January 1, 1980 and served in that capacity until March 1981 when he assumed duties as Deputy Commander, Massachusetts Air National Guard. In June 1983 he became the Air National Guard Special Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Communications Command. He retired on December 31, 1985.
General Geehan was employed as a program manager, C3 Program Office, Aerospace Systems, RCA Corporation.
General Geehan has been awarded the Distinguished Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army Occupation Medal, National-Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Medal and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
His civic affiliations include the Massachusetts Air National Guard Museum, National guard Association of the United States and Massachusetts, American Legion, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Knights of Columbus, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the D.A.V.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective June 28, 1984 with the same date of rank.
In addition to his wife Dorothy, he is survived by his four children, Paula Geehan of Rockport, Stephen Geehan and his wife Linda of Billerica, Mark Geehan and his wife Janis of Kingston, N.H., John Geehan of Wilmington, Del..; four grandchildren Michael, Judy, Kevin and Griffin; two great grandchildren and his brother Martin Geehan of New Hampshire.
ARRANGEMENTS: A private graveside service will be held in Beech Grove Cemetery.
Contributions may be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association of Easter Massachusetts, 3310 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements are by the Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main Street, Rockport. For online condolences, please visit burgess&mackey.com.