Fairbrother, Richard J., DMD

Richard J. Fairbrother, DMD, of West Hartford, CT, passed away unexpectedly on December 19, 2019.
He was born in Providence, RI on January 17, 1952. He was the son of the late Ann F. and John H. Fairbrother. He was a graduate of Northwest Catholic High School, where he was a scholar athlete. He was inducted into the Northwest Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. At Wesleyan, he graduated with highest honors and served as Captain of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team. In 1974, Richard was named a NCAA Academic All American.
He then received his DMD from the University of CT School of Dentistry. He was a member of the CT State Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Association of Oral Systemic Health.
Richard was devoted to his family, friends, his patients, and the community. All knew him as kind, generous and humble. His laugh was contagious and his work ethic was unparalleled. Richard continued his love of basketball by playing for the East Hartford Explorers and in numerous leagues, even during his professional life. He was an accomplished tennis player, participating in USTA tournaments, leagues and was a long standing member of the Hartford Tennis Club. Richard was also a member of The New York Athletic Club.
Richard leaves his beloved wife, Virginia (Curry), his sister Karen Fairbrother of MA, his brother John Fairbrother and his wife Zeta of NV. He also leaves his brother-in-law David Curry, his sister-in-law Kathleen Curry and many beloved cousins and friends.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville, CT on Sunday, December 22, 2019, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of St. Timothy, 1116 North Main St., West Hartford, CT on Monday, December 23, 2019 at 10:00 am. All are kindly asked to meet directly at church. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of Dr. Richard Fairbrother to Northwest Catholic High School, 29 Wampanoag Dr., West Hartford, CT 06117 or the Church of St. Timothy.

Calling Hours

Sunday, December 22, 2019 from 2:00-5:00pm

Funeral Service

Monday, December 23, 2019 at 10:00am in the Church of St. Timothy ~ West Hartford


Fairview Cemetery ~ West Hartford

Memorial Contribution

Northwest Catholic High School ~ 29 Wampanoag Dr., West Hartford, CT 06117 Church of St. Timothy ~ 1116 North Main St., West Hartford, CT 06117

32 Responses to 'Fairbrother, Richard J., DMD'

  1. Keith Hall says:

    Dear Virginia

    I had absolutely no idea until I received the email today (3/31).

    My sincere condolences as I have come to know you, Richard and your entire office not only as a great professional office but as friends.

    I will miss him and my heart goes out to you and your family.

  2. Carolyn Wilson says:

    Dear Virgina and family, I am so sorry for the loss of Richard. I will miss our little conversations in the office. He always made me smile, even when telling me I need to floss more! Wishing you comfort during this difficult time. What a wonder person!

  3. Jerry Fort says:

    I am so sorry to learn the news about Dicky. I was a teammate of his when we played for the East Hartford Explores. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever met and a fierce competitor. I was shocked to hear the news of his passing. He will be missed by many.

  4. michael f kosakowski says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Fairbrother’s passing. Besides being my dentist, I considered him a friend. Going to the dentist was something to which I looked forward (I don’t think many people say that about their dentist). It seems he always put me at ease and was never in a hurry to get started…talking about basketball and whatever came up. A really great guy. He will be missed by all.

  5. David Knishkowy says:

    Dear Virginia,
    We were so saddened to hear of Dick’s passing. A dentist par excellence— gentle, funny, skillful, caring— and an all-around exemplary human being! Please accept our heartfelt condolences.
    David Knishkowy & Judy Greiman

  6. Edward Napierski says:

    Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. Your family and friends are there for you in times such as this. The doctor was a great guy. He will be missed and remembered by all those whose life he touched.

  7. Donald Logie says:

    I’m stunned and so sorry. I was a patient of Dick’s when he was solo and when he had partners. He ran a quality operation. I always felt comfortable being treated at his office, and I always had pleasant interactions with him. This is very bad news, and I will miss him.

    Don Logie Wes ’68

  8. Dear Mrs. Fairbrother and family,
    We were shocked to hear of your husband’s passing. He was a wonderful dentist who was loved by all his patients. He was a pleasure to work with and he will be missed tremendously. Our hears go out to you, your family and his office staff. Sincerely,

  9. Jay Sloves says:

    I was stunned to learn of Dickie’s passing. I was out of town so sorry I couldn’t be there.
    We were the two redheads in the neighborhood, both of us born in 1952 and growing up in West Hartford – Dickie on Long Lane, me on the adjacent Hamlin Drive. But that’s where our similarities ended. I was a skinny nerdy quiet kid, Dickie was the neighborhood basketball legend. Kids would walk by his home on the way to school – “Hey, Dickie Fairbrother lives there!” Although a basketball god in our town, Dickie always treated me and all kids with humility, generous to a fault. The last couple of years we started bumping into each other in West Hartford with regularity – at the bank, grocery story, restaurants. (Although grown into a well-known dentist I still called him Dickie ‘cause that’s how I’ve always seen him – one of the neighborhood kids). Each time I saw Dickie he never shifted from that humble, generous kid. He was always quick with a hand to shake and a kind question on how my family was doing. The thing that was so remarkable is that we were never part of the same world but he treated me as if we were best friends growing up. Frankly, I didn’t even know that Dickie knew me. Didn’t matter. He made me feel like I counted…every time we met. The part I regret is that I saw Dickie just about a week ago, across the room – I was leaving, he was just getting there – but as we just saw each other the week before (I think it was at Webster Bank) I didn’t take the time to go over and say, “Hi.” As I write this a feel for your loss. But with loss I know I gained a bit in my life knowing Dickie Fairbrother even from afar.

    Jay Sloves

  10. Allan Polak says:

    So sad, so tragic, so unexpected. My sympathies to all. Playing tennis with Dick, with his smile and humor, was much more than exercise and fun, it was a robust celebration of life and friendship.

  11. Claudine Langille says:

    Virginia, I am shcked and saddened by this news, I am so sorry.

  12. Piero Petraccone says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  13. Harold Sogard says:

    So sad to learn of Dickie’s passing. I was a classmate of his at Wesleyan, He was the star guard on the basketball team, with a deadly long range shot. (He would have scored even more points in his career but he played before the NCAA adopted the three point shot!) i was just the lowly manger on the team, but he treated me — and everyone he came into contact with — as an equal. I last saw him a year ago at the induction of our coach, Herb Kenny, into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. Dickie was then, as always, wonderfully warm, kind, and self-effacing. His family should know — and probably already does — that he made a big, long lasting impact on people well beyond the range of his life in CT. He will be missed!

  14. Gerry Del Piano says:


    I am terribly sorry for your loss. Dick was not only my dentist for 35 years, he was also my friend. I still remember the good old days playing basketball with him, doc rodgers and the collection of characters he always had out there.
    i wanted to come in person to express my condolences but family commitments prevent it. He will be missed.

  15. Jenny Smith says:

    Dear Family of Richard Fairbrother,
    Dr. Fairbrother’s passing breaks my heart, and I am sure the heart of so many other patients.
    I was a dental patient of Dr. Fairbrother’s since 1995. Over the past 24 years he has been a wonderful, proactive dentist – both in treatment and prevention. He was also a kind and caring person, always remembering details of my life that most other health professionals would have forgotten. We talked about his lifelong love of basketball, and more recently, his new love of cross-training at Orange Theory! I lost my own husband in 2006, and had major podiatric surgery in 2011 – he did not forget those things and always took the time to learn how I was doing. His team was (and remains) focused on outstanding service and a personal touch.
    My sincere condolences to Virginia, Karen, John, Zeta, David, Kathleen and many others in his family. May your support of each other, and the memory of such a wonderful human being, lift you during this difficult time. Sincerely, Jenny Smith

  16. Peter Burton says:

    My deepest condolences. In my youth, I played basketball with Dick. He was the consummate gentleman and overall nice guy.

  17. Bart Halloran says:

    Going to the dentist will never be the same. I will miss the friendly greeting from Virginia, the lengthy discussions about family and every type of sporting event that both Dick and I loved, and the excellent care. Dick was way more than just a dentist, he was a caring, compassionate friend, I will truly miss him.

    Bart Halloran

  18. John Zullo says:

    I cannot believe Richard is no longer with us. I am honored and blessed to have known him. He was a blessing in my life and I truly miss him. May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.

  19. Alicia Purcell says:

    Dear Virginia, I am very very sad to hear of the loss of your dear husband Dick. I will pray that you are able to go through the coming days with courage and faith. I can’t begin to imagine your sorrow at this time but I pray that the good Lord will give you strength. I know Dick is smiling down on you from heaven. You have my deepest sympathy and prayers. With love to you, your cousin Alicia.

  20. Kelli Carter says:

    Virginia, my heart is with you during this very difficult time. From one dental spouse to another- sending you love. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can do anything at all. Our hearts break with you.

  21. Bernadette D'Amore says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Dr.Fairbrother for 40 years…I was employed as his Office Manager/Dental Hygienist for 30 years,before moving to Hawaii. He was an honorable man of strong morals and outstanding integrity and above all, a wonderful,dedicated Husband to his beloved Virginia…Love of his family,a true friend and mentor,greatly loved and admired by his Dental Patients. You were “Gold” Doc and you now walk on the paved streets of Gold with our Lord and Savior. With Much Aloha,Bernadette,Jack and Family

  22. Timothy Vernon says:

    Virginia, I am deeply sorry to learn of Dick’s passing, and have fond memories of my visits with him at your house and the New Britain baseball games. Please be assured you are in my thoughts and prayers during this extremely sad time.

  23. Jim Lovell says:

    Ginny, Our hearts and prayers are with you. Jim & Susan Lovell

  24. Marcelle and Peter Sereny says:

    Dearest Virginia:

    We are devastated. We know that our special friend is in Heaven.

    We are with you in spirit. We will miss him a lot.

    Warmest thoughts from the Sereny family.

  25. Scott Dunn says:

    Our sincerest condolences to Virginia and to other family members. Dr. Fairbrother was one the most pleasant individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a great dentist but a far better person. Because of him, I always looked forward to dentist appointments so I could catch up on UConn, the Celtics, and other local sports teams. He was a kind and gentle man who was dedicated to his family and patients. He will be truly missed by the Community.

  26. Christine Thorn says:

    My deepest heartfelt sympathies to all of you, especially you Virginia. May God wrap you all in his light. Rest peacefully in his arms Richard.

  27. peter hirschl says:

    speechless. we loved him. i’m so sorry.

  28. Elaine Kotler says:

    I am truly saddened to hear of Dr. Fairbrother’s passing. I may one of the few in the world who enjoyed going to the dentist. My treatment may only required 10 minutes, but my visits would last 3 times as long due to the friendly, pleasant conversations. Dr. Fairbrother and I could chat about any subject. He was a remarkable man and dentist. He was always helpful and considerate no matter what my financial situation. His concern was about my well-being first and foremost. My thoughts are with you and your family. With heartfelt sympathy, Elaine Kotler

  29. Catherine Davis says:

    Our hearts go out to Virginia and the entire Fairbrother family. Dr. Fairbrother was a good customer that we called friend. He always showed such kindness toward others. Our deepest sympathy – The Staff at Bartlett Brainard Products.

  30. My deepest love and sympathy to Karen and Jack for the sad loss of their brother, We must remember that the most beautiful flowers are picked from the garden first .We do not know God”s plan and can only try to remember all the wonderful things that have been a part of Dick’s life, my heartfelt love and prayers to all the family !

  31. On behalf of Northwest Catholic High School President Christian Cashman, I offer the sincere condolences of the NWC community on the passing of Dick Fairbrother ’70. We are heartbroken to have lost this legendary NWC scholar-athlete, member of our Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame, and caring dentist for many in the NWC family so suddenly and far too soon. We mourn his loss along with his wife Virginia, his brother John ’67, his sister-in-law Kathleen Curry ’75, and all who loved him.

    Please know that Dick will be remembered in a special way in the prayers of our community during this time of loss and at our next school-wide Mass in January.
    With our sincere sympathy,
    Patricia Walsh
    Director of Advancement

  32. Jean A Nadle says:

    Dear Virginia:
    I am so very sorry to hear about Dr. Fairbrother. He was one of my favorite dentists to work with. He was so kind and thoughtful with all his patients. I will miss him terribly and my heart breaks for you.

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