Richardson, Ency S.

Ency S. Richardson, 79, of Harwinton, CT passed away peacefully Friday, May 15th at Seabury Life Care in Bloomfield following a battle with glioblastoma. Born in East Stroudsburg, PA on January 3, 1941, daughter of the late Helen T. and Leonard H. Schick, Ency graduated from Alexis I Dupont High School in Wilmington, DE and soon after married and began her family. Ency was a homemaker, mother, writer, master gardener, and friend to all. Her adult years were spent in Farmington, CT where she raised her family and Harwinton, CT where she built a rich life together with Neville Doherty, her companion of 32 years. Ency was proud to graduate in 1986 from Trinity College, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in Psychology and Russian Studies.

Described as a “Force of Life” Ency knew no strangers. Whether at church, the grocery store, hiking trail, theatre lobby, or wherever, people were warmly drawn into Ency’s orbit. She scooped people into her life without questions, be it a Samoan missionary or simply a friend who needed a place to stay, a hot meal, and a kind word. Her Harwinton home, described by Ency as a Magic Kingdom, was just that. Considered by Ency as her life’s work, she and Neville brought the property to life. There they provided sanctuary for their family, friends and all God’s creations. Through four seasons of entertaining, they held skating parties, bonfires, solstice celebrations, holiday gatherings, maple syrup making events, and much more. It became a true fairyland with a living gingerbread-style house, cottages, meandering trails, wooden bridges, gardens, fishponds, bubbling brooks, and trees full of life and spirit. When you walked the Magic Kingdom with Ency, you felt those spirits, and if you didn’t, she reminded you they were there. Happiest of times were those sharing the property with others, and if you were lucky, staying for a meal. Ency was a natural cook.

Volunteering and service to others was something Ency just did, whether it be The Stanley Whitman House, First Church Congregational, White Memorial Conservation Center, Heifer International, or simply helping neighbors and friends. She cherished her regular visits with the late Kathryn Cronkite, a steadfast friend with Cerebral Palsy. Writing was a passion and a skill. In the works is a book titled “A Piece of Vermont in Connecticut.” Gathering with friends was natural, whether it be with the Fab 5, Salon, Farmington Villagers, First Church Members, Writing groups, and so many more. Nobody was ever excluded–Ency’s friendship circle was wide and diverse.

Ency traveled frequently including trips to Italy, the UK, Finland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru, Chile, Canada, Alaska, Utah, Maryland and Florida but she was particularly enamored with the state of Maine having chosen Colby College as her original destination for higher learning and embraced the Maine coast in her sailing adventures with Neville.

Ency adored her grandchildren Samantha, Hannah, Max, Erin, and JT, and was particularly talented at making their visits to The Leadmine magical. Fresh sheets, a new book, stuffed animal or story of a wildlife encounter always awaited them and they eagerly returned. She spread her warmth near and far to Neville’s grandchildren Rachel, Chelsea, Olivia, Stephanie, baby Kai and both Tylers.

In addition to her parents, Ency was predeceased by Jean T. and Murrell R. Kiefer her beloved aunt and uncle, cousin John Kiefer, and beloved companion Rufus. She is survived by her children Heidi Ergin (Tarik), Chris Richardson, Amy O’Reilly (James), grandchildren, daughter-in-law Norma Richardson, and son-in-law Jim Leary, as well as Neville, his siblings, his children, and his grandchildren.

Ency will be laid to rest alongside her parents in Bethlehem, PA. There will be a celebration of a life well-lived at First Church of Christ, Congregational, 1652 in Farmington, CT at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to her church at 75 Main St., Farmington, CT 06032, or Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72202,

Calling Hours

Funeral Service

Later Date


Memorial Contribution

First Church of Christ, Congregational ~ 75 Main St., Farmington, CT 06032, ~OR~ Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72202,

18 Responses to 'Richardson, Ency S.'

  1. Clement Beauchemin IV says:

    I met Ency over 20 years ago an use to take her red Saab in for service for her. It saved her time an freed up her day at the return to Colton Street was always a treat to visit we would converse for an hour it was always fun to hear of her recent adventures.yes a life well lived

  2. Jennifer F says:

    I saw this notice and it caught my breath. I met Ency 6 months after moving to CT in 2009…in a travel writing class in Farmington at the bookstore that was on the river. I remember her telling me she was working on some buildings on her property…maybe creating a writer’s retreat. I remember thinking what a dream. To see everyone here comment on her lovely property, and the spirit that made it so, I’m sure it was. She gave me her email in class and I just found a saved response. In it she was sharing some good hiking trails and a hiking book for me, the 30-something newbie. That I saved the email from someone I barely knew over 11 years ago, means I was hoping to cross paths with her again. That instant feeling of friendship was real and I am testament to her bestowing that grace on all. While we were truly just acquaintances, I share this note to continue the celebration of her. The world will miss her.

  3. Marie Lavendier says:

    Ency- I will miss your writing and your amazing spirit.
    Condolences to the family.

  4. Jane Kemple Allan says:

    How to describe such a one as Ency. A going concern for sure, but, full of compassion, love, hope fun, and of course curiosity! I first met her when my late husband and I lived in Farmington and attended the Congregational church. We became instant friends and she with some others organized a bible study. That became a turning point in my life. We shared books, thoughts, ideas, etc.on everything. And in later years I was privileged to visit her magical kingdom twice.Although we didn’t see each other often( I live in Montreal) we always picked up right where we left off.
    She will be missed for sure, but, we can rejoice in the wonderful memories we have with her and look forward to being reconnected on the other side.

  5. Gillian Hakli says:

    As Neville’s sister, I’ve been able to include Ency in my family circle for over 30 years. Whether in the Leadmine woods, Connecticut byways, Finnish lakeland or Greek islands, our times together were like no other, filled with our philosophical ponderings and much much laughter. Thank you, Ency.

  6. Janet Marticke says:

    Dear Sweet Ency,
    I wish we could snuggle down again, cozy in our sleeping bags, in our dry tent, under one of the star-studded skies of the Maine islands, and pick up our conversation just where we left off. It feels as vibrantly real to me today, as it did then.
    Gosh! I will always love and miss you! You perfected reality in my life. Catch me on the other side❣️ I’ll be watching for you😉.

  7. christina brown says:

    I’m having a hard time imagining my life without Ency..I was blessed to spend hours with her in her magical gardens where we intimately entered each other’s lives. I keep repeating to myself that I am so blessed to have spent the many hours together over the last few years, beginning with our trip to Peru, and continuing in the theaters, art museums, concert halls and more. I’ll have her in my heart forever, for that I’m grateful. I’ll miss my feisty compassionate friend so much.

  8. Lydia Jones DiPietro Eversole says:

    I first met Ency when she was my pilgrim fellowship( PF) leader at First Church. That was over 50 years ago. I also babysat for her three children when I was in high school.
    Throughout those 50 years our lives enmeshed here and there. During my freshman year of college, while on a semester break, Ency invited me over to lunch at the Colton Street home. I felt so special! And we had a very nice visit.
    Over the last 20 years, or so, we had many nice encounters as somewhat regular attendees at church. I will miss Ency’s smile and friendly, caring nature. My condolences to her family. She will be missed at First Church.

  9. Alice Burgess says:

    Think about how lucky we are to have had Ency in our lives! Through prevailing sadness, to reminisce about her now brings a smile with happy thoughts about the bountiful life she lived, her passion for life and the lives of others. She’ll be remembered as a woman who mattered, a sprightly woman who made a difference in the life of everyone who had the good fortune to know her.

  10. Lisa Parker says:

    Ency was a true original. I had the pleasure of spending time with her at Camp Kieve in Maine on an Advisory Board as well as on a couple of canoe trips. She was a hoot and loved adventure. She was funny, direct, creative and most of all, a woman with an immense heart. Ency was such a curious person and would ask endless questions when meeting new people who would become instant friends. I smile thinking of her wearing her wonderful hats with magical sparkling eyes and a wonderful smile. God bless you Ency. My deepest condolences to her family. What a gift she was to us on earth and may she be that same gift to those who have gone ahead of us.

  11. Liz Jochnick says:

    I met Ency through the Salon group. She was a unique and wonderful woman who will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her.

  12. David Riggin says:

    Wow! What can be said that has not regarding our Ency. I feel blessed to have known her for many years. She had a ‘spirit for life’ which was passed on to all who knew her.
    My prayers and. Best wishes to her family.
    Dave Riggin

  13. Arthur Potwin says:

    Donna and I will miss the times spent with Ency hiking and kayaking or sharing a meal at a cookout at their magical kingdom. We will also miss our Christmas Eve dinners with her and Neville at the Crystal Ballroom! We love you Ency!

  14. Martha Richmond says:

    I was a high school classmate of Ency, and later became re-acquainted when I went to my 50th and 55th high school reunions. Ency was-years ago, and more recently– a completely delightful person–full of enthusiasm for life, sensitive to and accepting of differences of opinion, talented on many fronts, and someone with a great sense of humor. I am very saddened that I will not see her again, but am so thankful for the times that we did spend together. The world is a much better place because she has been part of it.

  15. Don Munro says:

    We first met in fifth grade. We were close friends until our lives took different paths. After fifty years we were brought together again for our fiftieth high school reunion, and have been close ever since. You will always be with me. Safe journey.

  16. Harry Ainsworth says:

    Ency was an amazing person, no doubt about it. She will be missed and never forgotten.

  17. Kath Scanlon says:

    You made an impact on my life Ency, I’m proud to have known you. I always enjoyed the time I spent with you, your kindness will never be forgotten.
    I’m so glad I spent my last day in CT in October with you. Your later comment ‘poor, dear Kath, I almost killed her’ will stay with me and make me smile for the rest of my days.
    I had hoped to see you in April, unfortunately it wasn’t to be, I was stuck at home in Scotland and never made it across, you’ll live on in my memory. xxx

  18. Clare Clarke says:

    I’m Clare one of Neville’s English Nieces.
    I didn’t know Ency terribly well, but the times we met, her warmth and character shone through.
    She made my uncle very happy, and was amazing putting up with any of us Doherty’s (particularly the men) for so long.
    My favourite memory of her was how welcome she made my sister and I during at our visit to Leadmine, such a magical place.
    She will be missed by the family.

Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


3 × 5 =