MCCONOMY, Richard (1944 – 2020)
It is with deep regret that we share the news that Montreal’s Richard McConomy – better known as Rick – passed away peacefully Saturday, August 15, 2020 following a brief but hard-fought battle with cancer. Born and raised in Montreal, Rick attended both Concordia and McGill Universities. Shortly after his graduation from McGill Law School in 1970, he went on to open his law office (McConomy & Associates). Over the next 45 years, he practiced law with a focus on Family Law and served both the city and the people that did so much to define his life. In 1996, he was named Bâtonnier of the Montreal Bar Association, which provided him the opportunity to exchange with other professionals worldwide and influence best practices here at home. Later in his career, his focus shifted as he became a vocal advocate for Mediation, and beyond his own practice, he taught and trained those looking to learn how to apply this form of conflict resolution. Rick’s entire life was a testament to his belief that a community with common cause provides the most vulnerable in the city with the ground-level help they need to thrive. Aside from his extensive experience on the governing boards of several local non-profit organizations, Rick is also known for the work he did to support language rights throughout the nation as both a member and the president of the Canadian Language Rights support program. Due to his abiding values in what he defined as « …local community health care, » Rick’s time as the President of the Queen Elizabeth Health Center’s charitable foundation provided him with several opportunities to do what he could to provide guaranteed primary health care throughout the city’s west end. Following decades of quiet – and sometimes not so quiet – work within the city’s extensive Irish community – Rick never forgot the day he received the community’s highest honor when the U.I.S. (United Irish Society) named him Grand Marshall; and so in 1992 he led the St. Patrick’s Day parade through his beloved city. His pride as an Irish Montrealer was inspired by both his parents’ leadership in this community. He was an involved member of not only the U.I.S., but also the St-Patrick’s Society, the Erin Sports Association, and was President and member of the board of St-Patrick’s Square. In 2016, his work in the community was recognized when he and his spouse, Pierrette Sévigny, were awarded the Simon McDonough Humanitarian award. While he believed in the law as the keystone of a just and empathic society, Rick also understood how a quiet phone call between friends could often do more than an angry letter, a bailiff’s visit or a subpoena. Aside from his manifest talent as a ‘raconteur’ with a vast store of anecdotes to illustrate whatever point he wished to make around the dinner table, Rick’s wit was a gentle reminder to everyone who knew him that instead of taking themselves too seriously, the energy was best spent helping those around them. Following the 54 years that defined both their lives, Rick leaves his wife, the Honourable Pierrette Sévigny, their daughter Elisabeth and his son-in-law Tino Magistrale to mourn their loss along with family and friends who will dearly miss his singular presence. While both his wife and family wish to thank the many doctors and nurses at the Notre Dame and CHUM hospitals who helped Rick during these last weeks, they also wish to thank their many friends for their kind support during this difficult time. Due to COVID restrictions, a small private service will be held this week at Kane & Fetterly (Décarie Ave.). But rest assured a traditional Irish wake will definitely be held in Rick’s honor when it can be done right. A donation in Rick’s memory can be made to either the Concordia University Arts Faculty or to Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Health Centre.