Richard Reeve, Home Builder of Cutchogue Has Died at 76

Richard Reeve
Richard Reeve

When that envelope arrived in the mail you knew what it would be. The writing on the manila mailer was unmistakable: that blocky, textured script. Within, you would find a curated selection of news clippings with personalized notations. It was one of the many ways Dick Reeve shared affection with those he loved.

Richard “Dick” Conklin Reeve died peacefully on October 6 at 76 years old. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 51 years, Allyson “Wendy” Reeve, his children, Ken and Jessica, and their spouses, and his five grandchildren.

The youngest son of Harold R. Reeve Jr. and Margaret Conklin Reeve, Reeve was born at Greenport Hospital May 21, 1946. He graduated from Mattituck High School in 1964 and served as a Navy Seabee from 1969 to 1971 after graduating from Ft. Lauderdale University in 1969. The plan was to graduate from Bucknell University in 1968, but Reeve took his obligations as social director for Kappa Delta Row fraternity quite seriously and his academic trajectory changed in the course of fulfilling those duties. He is predeceased by many close fraternity brothers who remained lifelong friends and family.

Except for college and military service, Reeve built his life on the North Fork. He built many other people’s lives there too, or at least their homes. Carrying on the family business established by their grandfather, Reeve and his two brothers, John and the late Jim Reeve, built some of the most beautiful homes in the Hamptons, homes featured in architectural magazines for their design and fine craftsmanship. A hands-on construction supervisor, Reeve devoted many long hours six days a week to making Harold R. Reeve & Sons thrive.

On his day off, this freckled redhead could often be found soaking up the sun in his backyard lounger. Sunscreen be damned.

After more than 40 years of devoted service, the Reeve brothers made the difficult decision to close the business and that chapter of their lives in 2012.

Throughout his life, Reeve always found time for entertaining. He lavished attention on his friends and family, quick with a refreshing drink, hot mustard or homemade horseradish. You wouldn’t have struggled to pick him out at the party with his striped party shirts and lively sport jackets.

He loved traveling to warm places. Anywhere with a palm tree would do. Once on scene in a tropical locale, he would don his Panama Jack hat and channel his alter ego “Richard Bond.” The only rule was that revelers must respect the late afternoon lull known as National Nap Time (NNT).

And so, as Reeve closes his eyes for a much-deserved rest in the final NNT, the family requests that you pour yourself a drink, clip out an article or two and mail them to a loved one. Preferably in a manila envelope. There will be no formal service.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Cutchogue Free Library or Cutchogue Fire Department Rescue Squad would be appreciated.

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