Richard A. Pyne, 78: 'Singing School Bus Driver' gave to community in many ways

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Richard A. “Dick” Pyne, 78, a longtime resident of South Portland, died May 14 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, with his family at his side.

He was born in Medford, Massachusetts, on July 25, 1936, to Charles F. and Rosemary E. (Dickenson) Pyne. Richard graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Boston, and in 1958 received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from St. Francis Xavier University, of Nova Scotia.

He married Mary M. Beaton on Aug. 23, 1958, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

Pyne worked in finance and banking with Household Finance Corp. and Portland Savings Bank. Prior to full retirement, he also served as a bus driver for Cape Elizabeth Schools. Well-known as “the Singing School Bus Driver,” Pyne enjoyed sharing his love of guitar playing, singing and entertaining with others.

Pyne always played an active role in his community. A former Eagle Scout, he served as a leader for Boy Scout troops in both Maine and Massachusetts. He was a member and president of the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, a grand councilor of New England for the United Commercial Travelers of America, and a fourth-degree knight and grand knight of the Cheverus/Holy Cross Knights of Columbus Council No. 2344.

For many years, Pyne served on the South Portland Housing Authority. He also was the co-founder and coach of South Portland Youth Hockey, and served as a reservist in the U.S. Coast Guard. In his free time, he enjoyed golf and deer hunting.

Pyne was predeceased by an infant daughter, Cynthia Anne, and a sister, Rosemary Burns, of Massachusetts.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary M. Pyne; two sons, Richard J. Pyne and wife, Katie, of Roanoke, Virginia, and Francis X. Pyne and wife, Sheryl, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; a daughter, Maureen P. Whitney and husband, Thomas, of Melbourne, Florida; six grandchildren, Corinne, Meaghan, Laura, Scott, Samantha and Erin; three great-grandchildren, Rose, Ruth and Elizabeth; two brothers, C. Edmund Pyne and wife, Marita, of Massachusetts, and David W. Pyne, of Florida; and three sisters, Marita A. Pyne, of Massachusetts, Bernadette Gibson and husband, John, of Massachusetts, and Andrea Farquhar and husband, Peter, of California.

Visitation was scheduled from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, May 21, at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers will be recited at 10:15 a.m., Friday, May 22, at the chapel, followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland.

Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Maine Medical Center Foundation, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04101.

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