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Richard William Renehan

March 4, 2020


Due to the current circumstances, Dick's wake and Mass will be for immediate family only. A celebration of Dick's life will be held at a later date.


RENEHAN, Richard William, age 86, of Milton, died peacefully on March 4, 2020 surrounded by family. Beloved husband of Mary (Brophy) for 58 years, devoted father of Anne of Boston, Joan of Dedham, Richard (Maureen) of Dedham, and Mark of Sebastian, FL. Loving and caring grandfather of Owen, Anna, and Sean “Jack” Renehan of Dedham.  Born in Dorchester to Francis Xavier and Ethel Mary (Sullivan), his brother Robert F.X. (Joan) and sister Joan Therese predeceased him. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, and cousins with whom he loved spending time.

Dick was a proud graduate of Boston College High School,1951; Boston College magna cum laude, 1955; and Harvard Law School, 1958.  He served as President of the B.C. Alumni Association (1993-1994) and Chair of the Council of Past Presidents (1996-1997). In 2005, Dick received the B.C. Alumni Association Award for Excellence in the Law. He also served in the United States Coast Guard to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Dick loved being a lawyer.  Known for his Irish wit and gentle demeanor, he was a talented trial attorney and widely regarded as a legend in the courtroom. Juries and judges were fascinated by his ability to articulate his argument, no matter how complicated, with three simple points.  

Dick practiced law for 55 years, primarily (35 years) as a partner at Hill & Barlow until its closure in 2002, then joining Goulston & Storrs until he retired. He held many distinguished posts including President of the Boston Bar Association, a member of the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Committee, and  a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  His peers recognized him as the “lawyers’ lawyer” and he was often the first choice of major firms throughout New England and nationally, as well as individual attorneys, when they needed representation. For twenty years he was named in Best Lawyers in America for both business litigation and professional malpractice defense, and was recognized as “a ‘dean’ of the Boston Bar” by Chambers USA, which described him as “a fantastic trial lawyer with more experience and sense than anyone; one of the best lawyers to have practiced in Boston in the last 20 years.” 

A 55 year resident of Milton, Dick served as a member of the Board of Health and the Warrant Committee. He also coached youth hockey, which he loved, and continued to play hockey with his sons until age 65.

Dick was a brilliant lawyer but more than anything he loved spending time with his family, especially summers in Chatham.  He travelled extensively with his wife and children, loved scuba diving, and socializing with his many friends.  Dick was proud of his grandchildren and cherished his role as “Grampy” to Owen, Anna, and Jack, who always convinced him to join them on the waterslide in Florida.  His wife and children will never forget his kindness, wisdom, and warm sense of humor. He will be missed every day.



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