SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Educator Dr. Calvin J. Rich, 70, died peacefully during his sleep Nov. 30, 2011. Dr. Rich was born Sept. 28, 1941, in Calais, son of the late Jack H. Rich of Boston, and the late Virginia E. Stinson of Stonington.
Dr. Rich attended public schools in Stonington before obtaining a degree in education from the University of Maine at Machias in 1963. Dr. Rich pursued graduate training in theater arts and in gifted and special education. He taught students from elementary school through graduate school. He worked as a diagnostic, prescriptive consultant in Maine, administering and interpreting a wide range of psychological and educational tests. He also worked with gifted children in Florida and with terminally ill children in Phoenix. He taught special needs and gifted children on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona, adult students in Beijing, and middle school and high school children on a U.S. Army base in Germany. In addition, Dr. Rich was director of counseling at two colleges in Maine. His doctoral research focused on children’s developmental understanding of death. He did extensive research on how children grieve as well as on issues of death and dying under different cultural and religious traditions. Dr. Rich created, Santa Cruz Play Therapy – a counseling service for children experiencing such things as grief, confrontations with death and dying, learning problems, introduction of a new sibling into a family, new environment, illness or accident, recently developed fears or inability to sleep. Dr. Rich taught creative writing for teens in the San Francisco Bay area and assisted many high school students with their college applications. Dr. Rich moved to Santa Cruz, Calif., from Portland, in 1992 and loved Santa Cruz, Calif., for its climate and community. He retired in Santa Cruz, Calif., after a long and varied career in education. His interests included riding motorcycle, politics, knitting, making coffee, making ice cream, baking bread, grilling, vegetarian cooking, computer technology, and reading about the French foreign legion and North Korea.
Dr. Calvin J. Rich is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Dr. Changhua Sun Rich of Santa Cruz, Calif.; son, Sean X. Rich of Portland; daughter, Emma Yael Z. Rich of Centreville, Va.; and sister, Anne Eaton of Stonington. His English mastiff, NgKa; and cat, Napoleon, miss him greatly.