Richard Priest

Obituary of Richard Downes Priest

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Richard Priest, of Onondaga Hill, died peacefully at home on August 13, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Dick was born in Syracuse, New York, son of Catherine and John Priest. He went on to lead a storied life. Among his proudest achievements were serving with the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, graduating from the University of Notre Dame, and receiving his juris doctor from Georgetown Law. While in Washington, DC, he worked for the CIA before returning to Syracuse where he practiced law for over 50 years defending some of the city's most high-profile cases. While Dick is perhaps best known for his quick wit, clever one-liners, and legal brilliance, his greatest accomplishment was his 8 children:Richard Jr., James (Kristy), William, Robert (Kimberly), Linda (Paul) Sheedy, Kathleen Celeste, Margaret (Daniel) Silky, and Thomas. 

He is predeceased by his parents; his 3 brothers, Donald, Jack, and Edward; his son, Michael. 

He is survived by his devoted wife, Ellen, who along with his daughter, Maggie, had the privilege of practicing law with him for many years; his 8 children; 17 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; many nieces and nephews; Jude Stoddard Priest, the mother of his 6 oldestchildren.

Above all else, Dick enjoyed spending time with his family at their summer home on Skaneateles Lake, traveling the world, golfing at Bellevue Country Club where he belonged for over 50 years, and watching the New York Yankees and Notre Dame football.

Friends may call Friday, August 27, 2021 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Edward J. Ryan & Son; 3180 Bellevue Ave, Syracuse, NY, and a mass will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 9:30 AM at Church of the Most Holy Rosary; 111 Roberts Ave, Syracuse, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Central New York and of the Finger Lakes; 990 7th N St, Liverpool, NY 13088 or Clear Path For Veterans; 1223 Salt Springs Rd, Chittenango, NY 13037. 

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Calling Hours

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, August 27, 2021
Edward J Ryan & Son Funeral Home
3180 Bellevue Avenue
Syracuse, New York, United States
(315) 468-3443

Funeral Service

9:30 am
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Most Holy Rosary
111 Roberts Ave.
Syracuse, New York, United States
(315) 478-5749