Area basketball referees are fondly remembering one of their colleagues, Richard Feinberg, who was a longtime official and commissioner of the Dual County League.
Mr. Feinberg, who was a beloved teacher at Chelsea High School and Northeast Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield and a former member of the Swampscott School Committee, died on May 14, 2018. He was 70 years old.
Mr. Feinberg grew up in Chelsea and played for the Chelsea High School basketball team. He continued his love of basketball by becoming a certified basketball referee. He was known for helping younger officials to refine their craft, and in his role as DCL commissioner, he often assigned referees their first varsity games.
“I refereed with Richard and it was a great experience – he knew how to handle a game,” said Mike Muchmore, past president of IAABO Board 130. “He was my mentor. He’s the first commissioner that gave me a varsity game. He was meticulous. He would call every referee after a game and asked them how things went.”
Paul Halloran, also a past president of IAABO Board 130 and a well-established college referee, said Mr. Feinberg’s expertise and goodwill extended beyond the basketball court.
“Richard was a well-rounded guy with expertise in mny areas: antiques, basketball officiating, horse racing, politics, poker,” said Halloran. “He could engage in a thoughtful, thorough conversation on any of them at any time. He was a real character and he will be sorely missed.”
Stuart Feinberg followed his brother, in to the field of education and basketball officiating.
Former Swampscott Selectman Daniel Santanello lauded Mr. Feinberg’s service to the town and his assistance in his political campaigns.
“I’m very saddened, Richard was a good friend,” said Santanello. “He was instrumental in the success of my selectman campaigns for many years. He always gave me great advice and I’m going to miss his humor and his positivity. He was a great person.”
Mr. Feinberg was a popular teacher at Chelsea High School and students admired his bigger-than-life personality and his warmth.
“He’s my all-time favorite teacher,” said Robert Brooks, a 1981 CHS graduate who attended the graveside services Tuesday. “He was wonderful. He taught me so many great lessons in school and just about growing up in Chelsea. Even after I graduated and I wasn’t sure what direction I would take in life, he kept in touch with me and advised me. We loved talking politics. When Richard’s mother [Helen Feinberg] passed away, I wasn’t able to attend the services, so I needed to write a letter to let him know how positively he impacted my life. I wasn’t able to write that letter, but I’m honoring Mr. Feinberg today.”
Mr. Feinberg’s wife, Laural, is retired schoolteacher, having taught in Lynn for 35 years. They have a daughter, Julie Lucas, of Lynn, and two grandchildren, Kyle Lucas and Dylan Lucas. He also leaves a brother, Ralph Feinberg.