Richard Joseph Attenello
April 4, 1944-June 21, 2016
Homer resident Richard Joseph Attenello died June 21, 2016, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He was 72. Cause of death was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an always fatal lung disease.
He was born April 4, 1944, in Hartford, Conn., to Rosario J. and Angelina (DeMaio) Attenello. He had five siblings — Joseph Brooker, Bertha (Bert) Poole, Doris Bishop, Rose-Marie Attenello and Lenore White — all who preceded him in death, as did his parents.
He was 17 when he joined the Navy, where he earned his GED. Upon receiving an honorable discharge in 1965, he spent two years hitchhiking throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He chose the road less traveled and was able to experience some places that had not yet found their way to many maps, including Annobon, a small province of Equatorial Guinea.
Those years traveling shaped his perspective for the rest of his life and he never lost his wanderlust. He met Lori Evans in Florida in 1977; they came to Alaska in 1979. They spent about a dozen years in Juneau, where Rich worked as a janitor for the Juneau school district, before moving to the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1990s. They have lived in Homer since 2005.
Rich loved fast motorcycles and big guns, and talked about them with anyone who was interested. He taught several people how to shoot and reload their ammunition. He took his last motorcycle ride in Florida in late December and early January.
His family wrote: “There’s a proverb that says you can judge the character of a man by the way he cares for his animals. By that measure, Rich was a saint. He loved his dog, Brutus, and his cockatiels, and they loved him back. By other standards, Rich would be the first to say he was more sinner. He didn’t care much for most people, he detested what he called ‘the system,’ and he never sugarcoated anything when he spoke. His favorite adjective, adverb, noun and verb all started with ‘f.’ He meant no offense.
“Those who got to know him found a smart, funny, compassionate human being under his gruff exterior. He truly marched to a different drummer and his unique way of viewing just about everything meant you’d be lucky to have him in your foxhole.”
He is survived by his friend and partner of nearly 40 years, Lori Evans.
There will be no service. Those who wish to remember Rich can do it best by not taking one breath for granted. Many thanks are extended to all those who cared for Rich in his final weeks.