Former Southampton resident and employee Richard Musarra, 66, was a staple at and area tennis courts in the summer months. His love for the season was galvanized by his passion for long ocean swims and the game of tennis. But his athletic endeavors were second to his family and friends. One of the kindest souls you will ever meet, Richard was truly one of a kind.
Born September 3, 1944, Richard died June 11, 2011 at his home in Aquebogue after a three-year battle with cancer.
Gregarious and good-natured, Richard was a gentleman of the highest order. When you spoke to him, he had the ability to make you feel like you were the only person in a room — no matter the size of the crowd. His courteous affability was engaging and genuine, and personified a man who had a deeper understanding of what it all meant than almost anyone you'd ever meet.
Richard was raised in Manhasset and spent his summers in Southampton with his family. After high school, he attended Southampton College before embarking on a successful career in the men's wear industry in New York City.
Despite his success in the big city, Richard's heart was in Southampton. He returned to the East End to raise his daughter, Leigh, and established Total Home Services, a successful contracting business. In 1995, he met his wife Eileen. Together with her children Brian and Colleen, two families became one when they married in 1997.
In the summer, Richard spent many days at the beach. His long ocean swims were the thing of legend among family and friends. His flawless fluid backstroke merged naturally with the waves as he went along, entranced by the beauty that surrounded him. He would emerge from his swims relaxed but enthused, ready to talk about his Yankees or the intricacies of a good baseline game. His love of tennis was contagious, but you'd quickly regret challenging him to a match.
Richard would often play his tennis at in Southampton. And though his passion for the game was great, his preference was swimming. The ocean was his church. One is inclined to think that the placid blue waters of the Atlantic are where he will forever be, his effortless backstroke at one with the crisp rolling tide.
Richard is survived by his wife, Eileen Musarra, the deputy clerk at ; stepmother Eleanor Musarra; daughters Leigh Musarra and Colleen Ferran and her husband, Luke; son Brian Schiller and his wife Lauren; and two grandchildren, Davis Schiller and Matilda Ferran.
Visitations will be held Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at . The funeral will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at .
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to East End Hospice or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center — Head and Neck Oncology.
Editor's Note: This obituary was written and submitted by Richard Musarra's nephew.