Richard H. Gedney Jr. of Philipstown, N.Y., passed away on January 14, 2023, after a long battle with pneumonia. He was 74.
Born on December 19, 1948, in Port Chester, New York, he was the son of Richard H. and Sarah (Abrams) Gedney. Rick, as he was known, grew up in Rye and graduated from Rye High School, where he played football and baseball and was a member of a band, The Lonely Souls. He went on to graduate from Franklin College in Indiana with a degree in art. There he met his first wife, Barbara Myers. They raised their two daughters in White Plains.
He went into the banking industry and, throughout, he maintained his love and desire to paint and play music, teach guitar, and play at family holiday gatherings. For several years he was president of the White Plains Historical Society.
Mr. Gedney, who was a widower, took an opportunity for early retirement to focus on art and music. It was through his pursuit of music that he met his second wife, Michele, and they began collaborating on original material as a duo called Open Book, recording four albums over more than two decades as touring musicians.
In 2009, Rick and Michele moved to Philipstown, an area that he was drawn to because of the beauty of the landscape that he had begun painting. In his home studio he painted daily, producing a body of work reflective of his spiritual connection with nature. His work appeared in galleries across the Hudson Valley, with a successful solo exhibition in his hometown of Cold Spring in 2022. He also taught guitar to many young people in his community and was a board member of The Chapel Restoration in Cold Spring. He and his wife co-founded and taught at an annual songwriting retreat, “Writing a Song That Matters”, led by Dar Williams.
He will be dearly missed by his family, his wide circle of friends in the art and music worlds, and everyone who was touched by his brilliant talent, kindness, generosity, and humor. His brother Rex offered, “Not only was Rick my big brother, he was also my hero. He was a great man.”
In addition to his wife, Michele, Mr. Gedney is survived by their daughters, Kristin (Mark), Sarah (Tim), and Lindsay; his grandsons, Andrew, James, Charlie, and Theo; his siblings Devon, Rex (Laura Lee), and Allyson (Lloyd); his mother-in-law, Regina; his sisters-in-law, Alison (Ric) and Liza (Jordan); and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Donations in memory of Rick Gedney may be made to The Chapel Restoration, 45 Market St., Cold Spring, NY 10516 (chapelrestoration.org), where a service will be held January 28 from 2 to 5 p.m.