Habitat Celebrates Dick Read’s 90th Birthday!

Toms River, NJMore than 50 people gathered at the Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a Surprise 90th Birthday Party honoring our own Dick Read.  He was lured to the party under the guise of a Habitat Executive Committee meeting.

One of the affiliate’s “founding fathers,” Dick helped to create Northern Ocean Habitat in 1999 and over the years has served as our Construction Director, Board President, and currently as our Treasurer.  A Professional Engineer by trade, Dick has devoted countless pro-bono hours over the last 20 years to Northern Ocean Habitat as we built affordable housing, “restored the shore” after Superstorm Sandy, traveled to our sister Habitat affiliate in Guatemala to reduce poverty housing there, and repaired almost 300 homes for low income families throughout Northern Ocean County. 

He is a man like no other.

Following his graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSME, he accepted a position with The Elliot Co. of Jeanette, Pennsylvania until called to active military duty. He entered the service with a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and in Korea. Upon release from active duty in 1953, Dick returned to The Elliott Co. as an applications engineer in their Los Angeles office.

In 1955, he returned to the east coast and joined the engineering firm of John C. Fellows & Son in Toms River. Working as a surveyor, engineer and planner, he obtained professional licenses in all three disciplines in New Jersey and several other states. Dick became a principal of the firm in 1959, and the firm, then known as Fellows, Read & Weber grew to become one of the largest consulting firms in the shore area, with offices in New Jersey, Maryland, and Florida. In 1988, the firm merged with and became a subsidiary of Thermo Electron Corp. of Waltham, Massachusetts. Dick remained with the company, serving as Director of Operations, Vice President and later President until 1992, when he departed to form his own consulting firm and continued to provide consulting services in forensic engineering, feasibility studies and general civil engineering matters.

Dick could have retired long ago and spent his days playing golf. Instead, he used his talents for the greater good. Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity is blessed and thankful for Dick Read!