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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
Richard Tarbell

Richard J. "Rick" Tarbell

Wednesday, June 28th, 1950 - Tuesday, December 25th, 2018
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AKWESASNE- Richard J. Tarbell, 68, of 37 McGee Road, passed away early Tuesday morning, December 25, 2018, at his home.

Rick was born on June 28, 1950, in Syracuse, son of the late Lazore “Spin” and Theresa “Bear” Guthrie Tarbell. He graduated from Salmon River Central School and entered the US Navy after graduation. While in the Navy, he was a boiler on the USS Kitty Hawk and proudly served until his honorable discharge. On February 22, 1986, he married Verda Lynn Gibson of the Onondaga Reservation at St. Lucy’s Church in Syracuse, with Rev. James Carey officiating. They enjoyed 37 years of friendship and love.

He was a communicant of St. Regis Catholic Church, a member of the Andrew W. Cook American Legion Post #1479, the Masonic Lodge, and the Akwesasne Death Benefits Group. Rick was a former Ironworker and worked various positions in various casinos throughout the country. He was the first manager of the original Bear’s Den Trading Post. He had a generous spirit and quietly showed that generosity throughout the community. He enjoyed a great game of Texas Hold Em Poker, traveling, golfing, spending time with family, and will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humor.

Richard is survived by his wife Verda; and his children, Ian Tarbell, Leah Tarbell-Benedict and her husband, Troy Benedict, Lois Tarbell, Kylee Tarbell and her husband, CB Laffin, Melissa Brown, all of Akwesasne; Tracey and Jake Brown of Baldwinsville; his chosen son, Jeffrey Lauzon of Akwesasne; 15 grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

He is also survived by his sisters, Connie “Bear” Tarbell of Akwesasne and Wanda Tarbell of Syracuse; and his brothers, Eren Oakes of Akwesasne; Eli and Gretchen Tarbell of Akwesasne; Bob and Sherry Tarbell of Onondaga; and Fred Tarbell of Onondaga; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Rick was predeceased by one brother, Gregory “Banini” Tarbell.

Friends may call at the Church of Christ, 598 State Route 37 (at the four corners in Hogansburg), beginning Friday, beginning at 4:00 PM until Saturday 12:30 PM. Parking is available at Kateri Hall. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 1:30 PM at the St. Regis Catholic Church. Burial will follow at the Tarbell Family Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made in Rick’s memory to the James P. Wilmot Cancer Treatment Center.

Arrangements are with the Donaldson Funeral Home where memories and condolences may be shared online at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, December 28th, 2018 | 4:00pm
    Friday, December 28th, 2018 4:00pm
    Church of Christ
    598 State Route 37
    Akwesasne, NY 13655
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, December 29th, 2018 | 1:30pm
    Saturday, December 29th, 2018 1:30pm
    St. Regis Catholic Church
    107 Angus Thomas Memorial Road
    Akwesasne, QC H0M 1A0
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Tarbell Family Cemetery
    McGee Road
    Akwesasne, NY 13655
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Trina Skeele and Jessica Tarbell have sent flowers to the family of Richard J. "Rick" Tarbell.
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Posted at 02:47am
Connie, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. My condolences to his family.

Posted at 03:46am
Our sincerest condolences to Verda and family. E N Samphier

Posted at 03:43am
Our sincere condolences to Verda and family.

Micah Caraballo

Posted at 07:01am
I’m so sorry for the loss of this man. My condolences go out to the Tarbell family. There’s a Scripture I’d love to share that always comforted me when I lost someone close to me in death. It’s in Revelation 21:4 which says: “And he [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” This is a promise from God that he will end death forever in the future and we will see our dead loved ones again!

Franciska (JW)

Posted at 04:01pm
Our deepest sympathies are with you in this difficult time. Please find comfort the words found at Acts 24:15 (''And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous'') May these words from our dear father help you to have some peace and comfort with the hope we have soon to see our dead loved ones again . Gods blessings

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