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B: 1950-06-28
D: 2018-12-25
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David Lindsay
B: 1938-02-07
D: 2018-12-23
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D: 2018-12-23
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D: 2018-12-23
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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
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Richard J. "Rick"

June 28, 1950 – December 25, 2018

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Richard Tarbell
Memorial Candles Lit for Richard | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Donaldson Funeral Home, Inc.

Obituary for Richard J. "Rick" Tarbell

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

To send flowers to the family of Richard J. "Rick" Tarbell, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.


When Friday, December 28th, 2018 4:00pm
Church of Christ
598 State Route 37
Akwesasne, NY 13655

Service Information

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 1:30pm
St. Regis Catholic Church
107 Angus Thomas Memorial Road
Akwesasne, QC H0M 1A0

Interment Information

Tarbell Family Cemetery
McGee Road
Akwesasne, NY 13655