The Honorable Richard Jerome Israel, 91, died on Monday, November 7, 2022 at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, Mass. Richard was born on December 9, 1930, in Slatersville, R.I., to Fred and Cecile (Kantrowitz) Israel.
Richard attended Classical High School in Providence. His academic achievements led to his admission to Brown University, where he earned a B.A in English Literature. He then attended Yale Law School. He spent the first several years of his career in partnership with his father, Fred, in Woonsocket, R.I. Richard spent a life in public service, selflessly devoting himself to his clients, his constituents, his country, and his religious congregations.
He joined the Rhode Island Army National Guard in 1955, serving more than 20 years and attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He left his law partnership in 1967 to serve as an Assistant Attorney General in Rhode Island and was twice honored to be elected to serve as the Attorney General of the State of Rhode Island. In 1974, he returned to private practice. In 1984, he was nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court. He retired from the bench in 2000, serving in senior status until he stepped down from his judgeship.
He is survived by his wife, Lana Israel (Goldberg), whom he married on November 20, 1977, in Woonsocket. The extraordinary depth of their mutual love and devotion defined the remaining 45 years of Richard’s life and brought him infinite happiness. They enjoyed opening their home to the large blended and extended families for holiday dinners and other celebrations. The welcoming warmth of their home was felt by every guest and was a testament to their marriage. But they were never happier than when they sat and read together, enjoyed fine art and literature, attended performing arts, or had a quiet dinner in their beloved Great Barrington.
Richard is survived by his wife, Lana; his brother, David Israel and wife Karen; his sister, Judith Israel; his two daughters, Susan Mollohan and Karen Mollohan and husband Brian; and his five sons, Eric Israel and wife Susan, Jonathan Biller and wife Victoria Rand-Biller, Kenneth Biller and wife Hope, Cameron Biller and wife Kara, and Michael Biller. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be led by Rabbi Barbara Cohen on Friday, November 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Burial will immediately follow at Ahavath Sholom Cemetery on Blue Hill Road in Great Barrington. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The World Wildlife Fund.