In the fall of 1968, Dick Bellefeuille arrived on campus with his wife, Helen, and his young family. Along with serving as the dorm parent in Mary Lowell Stone, Mr. Bellefeuille (as he was always known by students) taught Spanish and coached reserve football, skating club, and lacrosse. Over the next thirty-two years (1968-1999), he would expand his teaching role to the science and math departments and become Proctor’s first athletic trainer in the 1980s. Through these varied roles, his career impacted thousands of students’ lives and left an indelible mark on the Proctor community. On December 28, Dick passed away at home in Concord, New Hampshire under the care of hospice.
Dick Bellefeuille’s career at Proctor spanned three headmasters and a sea of cultural change from the late 1960s through the late 1990s. With a background in the sciences and a prior career in the military, Mr. Bellefeuille pursued his passions as a teacher at Proctor, teaching Spanish throughout his first two decades; he spent a sabbatical year going back to school to become a certified athletic trainer at a time when schools were first creating such positions. He continued to teach in the science and math departments, offering unique courses like astronomy, sports medicine, and anatomy and physiology, as well as serving as the athletic trainer until his retirement in 1999.
Always an advocate for his advisees, dorm residents, and students, Mr. Bellefeuille was respected for his willingness to share candid advice with those around him. This same quick wit and candor was central to his relationship with his colleagues. One of his lasting legacies at Proctor, aside from the athletic training program, is Proctor’s abroad program in Spain. Shortly after Proctor launched its Mountain Classroom program in 1972, Head of School David Fowler and the school’s leadership were looking for additional experiential, abroad options for Proctor students. Through a friend in Spain, Mr. Bellefeuille connected Proctor to Sampere School willing to host students for the term, thus establishing Proctor’s first term abroad in Spain in 1974 – a program that has evolved and continues to run today.