Richard Posniak, who passed away in January 2022, joined the Moore community in 1972 and was a full time professor until his retirement in 2003. His wife, Mary Ann Krutsick, looks back fondly on the story of their relationship, which began while they both taught at Moore.
Richard and Mary Ann, A Relationship Story
I am writing in remembrance of my beloved husband of 31 years, Richard Posniak, who I met when I was hired as a sabbatical replacement at Moore College of Art & Design in 1976. We were collegial members of the faculty for several years before we “noticed” each other and began our relationship that would end in love and marriage. When we met, Richard was also a dad with his 4 year old son, Ben. I began to see a generous, loving father who took parenting very seriously.
There was much to discover about Richard that would intrigue me in those early years. I learned that he was adventurous and had a large world view. His 30-year-old Jewish father, who had a PhD in aeronautical engineering, had emigrated with Richard’s grandparents to the United States from Milan, Italy in the early years of World War II to escape the persecution rampant at that time. Richard’s grandmother was an opera singer and had performed at La Scala in the chorus. He had many stories to tell about the Italian culture that infused his upbringing years after his father had married and started his family in the US.
Richard had a brief stint in the mid ’60s at SUNY New Paltz but felt he was not ready for that track. He headed across the country in his Mercedes convertible on old Route 66 to a promised job at an art museum in Los Angeles and worked as a short order cook along the way to fund the trip. A draft notice followed him out to California, and he found himself enlisting in the Air Force where he would serve four years during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in the Philippines and on Guam and took advantage of every opportunity to travel extensively, spending time in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. His adventures included going AWOL to see elephants harvesting logs in the teak forests of Thailand. I was impressed.
I learned much more about Richard through a critical turning point in the seriousness of our relationship. It was a marathon six-week “Wild West” tent camping trip that we took in the spring of ’87. We followed the southwest route out to California, hitting every national park and Native American point of interest across country. We then flew his 10-year-old son Ben out to join us on the Northwest Passage up the coast of California and across country to head home. To feel happier with Richard at the end of that journey than when we started was all I needed to believe that we could be together for life.
We married in 1990 at the beautiful farm we had bought in Rome, PA, as our second home. Our country property has been a source of joy and satisfaction beyond what I could have imagined, and I feel blessed that we had so many years together in its embrace. It was my great fortune to have found Richard, who made me feel safe and trust in his rationality, his good judgement, his capabilities under so many circumstances, and to know that his love and fidelity would always be there for me.
I wanted to contribute remarks that did not center on our time as faculty, but rather provide a view that might be less familiar to those who knew Richard from the Moore College of Art & Design years. I am appreciative of those who were in his life as well!
—Mary Ann Krutsick
“Dick Posniak was an exceptional teacher, mentor and friend. He encouraged each of us to recognize our interests and begin to develop as young artists. These qualities have stayed with me, inspired me as an artist and educator. And he was hilarious. We were always laughing.”
—Deborah Moss Marris ’77
“Dick was an exceptional teacher. He took the time to help each student develop to their best, and instilled confidence in our abilities, always carefully getting us to reach inside and explore our ideas bringing them to life in metal. I am so sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to [his family].”
—Wendy Ross ’87
“He will be greatly missed. He was my metals professor all of sophomore year. Generous with his knowledge and so patient with his students. Condolences to Mary Ann.”
—Marie Evenson ’00
“How he put up with teaching me to use a bandsaw, I will never know. I was proud of the work he helped me create. He showed me that anything is possible with a little direction and a lot of patience.”
—Barbara Conner ’88
“Dick Posniak was a warm and caring person who contributed much to the life of Moore over the course of many years. He was a generous educator and a valued colleague. His impact on his students cannot be underestimated—he will be greatly missed.”
—Gigi McGee, Professor and Program Head, Graphic Design