Richard ‘Dick’ W. McVinney, 68; Civic Leader, City Court Judge


Richard ‘Dick’ W. McVinney, 68;

Civic Leader, City Court Judge

Richard W. McVinney

ONEONTA – The Honorable Judge Richard “Dick” W. McVinney of Oneonta passed away at his home on Saturday, March 28, 2020, following a three-year battle with declining health.

Dick was born on Dec. 22, 1951, in Oneonta to Clifford “Mac” and Elizabeth “Betty” (Platt) McVinney.

A true Oneontan, Dick attended Bugbee Elementary School and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at just 13 years old.   With his Varsity “O” in tennis, he graduated from Oneonta High School in 1970. Beginning his collegiate studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Dick went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta in 1973 and his master’s degree from the University of Maine in 1974, and Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School in 1982.

Elected in November 1975, Dick was the youngest citizen to ever serve on the Oneonta Common Council, from 1976 to 1979.  He proudly led the council’s efforts to preserve the Old Post Office on Main Street (present-day City Hall) and to purchase the land and steer funding for the construction of the Oneonta Public Safety Building.

Dick married Kathleen “Irish” Rose Dougherty on July 29, 1978, at St. Mary’s Church.  His staunchest and steadiest supporter, Irish pushed Dick to pursue his life’s calling in law.  Graduating from Albany Law School in 1982, Dick went into practice with his friend and mentor, John Van Woert.  After two decades of private practice, Dick was appointed to the position of Oneonta City Court judge in 2009, serving until his retirement in 2019.

Ever the athlete, Dick enjoyed tennis in Wilber Park, basketball on Woodside Avenue and Maple Street and golfing at the Oneonta Country Club.  Dick was also an accomplished chess player; being ranked by the U.S. Chess Federation in the 1960s in correspondence chess.

He was never without a book nearby or a crossword puzzle far from completion.  While spending springs on Crumhorn Lake, summers in Cape Cod and Alberta, Canada, and autumns in North Carolina, Dick cherished his time outdoors crabbing and fishing with family and friends.

His love for the law shone through memberships in the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the state Trial Lawyers Association, state Public Defenders Association and state Board of Public Relations as an arbitrator.

His love for this area shown through service on the Catskill Area Hospice Board of Directors, the Hartwick College Citizens Board, Hanford Mills Museum, Oneonta Kiwanis Club, Oneonta Rotary Exchange, Delaware County Fish & Game Committee, Habitat for Humanity and many other civic organizations.

Dick is survived by his best-friend and loving wife, Kathleen McVinney of Oneonta; daughter Megan and her husband, Daniel Fetterman; son Richard and his wife, Amber McVinney; grandchildren Cassidy, Gavin, McKenzie, Dylan and Cameron Fetterman,  and Charles and Lillian McVinney; his brother, Charles; his sister, Sarah and her husband, Gary Bush; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and Rotary Exchange children Tomoko, Mandy and Miguel.

Public calling hours at the funeral home and a graveside service at Glenwood Cemetery will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, Dick wished donations be made to Oneonta Dollars for Scholars, The Elizabeth and Clifford McVinney Scholarship, PO Box 1083, Oneonta, NY, 13820, Trout Unlimited New York Chapter 210, c/o David Plummer, 23 Haynes Blvd., Sidney, NY 13838 and Helios Care, 297 River Street Service Road, Suite 1, Oneonta, NY 13820,

The McVinney Family would like to thank everyone at Helios Care for their compassion and kindness at the end of Dick’s life.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to,  Arrangements are being made by Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.

6 thoughts on “Richard ‘Dick’ W. McVinney, 68; Civic Leader, City Court Judge

  1. Sharon Wilsey O'Donnell

    Condolences to all of Dicks family, and past work family. He will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Dick.

  2. Barb Vault

    After his “Big Brother,” Dick delivered our daily newspaper for years when we lived on State Street. We “played” together as children on Hazel Street, and at the Bugbee school playground, too. I’m so very glad that I saw him over Alumni Weekend. God has given his wings – fly high, Dick. Soar with the Angels.
    Barb Wheeler Vault

  3. Don benson

    I am very saddened to hear of Dick’s passing. I respected his knowledge and integrity since I met him in the 1980’s. May god bless him and his family. Don Benson

  4. Bruce

    RIP my friend and attorney.. Prayers for Irish and family..
    A proud man , loved the city a life..

  5. Albert Colone

    A good man: a real good man! A longtime friend and ally who was always available to provide me his guidance and help. Early on in our friendship we golfed allot in a foursome which included Chuck Burnsworth, the late John Insetta and me. Our collective display of golf was more comedy than sport, always producing lotsa fun and laughter! Peace Richard; peace to Irish and family!

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