Richard Hickman was the boy who grew up by the Susquehanna River and stayed close to its waters for the rest of his life.

Hickman, who owned Long Level Marina and did river rescue, died Tuesday, March 4, at his home in Wrightsville. He was 68.

His wife, Melinda Hickman, said he died of brain cancer, which he battled since November 2011.

Richard Hickman, a former Lake Clarke Rescue member and commodore, was a leader who challenged himself to learn new things, she said.

"He was very hardworking," Melinda Hickman said. "He stood up for what he believed in and defended whoever needed to be defended."

Richard Hickman was with Lake Clarke Rescue for 15 years, serving as its leader from 1985 to 1990.

"He was a real good guy, really went out of his way to help," said Charles Taglieri, the rescue's deputy chief. "After he bought Long Level Marina, he helped us get all our boats and buy new engines at factory cost. Even when he wasn't a member anymore, he still helped us out."

Taglieri said he first Hickman when they worked at Caterpillar Inc. They would meet again several years later when Taglieri became a Lake Clarke Rescue member.

"He was the chief when I started out," Taglieri said. "He always treated us good."

Melinda Hickman said her husband was a union representative at Caterpillar Inc., where he worked as a tool and die maker and machine repairman for 28 years. He retired in 1988. He purchased Long Level Marina the next year.

He was a member of the Antique & Classic Boat Society's Philadelphia, Sunnyland, Fla., and Chesapeake Bay chapters. He won several first place and best-in-show awards at classic boat restoration competitions. He was a scuba diver and did underwater photography.

Melinda Hickman said she and Richard Hickman had been together since 1985 and married in 2011.

Also among his survivors is his son, William Ray Hickman of York; two grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter; a sister, Joyce Rivers of Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; and three brothers, George Hickman of York, James Hickman of Wrightsville and Dale Hickman of Rock Hall, S.C.

— Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at