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Richard's Story

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Richard Omer DePetris was born Aug. 22, 1947, in Dallas to Dr. Joseph F. and Avalee Eiffert DePetris.
Richard passed away following a long battle with lung cancer on April 2, 2011. Richard means brave and strong man, and “Dick” started out life to live up to his name. His mother wrote that he took his first trip to the beloved family farm at age 41⁄2 months, walked by 9 months and that discipline had no effect on him!! He also loved to keep up with his father, and as his life continued on a remarkable journey, his parents were always by his side.
Dick graduated from Irving High School in 1965 and went on to college at Truman University in Kirksville, Mo., and University of Texas. Dick led a full work life as a real estate broker. He was working as a principal broker for Madison Realty up until the time of his death. The simple, yet steadfast qualities that made Dick so successful and loved by all either in business or family, were honesty, integrity, intelligence and sense of humor. To quote a friend, “Dick was one of those few people you could leave your wallet with and not be concerned. In fact, when you got it back it might have more money in it than when you gave it to him because he wanted to be sure you were okay!”
His profession was the means to his support of his faith, church and family. Dick had riches beyond money; his faith and family were the things he treasured and nurtured with the utmost joy. He was the provider of faith to his family and extended circle of friends. The value a man places on friendship as a measure of true inner strength held by Dick could be seen by the circle of childhood friends of more than 50 years who are still close today. Richard was a friend of Bill W. for 20 years and never hesitated to let others know the value of this friendship. Dick’s Rockwall men’s Bible study was one of the highlights of his week.
Dick is survived by his wife and soulmate of 25 years, Gaye Kendall DePetris. He is also survived by his loving father Dr. and Mrs. Joseph F. DePetris; two loving best friends and brothers, Joe Jr. and Jim DePetris. Their families provided him love and immeasurable joy. Dick’s daughter, Lisa DePetris, brought him laughter, love and two of the greatest grandkids ever - Kennen and Allea. Both were full of laughs and love when sharing time with their beloved “Papa.” Dick and Gaye were fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of their grandkids and thus made for memories etched in their young hearts.
Family was important to Dick, his extended family was honored to be a part of his inner circle of love. Gaye’s family was his family; and he loved them all with a pure, simple and unquestioning love. Dick’s way with kids gained him the unofficial title of Papa for numerous children of family and friends. Dick was a great practical joker and he always tried to outdo himself with creativity and humor.  Summers and vacations spent at the Missouri farm with the beloved Bissell family ingrained in Dick his love of the outdoors. When not sharing time with family, he could be found fly fishing or gardening. His love of nature was a part of his life that he enjoyed when he was not helping others. 
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14.
Family would like to extend thanks to Dr. Sam Bibawi and Dr. John Wilson for their guidance, friendship and medical care during Richard’s illness.
Visitation was held April 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sparkman Funeral Home. Funeral Services were held 11 a.m., April 7, at First United Methodist Church of Rockwall. Interment was held at Rest Haven Memorial Park in Rockwall.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Save the Children, www.savethechildren.org.
Visit and sign a guest book at www.rockwallheraldbanner.com.
Published on  April 7, 2011
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