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April 7, 2011

(8/22/1947 - 4/2/2011)

Richard Omer DePetris was born on August 22, 1947 in Dallas, Texas to Dr. Joseph F. DePetris and Avalee Eiffert DePetris. Richard passed away after 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 four and half months, walked by nine 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, Missouri and University of Texas in Austin. 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 of 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 over fifty years who are still close today. Richard was a friend of Bill W. for twenty 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 soul mate of 25 years, Gaye Kendall DePetris. He is also survived by his loving father and mother, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph DePetris, two loving best friends and brothers, Joe DePetris, 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 and his extended family was honored to be 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 this life that he enjoyed when he was not helping others.

Visitation was at Sparkman Funeral Home, 1029 S. Greenville Ave. in Richardson, Texas from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 7, 2011 at First United Methodist Church in Rockwall, Texas with a visitation in the chapel from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

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.

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email:

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email: