Richard O. Patterson, beloved father, husband, and uncle, died peacefully on March 12, 2020 from acute respiratory failure.
He will be remembered for his humor, his extensive knowledge on a wide range of topics (as one friend stated, “before Google there was Richard!”), his love of family, and his generosity.
Richard was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 12, 1949 to Cora Francis Albert Patterson and Ernest Odell Patterson, Jr. He grew up in Houston graduating from Memorial High School in 1967, Vanderbilt University in 1971, and the University of Texas School of Law in 1974. He began his legal career at the Security and Exchange Commission before moving to the Department of Labor, where he earned an “Award for Distinguished Achievement” for his work on the Teamster’s Pension Fund litigation in 1983. In 1986, Richard returned to Houston and joined his law school debate partner, Dan Hedges, at the law firm of Porter & Clements. He found his niche as in-house counsel beginning with Belmont Constructors and ending with WHC Energy Services, to whom we are most grateful for their support during Richard’s illness.
Richard loved his children, Robert and Barbara, beyond all measure. He gladly welcomed their friends into his home, which became known as “The Burrow” – a term described by Harry Potter as a magical dwelling that became a second home. He loved to fix breakfast for the OD’s, the other daughters as he called them, and listen to their morning chatter about what was happening in their world, often eloquently disparaging any ex-boyfriend or perceived foe to their delight. He was an avid protector of his girls and family. Richard and Robert loved all things Star Trek, and especially enjoyed going to the annual Star Trek conventions in Las Vegas, where the Trekkies sometime referred to Richard as “Dad” as well. This was the role he cherished most in life and it showed.
Richard was generous with both his time and resources. His advice and counsel were most welcomed by close friends and family, who frequently called or stopped by for help – whether it be a legal or plumbing problem, as he could fix anything. Whenever someone needed a helping hand, Richard was always there often offering his assistance before anyone even asked, and without fanfare or any promise of pay-back.
Preceded in death by his parents and sister, Susan Patterson Mize, Richard is survived by his wife of 31 years, Wendy Siceloff; their son, Robert, and daughter, Barbara; niece, Deborah Tatham and her husband, Tom Tatham; brother-in-laws, Ron Mize, Charles Siceloff, David Siceloff, Bob Siceloff and his wife, Susan Siceloff, and sister-in-law, Sylvia Siceloff Jamison; along with numerous nephews and their families.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – Friends of Music or St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – Gethsemane youth.