Cyrus Fleetwood Richards, Jr.
Cyrus Fleetwood Richards, Jr. was born in Lockhart, TX, on Dec. 27, 1922, in the home of his parents Senator Cyrus Fleetwood Richards, Sr. and Gussie Baldridge Richards. He died on Dec. 23, 2015, near his home in Onion Creek.
He graduated from Lockhart High School in 1941, where he lettered in football
and was president of his senior class. He entered the University of Texas the summer of 1941. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, he, along with many of his classmates from high school and college, volunteered for duty.
Richards served as the pilot of B-24 heavy bomber in the South Pacific Theater with missions over the Philippine Islands, and from Okinawa, to the China Coast and the Japanese mainland.
When the war was over he returned to the University studying pre-law but never attended law school. After a brief venture in private business, he was hired by Jake Pickle and John Connally to work at their new radio station, KVET.
In 1948 he returned to Lockhart at his parent’s request to look after their farm and ranch interest. He had good land and financing and with the help and advice of other farmers and ranchers in the area, became a good steward. In 1954 he was named Farmer of the Year by the Hays-Travis-Caldwell Counties Soil Conservation District.
Because of his interest in agriculture he was president of the Caldwell County Farm Bureau for two terms, first president of the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Farm and Ranch Club, served on the board of the Luling Foundation Farm. He was one of the original organizers of the Old Cotton Belt Association and associated with Harper Seed Farms for many years in the production of hybrid seeds.
Very active in civic affairs, he served on the boards of the Lockhart Independent School District, the First-Lockhart National Bank and the Lockhart Saving and Loan Association. He was president of the Lockhart Business Men’s Club, the Lockhart Quarterback Club and twice chairman to the Caldwell County Blood Donation drive.
With Jack Gabriel’s advice and help, he conducted the first RCA approved rodeo for the benefit of the Kiwanis Club. He did this for three years with the backing of the Kiwanis Club; with Jack Wilson and Bill Schroeder, Sr., as co-chairmen. This was very successful and the beginning of the Chamber of Commerce’s annual homecoming and parade.
Coming from a political family, he was involved in politics and from 1963 to 1969 served as District Administrator for Congressman Jake Pickle.
Very active in scouting, he was a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Explorer committee-man, twice Chairman of the Twin Valleys Boy Scouts of America (BSA) District, served on the Executive Board of the Capital Area Council, attended training at Philmont Scout Ranch in NM and conducted the first adult training conference for the Capital Area BSA. His troop went to summer camps at Camp Tom Wooten and ushered at University of Texas football games. In 1970 he was presented the Scouters Key, the highest adult scouting award.
Richards partnered with Mary Storey in Storey and Richards Real Estate and kept his broker’s license current for over 50 years. In his seventies, he put together a ten million dollar deal for Sid Jagger involving a trade of apartments for ranch land. He also invested in real estate deals with Bill Davidson and Dick Metz. He formed an investment partnership in the mid-eighties that was untimely and unsuccessful.
Other partnerships were with Jack Gabriel and Jigger Alexander in RAG Land and Cattle Co. and Gary Lynn Roberts in R-3 Art, representing and selling the artwork of the Roberts family, Joe Rader, Gary Lynn and Nelda Z. Roberts.
He joined the Austin Country Club when it was at Hancock and the Headliner’s Club when it was at the Driskill Hotel. He was regarded as a charter member of Quail Creek Club in San Marcos and Onion Creek Club.
Fleetwood enjoyed friendships in all kinds of endeavors including being Life Member No. 107 in the Confederate Air Force, judging and attending many chili cook-offs, all kinds of live music venues, playing dominoes, gin rummy and golf with his friends. He won or placed high in many area events and still holds the record of 64 on the original Lockhart State Park Golf Course. He said he never was a good golfer but did play good golf at times.
Richards was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, William George; his former wife and mother of his children, Kathaleene “Kay” Nancy Hamblin; and a son William “Bill” Baldridge Richards, Sr.
He is survived by his wife and loving companion for over 38 years, Helen Rogan Richards; two sons: Cyrus “Cy” Fleetwood Richards, III, and Deirdre “DeeDee” Harkins, of Lakeway, and Leslie “Les” Hamblin Richards and Lynette Petz, of Round Rock; four daughters: Mary Kay Payne and Roy, of Midlothian, Nancy Richards Jones and Andrew, of Austin, Nina Richards Bensimon and Dan, of Austin, and Suzanne Richards Harakal and David, of Austin; 14 grandchildren: Tami Richards Garcia and Martin, Eydie Richards Staudt, Kathaleene “Kacy” Richards Dolce and Christopher, William “Will” Baldridge Richards, Jr., Daxton “Dax” Richards Oglesby and Amy, Susan Elizabeth “Beth” Mosse and Kyle, Trenton “Trent” Fleetwood Oglesby and Amy, Cyrus “Rus” Fleetwood Richards, IV, and Myleah, William Christopher “Chris” Richards and Amanda, Keri McGrath Richards Bailey and Justin, Melissa Jane Blackmon Kirkpatrick and Martin, Jennifer Elizabeth Jones, Callie Suzanne Harakal, Timothy David Harakal; and 24 great grandchildren. Also, niece Betty Ann Rogers, of Fort Worth, and nephew, Mark Andrew Richards and wife, Theresa, of Marietta, Ga.; and cousin, William “Bill” Hamilton Worrell, Jr., of Houston.
His body was laid to rest on Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Lockhart Municipal Burial Park. A Memorial Celebration will be held at the Onion Creek Club on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. with the eulogy by Dr. Gordon Smith.
Pallbearers were his grandsons and sons-in-law. Honorary pallbearers are Jack Wilson, Tom Adair, George “Bubba” Chapman, Gary Lynn Roberts, Larry Taylor, Wolfgang Von-Maszewski, Fred McMurray, John Finch, Larry Burrus, the Wednesday afternoon golfers at Quail Creek, the noon group at Onion Creek and his ginning buddies, all too numerous to name.
Arrangements by McCurdy Funeral Home 105 E Pecan St, Lockhart, Texas. (512) 398-4791.