Archive for July, 2010

Richard Ware

Saturday, July 31st, 2010



Richard’s Eulogy


        We are here today to celebrate, honor, and illuminate a part of Richard Wear’s magnificent life as a builder of homes, acute observer of nature, hunter and photographer of deer, servant to his community, and as a family man.  Richard’s life was so large and covered so much area; we can only touch upon a small portion of it.


        Richard served 14 years on the school board at Liberty Hill Independent School District.  Richard always worked for the benefit of the children.  Moneys spent needed to be reflected to the good of each child in school.  Once Richard found a western belt with the name of Jack tooled on the back.  Fit him just fine so he took it to wear.  At a board meeting the members were discussing building something that Richard said cost too much.  They augured.  Richard stood, turned around, showed them the name Jack on his belt and said, “I am so poor I can’t even afford a belt with my name on it.” Richard won that argument. I remember Richard not going to the seminars and training classes out of town for the expense to the school district out weighed the benefits to the board members.  Yet he would work overtime to get programs and equipment that were good for the students.


        Family was important to Richard. Early on, when Beth, their daughter, was a young girl they bought her a Mo-Ped.  Richard and she would go to a gravel pit and both would ride over the dirt piles.  That pleased Richard.   

  Once his grandson, Tye, called from Kerrville needing help on a science project.  It wasn’t due until tomorrow.  Richard dropped everything he was doing and drove to Kerrville to help Tye build a catapult, a working scale model of a historic weapon.  They worked all night, finished the project and it proved to be the strongest and most accurate one of all.   Richard’s brothers and sisters benefited from Richard’s creative flair, and building knowledge.  And his many friend’s and neighbors homes reflect his handiwork.          Lyndon Sterns, an early childhood friend, said to me Richard made all their toys to play with.  He was just born to saw, cut, and make things.  He said Richard built them a wagon once from an old set of wheels.  They pulled the younger kids up and down the trails, which they survived with little more than a few scratches.  Maryann, Richard’s sister, said he pulled her in that wagon for many, many miles around the farm.    



        Hunting was close to Richard’s heart.  Not so much in killing a deer, but in being out in nature observing her beautiful handy work.  If Richard found a pretty or unusual rock, wooden log, or roll of rusty barbed wire, he would manage to get into his pickup and bring it home.  He had a sense of humor about hunting.  Once the deer lease did not have a cabin for them to use.  He loaded up scrap lumber, roofing, discarded doors and windows, took it to the lease and built a 24×24 cabin.  Of course he worked the other hunters to a frazzle, but they got it done.  Before he would let them quit for the day he insisted they finish the job by painting it.  The only paint in the truck was several gallons of Pink paint.  It is the only pink hunting lodge in history.  Richard enjoyed telling me the story of a hunting cabin that was inhabited with a hive of bees.  He said if you were careful in opening the door to enter, they would not bother you.  But some of the guys wanted them out of there.  They had a leaky butane bottle, so they placed it just under where the bees were and stood back.  Good thing!  In a few minutes, when the room filled with butane the pilot light on the cook stove ignited the gas.  The explosion blew out the windows, the door from the hinges, and ended up spinning around harmlessly in the yard.  The only good thing was the cabin did not catch fire…. nor kill the bees.



        But building homes was his passion.  I don’t think Richard ever built a house or did an addition without adding something a little extra for the homeowner.  Many homes he built required removing a few trees.  Richard saved the logs from these trees and built a shelf or bench for the owner to enjoy.  Some times where a window was designed he would insert a bay window, because it added beauty to the structure.  Richard’s eye was keen and saw that all lines, curves, and shapes were fair and pleasing.   Once I went with Richard to enclose the bottom of a lake house built on stilts.  We arrived early and went to work with little pomp and ceremony.  We ran to the lumber pile to fetch sticks of pine for him to nail into walls.  It was hard to stay up with his swift hammer.  I began looking forward to lunch and a chance to catch my breath.  Fifteen minutes after lunch we hit it again.  We nailed siding to the studs.  Boxed windows.  Hung doors.  Ran wire and plumbing then nailed paneling.  The shadows of evening came slowly, with what I thought would be relief.  No way.  Richard said, “You need a porch on the front of this house.”  We drug post, hauled decking, and sawed beams and soon had a porch.  Now I knew, as dark came we could go home.  Not quite yet.  Richard said, “Now we need steps form the deck to the ground.”  He built those steps by the headlights of his pick-up.  Finely I was allowed to crawl to the pick up and drag myself into the seat to go home.  However I found soon that was Richard’s normal day…from before dawn until after dark.


        Richard picked up a neat habit from one of his builder uncles, Roy Wear.  Each house he built, he left a note, memento, or message penciled on a rafter to be found years later.  Richard liked that and perfected the act.  He even sent one of his prized hammers with Paul Curtis, to the Ukraine to hide in a wall being renovated.  That pleased Richard.  Sherman Winters said Richard built their house in 1985.  Sherman, in remodeling just a few years ago, had to remove a bathroom window.  As he sat it down, there penciled on the bottom of the window stile he found a note from Richard from years ago, “August 10, 1985 9:PM I am tired and I am going home.”


        Thursday evening Richard was fighting valiantly for each breath. Paul Curtis said he could see in his mind Richard penciling a note on a rafter, “April 29th, 2010, 75 degrees, 2:00 o-clock, wind from south, beautiful day. I am tired and I am going home.”


        And Richard went home.



Hollis Baker   1 May 2010