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Saturday, February 4, 2023
4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Richard William Dirks of Tuleta, Texas, known fondly as R.W. or Bill, died peacefully in his home on January 31, 2023.
Bill was born on June 30, 1921, to Barbara “May” (Rapp) and Leland W. “Lee” Dirks in Tuleta, Texas. The Dirkses raised Bill and his five younger siblings in the Park Hotel, which was their family home. Bill attended Pettus High School and graduated in May 1939.
After high school, Bill attended Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, Texas, and went on to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. While at UT, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and the Texas Cowboys.
His college studies were interrupted by World War II. Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and was selected to be on the staff of Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher in Adak, Alaska. He served in the Navy until his honorable discharge in summer 1946. He returned to UT and completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1947.
R.W. married Eula Mae “Sandy” Sanders on June 4, 1947, in Corpus Christi. They had met on a blind date several years before, and maintained contact by letters during his military service. Bill and Sandy raised their three children, Richard, Susan, and Laura, in Tuleta, Texas, on a ranch adjacent to his childhood home.
Bill worked as a petroleum engineer, first for Union Producing Company, and then became self-employed and founded R.W. Dirks Petroleum Engineer Inc. which is still owned and operated by his immediate family. He was a licensed Professional Engineer and member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He was also a professional cattle rancher, raising Hereford and Brahman cattle. He made mustang grape wine and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
R.W. was active in his community serving in many elected and volunteer roles throughout his life. He was on the Board of Trustees for Pettus I.S.D. from 1957 to 1975, and for Coastal Bend College from 1971 until 2008. He was a member and elder of First Presbyterian Church, Beeville. He volunteered with the Boy Scouts, 4-H, and the Bee County Junior Livestock and Homemakers Show.
R.W. is preceded in death by his wife, Sandy; his son, Richard W. Dirks Jr.; his parents; and his five siblings, John, James, Jean, Robert, and Donald.
He is survived by his daughters, Susan Dirks and Laura (Jon) Fischer of Beeville; grand-daughter, Lauron Fischer (Colin Meyer) of San Antonio; and two great-grandchildren.
The family is grateful for the wonderful team of caregivers, Diane Villa, Olga Garza, Lola Arrisola, and Anita Garcia who gave us all comfort with their excellent care. We are also thankful for the professional staff at Exclusive Home Health and Hospice Care, Dr. Joe Larakers and the nurses and staff at JJP Family Practice and Galloway & Sons Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Coastal Bend College Foundation, 3800 Charco Rd., Beeville, TX 78102, First Presbyterian Church, 908 N. Washington St., Beeville, TX 78102 or a charity of your choice.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 4, at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home.
The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 5, at First Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in the Glenwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Tom May, Bill McCord, John Calvert, Leo Reyes, Jim Eller, and Armando Puga.
Honorary pallbearers will be Paul Jaure, Duwayne Dumas, Paul Dirks, Donald Searcy, John Brockman and Carroll Lohse.