Richard Anthony JoerisSeptember 3, 1954 ~ November 11, 2017 (age 63)
BUFFALO GAP: Richard Anthony Joeris, 63, began his life’s journey on September 3, 1954, in Abilene Texas, the place where his grandparents, Joseph and Anna Joeris, settled after their journey from Germany. His father and mother, Fred and Thelma (Vinson) Joeris, raised Richard and his six brothers and sisters there.
Richard began his educational journey at St. Joseph’s Academy then went on to attend Central Catholic and graduated from Abilene High School in 1973.
Richard could be described as a naturalist and an environmentalist. His first adventure was probably on his first day of elementary school. His mom sent him off with his brothers and sisters, but on his way there, he was probably distracted by a bug or something on the ground. He lagged behind to check it out and was separated and lost from the other kids. He wandered around for quite some time until he finally made it back home.
That would not be his only adventure. His world was full of nature’s creatures and he knew that each one was there with a purpose for living. He had a great respect for all creatures great and small. You may not know this, but Richard stopped eating saltine crackers…he would put scraps on an ant hill that was nearby and found that the only thing they would not eat were the crackers. If they would not eat them, he would not eat them either.
One of Richard’s favorite things to do was bird hunting – a sport he learned from his dad. He also had learned the art of training pigeons and until recently kept a few in the backyard.
After graduating high school, Richard’s quest for adventure took he and a friend on a six-month journey across the U.S., where they saw the country. That was a geographic adventure they would always remember. They walked and hitchhiked to Florida, up the east coast to Washington, D.C., on to Connecticut then back west to Chicago and Nebraska. They then headed south through Oklahoma and then west to California. The sights they saw and the people they encountered made for lifelong memories.
Richard was never afraid of work. He learned new skills with each job he did, using his carpentry skills to build his own home. On January 20, 1981, Richard was initiated into the Pipeline Welders Union, Local 798. His journey as a pipeliner took him from Florida to Montana and from New York to Nevada and everywhere in between. But, no matter how far he traveled, he always returned home to Buffalo Gap.
Not only was Richard a welder, he could be called an artisan too, for the creative pieces he shaped from metal with a cutting torch and welder. As unique as those pieces were, the creations he was most proud of were his daughter, Samantha, and his son, Anthony, his namesake.
Along the trails he traveled from that first day of school to his last trip pipelining for 798, Richard made friends everywhere. Through these last few months, his friends and neighbors have let him know how much they care about him. His pleasant demeanor and dedication to the work he performed serves as an example for us all.
Richard was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Thelma Joeris, his grandparents, Joseph and Anna Joeris, and Edward and Elizabeth Vinson, his wife, LaDonna Joeris, and nephew, Matthew Joeris.
Those left to honor his memory include his daughter, Samantha Hastings (Michael Pearce); son Anthony (Kimberly) Joeris; and siblings Stephen Joeris, Kathy (George) Wortell, Cecilia Joeris (David Barrera), Paul (Cindy) Joeris, Judy (Kenneth) Derrick, John (Rhonda) Joeris; and his best friend, Lisa Red Eagle. He will also be missed by many nieces and nephews, relatives and close friends.
A funeral service will be held at 1:30 pm, Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at Fry-Smith Funeral Home in Tuscola, directed by Fry-Smith Funeral Home. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 14, at the funeral home from 5 to 7 pm in Tuscola.