Richard was born in 1954 in Houston, Texas, to Hollis and Christine Dugger. He spent his childhood catching crawdads in the Houston bayous, playing baseball with his neighbors in the fields that are now part of U.S. Highway 290, fishing and hunting with his father, laughing with his dogs Candy and Tracey, playing clarinet in his high school band, and going to Astros and Oilers games with his parents and sister Linda. His love for the Astros continued throughout his life, and one of his greatest joys was watching the Astros win the World Series in 2017. He also loved the Baylor Bears.
His love of learning and creativity took him far and wide. He graduated from Scarborough High School in Houston ISD, where he tied for salutatorian, and then went off to Baylor University for 3.5 years, majoring in business and economics. His sister also attended Baylor with him, and his special cousin John Powell was his roommate throughout college. John and Richard shared a silly sense of humor, a love of learning, and an impulse to think outside the box, and after college, they traveled the East Coast together, something Richard never forgot. After college, Richard worked at Tenneco and in the evenings took business classes at the University of Houston, earning a MBA.
Richard had a fruitful career teaching accounting and business classes at Kilgore College, from 1982 until day he died. He loved the creativity of teaching. He wrote his own textbook and told quirky jokes, but the students were his greatest joy. He always said he wanted to teach until he died, which he did. He taught last Monday while gasping for oxygen and died the morning after in the hospital in Longview, less than 24 hours after teaching.
Richard married Evelyn in 1981 and raised his family in East Texas. He grew a garden every year for his family and taught his daughters how to raise turtles. His favorite hobby was deer hunting, but he was always sure to tell you that it was the nature and watching the deer early in the morning that was his favorite part. While hunting, he often stayed at his parents’ house and hunted on his mother’s land. He always loved his mother’s food and ice cream. As an adult, his favorite vacations were in Colorado, of which he drove nearly every inch with his girls. They would hike during the day and follow the sunset and wildlife in the evening.
Richard was non-judgmental, humorous, and smart. There were no questions too big or too scary to him. He accepted everyone for who they are. He believed that God is in each of us and that He loves us unconditionally. He believed that God came to heal the brokenhearted and set the prisoners free, and he believed in a gospel of mercy and love, not rules and anger.
Graveside services for Richard will be held November 21, 2020, at a family cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift in Richard’s name may be sent to the Kilgore College Foundation for a scholarship for a business student. Go to giving.kilgore.edu/give-to-a-scholarship and select “Richard Dugger Fund.” You may also make donation over phone or call the college with questions at (903) 988-7521.