Richard W. Cantrell, of Red Oak, TX, passed away peacefully, with his son and daughter-in-law by his side, on January 4, 2024 after an unexpected illness.
Richard was born on August 12, 1940 to Mertaugh and Ida Evelyn Cantrell, of Trenton, Tennessee. Richard was the eldest child of four brothers and two sisters.
Richard graduated from Peabody High School in Trenton, Tennessee. As a teenager, Richard was enamored with jets and had a desire to travel. n the summer of 1959, he joined the United States Air Force.
Prior to joining the Air Force, he met Loretta Gail Uselton of Humboldt, Tennessee. Upon completion of basic training, they were married on December 23, 1959 in Bradford, Tennessee. They were married for 58 years until the love of his life, Gail, passed in 2017. Richard and Gail had two children, Beverly Gail and Kevin Richard.
Richard enjoyed a successful 22 year career in the United States Air Force Electronic Security Command. He was a Vietnam War Veteran. His many tours of duty took him to Alaska, Thailand, Turkey, Japan, and multiple assignments within Texas. He retired as a Master Sargent in 1981 and settled in San Antonio, Texas.
Upon retirement, Richard completed his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Southwest Texas State University. Richard then enjoyed a second career as a defense contractor.
Richard was a devout Christian man, he loved his Lord Jesus Christ and he loved his country. During his multiple moves, he was always an active member of a church and served his Lord in many leadership roles including Youth & Adult Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, and even a stint as a youth basketball coach. He was a member of the Cowboy Church of Ellis County.
After finally retiring, Richard enjoyed traveling with Gail and their Chihuahua, playing with computers, and researching family history. That military itch never left, they made multiple moves including relocating to Humboldt, Tennessee then one final move back to Texas to be closer to his son and family.
Richard enjoyed live country music and ran around with his friends attending various local opry houses. He had a circle of friends that met weekly at the Red Oak McDonald's for coffee and gossip. He was an active member of the Red Oak Lions Club until physical limitations prevented him from participating.
A Whataburger aficionado, his first question when returning from doctor appointments was, "can we go to Whataburger on the way home?" - and yes we did!
Richard was predeceased by his daughter Beverly (2001), his wife Gail (2017), and his sister, Mary Jane (Revels) (2022).
Richard is survived by his son Kevin (wife Carolyn), granddaughter Tiffanie Clark (husband Bradley), great grandchildren Weston and Emmie, brothers Jackie, Gary, David, sister Emily (Wiltse) and numerous nieces and nephews.