1943 - 2017
Richard A. Barnett, age 73, passed away in Houston, Texas with his family by his side. Rich was born December 2, 1943 in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. He spent his childhood in Ashland, Oregon and the greater part of his adult life in Texas.
Rich earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Oregon State University and a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Oregon where he was also a Department of Economics doctoral student. He paid his way playing in a band and working as a fry cook at Sambos. His first professional job was as an industry economist with the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Ore. He enjoyed career success in executive-level positions with the Oregon State Treasury and several mortgage and investment firms, retiring as a Senior Vice President with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. He was a licensed Real Estate Broker and served as the designated broker for Taylor Morrison Homes for the past 15 years. Rich was a wonderful mentor and teacher and enjoyed his time as a faculty member with the College of Business, Department of Finance at the University of Houston Downtown. Beyond finance and economics you could find him a willing teacher and participant in all things golf, fishing, or guitar. He always had a story and a joke and could make up a song about just about anything – much to his grandkids' delight. He could fix just about anything too, and from a young age always enjoyed working on old cars – including several Mercedes. He taught his daughter how to lay and grout a tile floor and his last project had her under the sink fixing the kitchen faucet while he supervised. Passionate about traveling and exploring new cultures, he especially enjoyed Europe and various Caribbean cruises with Lilli and his children and grandchildren. Above all, Lake Tahoe remained his perennial favorite destination for fun and relaxation, particularly golf and gambling at Harrah’s Resort. He was known as "Professor," Rich, Richie, Dad, Papasan, and Pa. He had life-long friends across the country and is remembered by those who had the good fortune to know him as someone of integrity, with a kind heart and a generous spirit.
Rich is survived by wife, D. Lilli Barnett; his daughter, Jennifer Adele Moriarty (Kevin) of San Antonio; son, Richard Hale Barnett of Austin; grandson, Reid Arthur Martens; granddaughter, Anastasia Lilliana Barnett; grandchildren by marriage, Kevin, Kendra, Kenneth, and Christopher Moriarty; and several beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Belton Anderson Barnett and Nelia Ila Logan Sprayberry; and siblings, J.D., Duewain, Ralph, and Evelyn.
A celebration of life is being planned for September as Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston’s infrastructure recovers. More information will be provided at tributes.com when it is available. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Houston, Texas.