Richard Edwin Wilkes, aged 65, died at Memorial Hermann hospital on Saturday, September 24, 2011.
He was born April 13, 1946, in Chattanooga, TN; the youngest of two boys born to Mildred Pauline Lehman and Thomas Marshall Wilkes. Richard spent his early childhood in Oakridge, TN, and in 1962, moved with his family to Houston, TX.
After graduating from Bellaire high school, Richard was accepted to Baylor University. While at Baylor, he met, fell in love with and married Suzanne Richey, his wife of 27 years. Following their wedding, and with $600 in the bank, Richard and Suzanne moved back to Houston to begin their new life together. Suzanne worked while Richard completed his Bachelor of Science degree in economics at the University of Houston.
With degree in hand and a referral from his dad, Richard landed his first job with a savings and loan. It was there that he began to develop his passion for the mortgage industry, starting first as a collections manager, and then learning the industry from the ground up.
Richard's financial services career spanned more than three decades, during which, he served as Chief Executive Officer of North American Mortgage, First Gibraltar Mortgage, Troy & Nichols, Inc., and 1st Nationwide Mortgage. Richard also served as CEO of IMX, Inc, and Equinox Group LLC in addition to owning and managing his own consulting practice. It was at this point in his life he met and married his second love, Michelle.
Richard served as president of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, held membership in Fannie Mae's National and Regional Advisory Boards, and was a director of the Center for Public Policy. He has been a guest lecturer at Texas A&M University, Baylor University, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas, Arlington, and taught Real Estate at the junior college level. He has delivered more than a hundred keynote and featured speeches across the country.
Richard was dedicated to his faith and the Lord. He served as both a deacon and teacher and taught adult Bible study for more than 17 years.
Richard is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Marshall Wilkes, and brother, Thomas Marshall Wilkes Jr. He is survived by his mother, Mildred, his sons Richard Jr., Matt and Marc, their wives, Brooke and Julie, his grandson Preston, his ex-wives, Suzanne Morehead and Michelle Wilkes, his stepson K.C., and thousands of loving friends.
The memorial service is to be conducted at one o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 29th of September, in the Sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive in Houston, where Dr. Moore is to officiate.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Richard's honor may be directed to MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Sept. 27, 2011