SIEGAL--Richard D., passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday following a courageous battle with Leukemia. Richard ("Big T" "Rick City" "Grandpa" "Bop Bop") is survived by his adoring wife of 47 years, Gail; his children, Michael, Bippy, Arlo, Jody, Dean, Jackie and Rev; his grandchildren, Samantha, Nicki, Gabriela, Daniela, Zackary, Ava and Anya; his sister, Alice, and countless other friends, colleagues and beneficiaries of his endless philanthropic generosity whose lives have forever been so beautifully impacted by this incredible man. He was larger than life and left a magnificent imprint on the lives of all he touched. To many, Richard was an entrepreneur who built one of the most prolific oil and gas exploration companies in the United States. To others, he was a thoughtful, caring and generous employer. And to others still, he was an institutional benefactor who gave endlessly and applied his entrepreneurial determination to facilitate the research and development of cures and treatments for various diseases. But to those who knew and loved him best, Richard was all about the family. Simply put - nothing mattered more. His marriage to his soul-mate Gail will remain the heart and soul of his entire existence and the relationships he shared with his children and his grandchildren were unique and will forever serve as the standard by which inter-family relationships will be measured for generations to come - that is Richard's true legacy. Born in Brooklyn on December 26, 1938 to Dr. and Mrs. Manheim Siegal, Richard attended Midwood High School and later received both undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Virginia, where he served as a long-time member of the Campaign Executive Committee. Richard was an appointee to the Citizens Financial Accountability Oversight Committee of California's new stem cell agency and also served on the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Richard's philanthropic activities span a broad spectrum of organizations, including New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The Gail S. and Richard D. Siegal Professorship in Ophthalmology at the University of Virginia, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, The Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Women's International Zionist Organization, Hadassah and various educational scholarships. Services will be held on Friday at 10:00am at Boulevard-Riverside Chapels located at 1450 Broadway in Hewlett, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard's memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and specifically earmarked for research to be conducted by Dr. Steven Nimer.
Published in The New York Times on Feb. 11, 2010