Richard Platt

Richard Platt - SAVANNAH - Richard Platt died in his sleep Thursday, April 18, 2013, following a splendid evening spent with his wife Audrey and a spontaneous visit from an old friend. Dick was born to Richard Platt and Mary Stuart Gordon Platt on December 13, 1932 in Hartford, Connecticut. He grew up with his siblings, Arthur, Peggy and Louis in St. James, New York and Duxbury, Massachusetts; spending summers at the Gordon Cottage on Tybee Island. Dick graduated from St. Paul's School and went on to graduate from Yale University in 1955, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall and The Torch Society. He fulfilled his military service obligation; joining the United States Marine Corps where he earned his officer's commission and flew combat-ready helicopters. From the Marine Corps, Dick extended his service in The Central Intelligence Agency's Field Operations section, conducting overseas assignments primarily in Africa. A colleague later quipped that his service in the CIA would benefit him as he pursued a career in domestic and international banking. After a period in the securities business with his father in St. Louis, Dick completed a degree in law at Washington University in St. Louis. Dick began his career as a banker in Washington, DC focusing on identifying and providing for the underserved. This commitment would continue to define his relationships, both personal and professional, throughout his life. While at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, he was directly responsible for providing the management necessary to allow Neighborhood Housing Services to flourish and become a national model. He became the Director of the Office of Housing and Urban Affairs as well as the Director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. Opportunity would lead Dick to First Federal of Michigan, in Detroit. Dick retired from First Federal as Executive Vice President, after leading the bank through the challenges of the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Despite an enormous workload, he also immersed himself in an extensive number of community projects in Detroit through the Chamber of Commerce and work with the Regional Transportation Commission. Dick was a life-long sportsman enjoying hockey and squash, was an avid fisherman, and a member of The Detroit Athletic Club and The Detroit Racquet Club. He returned to Savannah with his wife Audrey in 1995 to a retirement balancing the enjoyment of life's pleasures with projects to enrich the Savannah community. He chaired the campaign to restore the Juliet Gordon Low Birthplace and represented that organization in many other capacities. Dick was passionate about music and was instrumental in the creation of the Savannah Philharmonic, serving as it's first Chairman. He was also an active member of The Cosmos Club, The Savannah Benevolent Society, Christ Church Episcopal as well as The Oglethorpe Club and Savannah Golf Club. Audrey and Dick traveled extensively and became dedicated Francophiles, spending summers at their favorite place Goursac in the Dordogne and in Paris with friends and family. Dick was a true patriot and was never prouder than when talking of his service in the United States Marines Corps. He wore his Navy wings in 2012, while accepting from President Obama the Medal of Freedom, our nation's highest civilian citation. The medal was presented in honor of his great aunt, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of The Girl Scouts of America. When questioned by Ann Glenn, wife of astronaut and fellow recipient John Glenn, if his wings represented Navy or Marines, he answered, Marines! She responded, Semper Fi. The term, meaning Always Faithful, exemplified Dick's life. As a friend once said: He was for everyone. And to every one of his friends, he was a true friend. Dick's life was a full one. He was a man of integrity, grace and good cheer. His steadfast honesty favored no one, but this sincerity put forth a presence that endeared him to virtually everyone he met. Dick is survived by his best friend and wife of 32 years Audrey Dunn Platt, his brother Arthur Platt of St. Louis, MO, his three children, Lee Hodges of Bloomingdale, GA, Richard Platt of Mill Valley, CA, Nina de Burgh of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, their spouses Robert, Lorraine and William and 10 grandchildren. He is also survived by Audrey's children, whom he considered as his own, William, Eleanor, and Jonathan Rhangos, all of Savannah, their spouses Allison, Daniel (Bromstad) and Andrea and 6 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at Christ Church Episcopal on Johnson Square Wednesday, April 24th at 2:00pm. The burial will follow at Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to: The Savannah Philharmonic, The Juliet Gordon Low Birthplace or Christ Church Episcopal. Please sign our online guestbook at Savannah Morning News April 24, 2013 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at

Published in Savannah Morning News from Apr. 23 to Apr. 24, 2013