August 23, 1940 – November 25, 2011
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Husband, Father, Friend, and Fisherman
Richard W. Pollard, 71, a long-time insurance agent and friend to many here in Bryan/College Station, passed away Friday, November 25, 2011, at his home in Robertson County, after a valiant battle against cancer. A celebration of life will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, at the Astin Mansion in Bryan, (506 W. 26th Street).
Richard was the third of four children, and only son, born to Clarence and Oma Belle Pollard, of Quitman, Texas on August 23, 1940. He was born in the Clover Hill Community in rural Wood County, Texas at the home of his maternal grandparents known as the Bailey Place. Richard loved living in the country so much that when his parents told him that the family would be moving to town, he refused and stayed with his Uncle Paul and his family for a week before his parents had to come collect him. Living in town aside, Richard grew up loving to fish, to hunt, and to go camping. He played on the high school football and basketball teams and participated in other "un-regulated sports" that included skiing behind his friend's Don and David Seago's car when the roads iced over one winter.
Richard went on to attend Tyler Junior College and graduated from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M - Commerce) in 1962 with a degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation, Richard returned home to Quitman where he volunteered for the United States Army, and served as an officer from 1963 until his honorable discharge in 1965. Upon returning from service, Richard found his way into the insurance industry after visiting with a local placement service. In 1965, Richard made the move to the big city of Dallas to work as a property and casualty underwriter for USF&G Insurance Company. While working at USF&G, Richard met Claudia (Whitson) Pollard and they were later married. Richard left USF&G in 1969 to work for American General Insurance Company as the commercial casualty underwriting supervisor under the infamous JD White. Three years later, Richard made the decision to make the change from the insurance company side to the agency side by joining Anco Insurance of Arlington in 1972 as an underwriting casualty manager.
In 1973, Richard and Claudia, along with their two daughters, Tish and Missy, moved to College Station for Richard to take a position with Anco Insurance of Bryan/College Station as an underwriting manager. Shortly thereafter, Richard saw an opportunity to break away from Anco, after close friend Phil Adams introduced him to Adrian McDonald. Together they formed Interstate Insurance Agency in College Station. Over the next 8 years, Interstate experienced tremendous growth and became a major player in the regional insurance marketplace; so much so that in 1986, Interstate merged with Anco Insurance of Bryan/College Station where Richard became President and served on the Board of Directors. While at Anco, Richard developed Common Sense Markets, a wholesale insurance program geared to rural insurance agencies around Texas. This was a unique program that benefited small agencies, insurance companies, and redefined the independent agency in Texas. Richard and Claudia divorced. In 1992 Richard married Suzy (Terral) Pollard and welcomed into his life and heart her three sons; Cy, Justin and Shawn.
In 1996 Richard left Anco Insurance of Bryan/College Station to take ownership of Anco Insurance of Temple, which he managed and eventually sold to an insurance agency located in Waco, Texas as their second location. Two years later, in 1998, Richard and Suzy packed up and moved to Rockport, Texas as a trial retirement. He and Suzy lived on Copano Bay, where Richard spent many an early morning fishing off his pier. Fortunately for the insurance community, the love of his worked pulled him back in, and Richard started developing a plan for a new style of insurance agency. Richard and Suzy eventually moved back to College Station in 1999, and in 2000 Richard formed an independent insurance agency now known as SIG Insurance Services, LLC (SIG). For the past eleven years, Richard nurtured and grew SIG from a single-location in College Station to over thirty-five locations all over Texas, and growing.
In the last month of his life, Richard founded and endowed RWP Education Foundation as a non-profit organization to provide college scholarships for students (www.rwpef.org). Richard leaves behind of legacy of being a loving husband, great friend, compassionate father and brother, innovative businessman, and all around great guy.
Richard is survived by his wife, Suzy Pollard; daughters, Tish (Pollard) Elliott-Wilkins and husband Tyler Wilkins, and Missy Pollard; stepsons, Cy Terral and wife Emily, Justin Terral and wife Lisa, and Shawn Terral and wife Cristina; and close family friend, Seth Okawa; 8 grandchildren, Karly, Darren, Rachel, Kallyn, Isabel, Maxwell, Anna Belle, and Madeline; three sisters, Melba Blackwell of Quitman, Texas, Mary Jones and husband Darrell of Lindale, Texas, and Myra Low and husband Larry of Woodstock, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests donations to the RWP Education Foundation located at 2751 Nash Street, Suite 150, Bryan, Texas 77802.
Published in The Bryan-College Station Eagle from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2011