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October 16, 2018

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October 16, 2018

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of All Faiths Funeral Home - Austin.
October 27, 2017
Richard and Kate taught me to shoot skeet and enjoy the camaraderie of the sport. Thank you. That was many years ago, but what I most remember about Richard was his love of his daughters. He was so proud of their beauty, but more of the strong, successful women they are. I hope you all know how much he loved you and how proud he was of each of you. My prayers to his family, Lasca Arnold
October 27, 2017
Ricardo was my business partner, mentor and friend. He was VP of Operations for Vortex at the time of his passing.

He was an amazing guy. He is sorely missed and loved by many, including me.

Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Alan Miller
Vortex Tools, LLC
October 27, 2017
Richard was our friend and coworker at Vortex Tools.

Our team recently we had a meeting where we referenced how we thought Richard would handle a current business situation. He had keen insight, a wealth of experience, gravitas, and a deep respect from all who met him in our industry.

We put up the following thoughts on our blog:

Oil & Gas Loses a Great One: Richard C. Haas

Half his garage was ammo; the other half was tequila. That was the first thing I noticed when I pulled up to Richard's house in Austin.

We were slated to ride to Lubbock, Texas to present at a local event, and he was driving. What I did not know at the time was that, because he had no use of his legs, Richard drove his Chevy Suburban entirely with his hands. This would be fine, except that he also talked on his phones (yes, plural), smoked repeatedly, and wait, how many hands do you have again? Then he'd take a corner fast and guns would come sliding out from beneath the seats to greet your feet (it's Texas, people).

This was our VP Operations of Vortex Tools: Richard C. Haas.

As a kid, Richard was diagnosed with polio, wore leg braces, and was then wheelchair-bound almost his entire life. The son of an oil man, he followed his father's footsteps, but his approach required more grit and determination: Oil & gas rigs do not have disabled access. This meant that Richard would leave his wheelchair off to the side and slide around using his upper body strength. A rig can be a brutal environment when you're standing on your feet and Richard would drag his body along to get the job done.

If there was an award, he received it (he was voted Aggie of the Year at Texas A&M twice). If there was a featured roleinstructor, speaker, Club President, Chairman of the Boardhe got it. He received two patents and wrote several articles and White Papers. After negotiating oil & gas deals around the world (in the U.S., Mexico, and the Gambia), Richard settled back in near Austin, Texas. In 2001, he helped found Border to Border Exploration. Under his drilling guidance, BBX turned a $2.4 million investment into a billion-dollar asset valuemaking them one of the top independents in the U.S.

In 2011, he joined Vortex Tools to explore innovative uses of our optimization tools. In drilling, he'd complete a well in less time and for less money than other companies in the area. As an operator, he'd get more production from his wells, and that was the kind of innovation we wanted in our company. Since Richard entered the industry when oil was a mere $20 a barrel and gas a bare 10 cents an MCF, he was always looking to, as he said, get the last squeal out of the pig.

As a company, we believe that, despite what you may think of the oil & gas industry, it's the key resource we have right now, so we should make it as optimal and as clean as possible. Richard's approach fit right into that viewpoint.

He also drank repeatedly brewed iced tea that had the consistency of motor oil. First time he offered me some, my boss shook his head. I took it anyway, drank down a couple of inches, and shook wide awake until 2 AM.

And in June, Richard suffered a stroke. Three months later, he passed.

He's survived by his wife, six adult children, several grandkids, and many friends who can tell you more about his home life, but I'll speak to our coworker: In an industry where everyone thinks they know everything, people listened to him. In an industry where there's so much success, he was revered.

In short: The man was a notch above.

Here's to our friend and coworker, Ricardo.


Originally posted at:
October 26, 2017
Richard was a loved friend, we enjoyed our time spent with Richard and Tonya. He was very well versed, intelligent, respectful of all, a joy to be with. We have lost a beloved giant of a man. He is so missed by so many.
Love to his family,
Patti Knowlton