Richard Ransom Lillie
1930 - 2020
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LILLIE, Richard Ransom "Dick" Richard "Dick" Ransom Lillie, beloved father, brother, grandfather, greatgrandfather, mentor and friend was born October 21, 1930 in Merrill, Wisconsin to parents Arthur and Mildred Lillie. He peacefully passed to his heavenly home on June 22, 2020 at the age of 89 with his wife at his side. Dick Lillie graduated from East High School in Madison, Wisconsin in 1948 then joined the Navy where he served on the USS Siboney aircraft carrier during the Korean conflict. He was discharged honorably in 1954 and moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where he met and married his love, Nelda Ruth Stanford of Hamilton, Texas. In 1958 he graduated from UT with a Business Administration degree and started his first position with the City of Austin Planning Department. In 1962 he and Nelda moved to Atlanta where he earned a master's degree in city planning from Georgia Tech in 1964. After graduation they moved to Waco, Texas where he worked as planning director for the City of Waco until 1965. He moved the family to Austin and worked as a Planning Coordinator, then was named Assistant Director in 1966. In 1970 he was appointed Director of Planning and served the city during years of strong growth and change. Despite his busy schedule he enjoyed lecturing and mentoring graduate students at the UT schools of Architecture and Planning. He retired in 1984 to work in the private sector. His professional achievements include the unprecedented Austin Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Watershed Ordinances, Capitol View Ordinances, Loop 360 Ordinance, Historic Preservation Plan, Annexations and Municipal Utility Districts. He was an active member of the American Planning Association (APA) and earned his AICP certification. In 1999 he was awarded Fellow AICP and Planner of the Year by the APA Texas Chapter. In 2000 he was inducted into the College of Fellows of AICP. In 2016 he received the APA Planning Legend Award. The Texas Chapter developed the "Richard R. Lillie, FAICP Planning Excellence Recognition Program" in honor of Richard Lillie, an award which recognizes individuals, organizations and communities for outstanding contributions to planning in Texas. He loved his family dearly, and enjoyed boating, singing with the church choir and barbershop quartets. He was a huge fan of Longhorn football, basketball and the Texas Relays. He also loved his Buicks, family vacations and trips with his brothers. His planning career, many friends and colleagues were a significant part of his life. His professionalism, calm demeanor and selflessness made him an effective leader, colleague and mentor to many people. Richard was preceded in death by his parents and brother Wayne Lillie of Everett, Washington. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nelda Lillie; their daughters Suzanne Hill (husband David) of Cedar Park, Texas and Julianne Lillie of Austin, Texas; 3 grandchildren, Kathryn Hill, Wolf Pauley and Kayleigh Pauley (fiancé Will); 2 great-grandchildren Daeona Kingston and Malakii Dawson. He is also survived by his brothers, Bob Lillie (wife Sharon) of Decorah, Iowa, John Lillie (wife Claire) of Bryan, Texas, and sister-in-law Joan Lillie of Everett, Washington. Due to COVID-19 memorial service details will be provided when they become available. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the charity of your choice or the American Planning Association Foundation.

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jun. 30, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
July 7, 2020
Such fond memories of my Uncle Dick and family vacations to Austin growing up. Much love to my family. RIP Uncle Dick. ❤
Linda Lillie Ellison
July 6, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. He was a fine person and will be missed.
Sylvia Limon
June 30, 2020
DIck Lillie was my older brother and was an inspiration to me. He was always there for me whenever I needed him. He was a stabilizing influence on the family after our parents passed. I loved him dearly and will miss him.
john lillie
June 30, 2020
Kim and I are saddened by the loss of your brother and want to extend our condolences.
Kim and Bill Burwell
June 30, 2020
Dear Nelda-
My name is Darren Heine and I am a UT Austin SOA Alum. I live in Brenham and read the Statesman regularly. I came across the obituary of your husband and recognized the name. I recall him as well from early school days at UT. I am very sorry for the loss of your husband and life partner of so many years. You and your family are in my prayers as you mourn his passing but celebrate his many years of life.

I also wanted to write you because I have told this story many times and always wondered if I would be able to tell it to you. I grew up in San Gabriel, Texas, just north of Thorndale. In 1982 I graduated from high school and my dad drove me and my two buddies up to Austin to the Erwin Center for an event to allow opportunities for possible UT students to talk with different colleges within the University. At that time I had no idea the difference between Architecture and Engineering and was contemplating enrolling in the Architectural Engineering program until I came to the School of Architecture table where you met me and my dad. You explained the vast difference between the two programs and degrees and advised that with my high school grades I should apply to the SOA and gain admission instead of going the engineering route then trying to transfer. If not for your wise counsel I may have never become an architect. You may possibly recall me from our advising and enrollment sessions each semester as I tried to find ways to squeeze Longhorn Band into my schedule every semester for all 5 years of school.

Fast forward to today. I have been in Brenham at our firm since my 1987 graduation from the SOA. I have been active in AIA, serving on our local chapter as President, a director from our Chapter to Texas Society of Architects board, then Secretary of the Society and then one of our three State representatives to the AIA Strategic Council at National.

I have told the above story at Texas Society of Architects board meetings and in Washington at AIA events, and continue to do so today as I talk with students and mentor young architects. I wanted you to know how much I appreciated those words you spoke to me many years ago that helped steer me in the right direction and that you made a real difference.

You and your family are in my prayers in this difficult time.

Sincerely, Darren Heine, AIA

Darren C. Heine, AIA, President
BBA Architects
Darren Heine
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