THE EARLY YEARS. Richard was born in a small town in NE Texas,
His parents were Truman Whitlock, a barber, and Faye Coston Whitlock, a stay-at-home Mom and a community and church
volunteer. The rest of the
consisted of two older sisters, Marilyn and Martha, and a brother, Edwin. After high school and college Richard
went to California to work for McDonnell Douglas (MDAC) where he worked for 5 years. It was at MDAC where he met
Owen and they married in 1968. They moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1972 and David and Alex soon joined
the family (in 1974 and 1978, respectively). The family moved to Houston in 1980 when Richard transferred to the NASA
Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Outside of work, Richard's activities revolved mostly about his family: scouting, volunteer work at church, coaching youth sports, and the like. Travel and vacations have always been a big part of the family life. The family has taken several trips to Europe, 30-something cruises, and even more "see the USA" driving vacations. (Almost) annual trips to the beach in Perdido Key, FL also became a family tradition.
Retirement has been good. First of all, Richard and Owen are still on speaking terms. Secondly, he has been able to catch up on some fix-it projects around the house, to watch more classic movies, to become more proficient on the computer, and to pursue some new interests.
TRAVEL...TRAVEL...TRAVEL. Even with the brief back-to-work stint, he and Owen continued to travel. In 2006 they went on Caribbean cruise in February an Alaskan cruise in June, and an Elbe River cruise in Germany and the Czech Republic in August. Of course the big event of 2006 was Camille and Alex's wedding which took place in New Roads, LA.
In the spring of 2007 Richard and Owen took their first trans-Atlantic cruise, sailing from LaPorte, TX to Dover, England, with stops in Bermuda, the Azores, France, England, and Ireland. There is no doubt that, for Richard, the highlight of this cruise was the day-long tour of the D-Day beaches in Normandy. They enjoyed their first T-A cruise so much, they have taken two T-A cruises each year since. In 2010 Richard and Owen tacked on a 2-week Mediterranean cruise to the Spring T-A cruise. This itinerary included stops in Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Turkey,and Egypt. The 2011 Spring T-A cruise included a follow-on cruise to the Baltic Sea, including stops in The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Owen and Richard have had the good fortune to be able to spend a lot of their travel time with their families. The Whitlock sibs (and sibs-in-law) have started a tradition of taking family vacations of some sort almost every year. These have included a week-long driving trip in California and Nevada, an Alaskan cruise, a cousin reunion in Northeast Texas, a Hawaiian cruise, and family weddings in Oregon and Arizona. Visits with Owen's family have also been included in the retirement plans with trips to Utah and Virginia for family weddings. Richard also attended the BCS National Championship game in the Rose bowl in January 2010. It was a good trip although the game's outcome could have been better.
Our latest family news is our new granddaughter, Julianne Margaret Whitlock, born October 18, 2012. Alex and Camille are the proud parents. Richard and Owen are the proud grandparents.
Julianne is so proud of herself for learning to crawl.
Richard, Martha, Marilyn, Edwin