Richard Estell McArthur, 77, left his beloved family and ranch in Kent County, TX behind for the last time on November 20, 2021, as he left to make his new permanent residence with his Lord in heaven. Richard passed peacefully while at his home with his wife of 51 years, Amy Luene McArthur, nee Patterson, by his side and his daughters nearby. Richard was born to Thomas Eugene McArthur, Jr. and Theda Lee McArthur, nee Butler, on March 21, 1944, in Lubbock, TX. Both of Richard’s parents and his older brother, Thomas Eugene McArthur, III preceded him in death.
Throughout his life, Richard embodied strength, resilience, and an unfailing optimistic outlook. Growing up as an only child on a rural ranch, Richard’s childhood was never lonely so long as he had his horse, Good Girl, and his dog, Trigger, or one of his many cousins available for adventures, or sometimes misadventures, like attempting to carry a baby bobcat on horseback. Richard created his own fun on the long rides to school in Spur on a bus bumping along the dirt roads that connected the ranch to town back then. In high school, when farm and ranch work allowed, he tried a variety of activities including One Act Play, Choir, Ag, and football; he earned awards in both Ag and One Act Play, and earned awards for perfect attendance every year through 11th grade. After graduating from Spur High School in 1962, Richard continued his education at South Plains College, and later Texas Tech University, making him a life-long Red Raider fan. Richard was a reservist for the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966-1972. During his college and Marine days, he met Amy Luene Patterson, with whom he was so smitten, he sold a cow to purchase an engagement ring for her. Richard and Luene married on June 26, 1970, in Seminole, TX. The couple moved to Spur before settling on the McArthur family Ranch where Richard would spend the rest of his life engaged in farming and ranching. Over the years, the couple raised two daughters and many dogs and cows.
Richard’s strength and resilience, as well as his incredibly optimistic attitude were put to the test when he suffered a debilitating accident that left him a paraplegic in 1975. After losing his able-bodied status, Richard was faced with a life that would forever be hard, but he shook up that upside down world and rose up to live his best life. He was fiercely independent and resourceful in his approach to ranching and raising a family without the full use of his body. With the exception of recent years when his health had declined, Richard got up every day and went out to tend his cows. He also attended as many events as he could to support his children and grandchildren, of whom he was infinitely proud; in his eyes, they were always the smartest, fastest, strongest, or whatever superlative fit what they were doing in school, sports, or life at the time.
When he loved, he loved without doubt and his loved ones were never uncertain of where they stood with him. Richard is survived by his wife, Luene, his daughters, Amy Jones and husband Mike of Lubbock and Crystal Leary and husband Bob of Spur, his grandchildren, Keely, Shane, Olivia, Mallory, Richard, Leah, and Daniel, his siblings-in-law, Linda and Terry Powell of Sweetwater, TX, Laurie Allen of Lubbock, TX, and Lex Patterson, of Slaton, TX, and his nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends whom he also considered family. Richard will be missed, but his family and friends will remember him fondly and rejoice in his freedom from pain and suffering.
The family will receive visitors at Zapata Funeral Home in Spur on Monday, November 22, 2021, from 6 to 8 in the evening. On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, a funeral procession will begin lining up at noon at the Zapata Funeral Home in Spur. Following the procession, a graveside service will be held at the Red Mud Cemetery at 1:00 pm. Richard’s brother-in-law, Lex Patterson, sons-in-law, Bob Leary and Mike Jones, and cousin, Guy McArthur will speak at the graveside service, and others will be invited to say a few words if they feel called to do so. The family invites friends to attend a celebration of life at the family home a few miles from the cemetery immediately after the graveside service. The family will honor Richard’s allegiance to his Red Raiders by wearing Red & Black, and they invite those attending to do the same. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Spur Volunteer Fire Department.
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