Richard J. Pereira
December 23, 1946
May 1, 2018
Funeral services for Richard J. Pereira, 71, of Salado, formerly from Killeen, TX, will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, May 8, at First Baptist Church of Salado with burial at Central Texas State Veteran’s Cemetery. Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, May 7, at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Killeen.
Pereira passed away on May 1, 2018 at a Temple hospital.
Richard was born December 23, 1946 in Bronx, N.Y. to Gonzalo and Aida Fernandez Pereira.
He married Carolyn Huggins on April 16, 1981 in Killeen by Judge Madge Turland.
His father was in the U. S. Army and moved to Killeen in 1958. Richard graduated from Killeen High School in 1965 and received a track scholarship. He attended Temple Junior College from 1965 to 1967 and was on the Dean’s List in 1967. He then went to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, still a collegiate runner, and was a member of Pi Gamma Mu National Honors Society in Social Studies. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1969.
After graduation, Richard joined the U. S. Marine Corps and went to Officer Candidate School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, which is known as the “Home of Expeditionary Forces in Readiness.” He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1969 as Combat Engineer Officer. He served two tours in Vietnam from 1969-1972 and achieved the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged in 1972. His military medals include the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal (with one bronze service star) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
In 1972 Richard began his career in education as the head track coach and assistant football coach in Florence, TX. From 1974-1977, he taught history at Fairway Middle School. Then in 1977, he taught history at Smith Middle School. During his career at Smith Middle School, he received his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from A.T.U. in Killeen which is now known as T.S.U. Central Texas. After Smith Middle School, he taught at Ellison High School from 1982 to 1992. He received another Master’s Degree, in Counseling, in 1992 while working at EHS. From 1992-1994 he was a Guidance Counselor at EHS and became the Guidance Counselor and Registrar at Pathways Learning Center from 1994-2007. During his tenure at KISD he also drove a school bus for KISD for 19 years (from 1973 to 1992).
Richard was a Real Estate Broker with Century 21 in Killeen from 1982-1986 and was top salesman in 1983 while still working at EHS.
From 2004-2008, Richard also worked as a Residential Appraiser with Fred Garvin Appraisal in Killeen.
Richard was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved RV’ing and being outdoors with his family. His favorite time of year was when deer season opened. Years ago he was a deer guide on Fort Hood. Richard loved all animals, especially horses. He was a member of Copperas Cove and Killeen Riding & Roping Club and would ride in the grand entry at the rodeos. His horse qualified for the National Finals in Bowie, TX in 1980.
Richard loved to fix things and was always working on projects. Three years ago he started making custom writing pens and knives. He also made deer antler lamps. After retirement of 38 years with KISD, he moved to Salado. In 2007 he started working as Facilities Supervisor for First Baptist Church in Salado and started driving a school bus for Salado ISD.
Richard was a workaholic. In fact, a couple of months ago he said, “I’m going to work till the day I die.” Well, he did that!
He is preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Pereira of Salado, sons, Robert J. Pereira of Salado and Randall J. Pereira and wife, Chasity, of Wichita Falls, TX and daughter, Patricia Elaine Trueblood of Belton, TX, sister, Aida Brinegar and her husband, Gary, of Belton, TX. Richard has eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren and two nieces.
Richard’s kindness, graciousness and fun-loving spirit drew in all who met him. He was intelligent with a great sense of humor. He leaves cherished memories for all.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation; 230 East Ohio Street, Suite 500; Chicago, IL 60611.