Born Sept 18, 1945 in Shreveport, LA the third of four brothers, Frederick R. McCord was a dutiful son, loyal brother, loving husband, encouraging father, and trusted friend. He lived life with passion, energy, optimism, and love for his fellow man. As they grew older and until he was unable due to illness, Rick called his parents in Shreveport every day to check on them.
His mother Mary McCord just turned 104! Rick had a diligent respect for his elders, especially his father, and genuinely appreciated their wisdom and experience. If he came across a WWII glider pilot or other old war hero, it was a "stop the presses" moment, sit down and listen to their tale. He was proud of his Army service and a patriot.
Raised in countryside outside of Shreveport on Cross Lake, Rick's parents cultivated in him and his brothers lifelong passions for hunting and fishing and almost any activity in or on the water. Two Bear Lodge, his parent's island, and Sunshine Island, his own home for the last 30 years, in Nestor Falls, Ontario became the center of gravity for his family. No TV, long days of fishing, swimming, portaging, playing games when it rained, home church on Sundays, late steak dinners, telling stories of bear sightings and musky strikes, all worked together over many summers to create a uniquely durable bond and fondness amongst the family members.
Always the entrepreneur and lover of adventure, Rick joined his buddies in chartering a bus from Oklahoma University to Aspen, selling the majority of seats to sorority girls and getting his own way covered. On that ride, Rick spied Jane Ingle, and immediately sat next to her. They wound up visiting for hours, sharing their values, and getting to know one another. They quickly established a bond that would last 47 years, and become an example for those that witnessed their marriage. On their 40th anniversary, they tenderly renewed their vows on a family trip in Costa Rica. Those who benefitted most from bearing witness to this relationship were their three children.
After serving in Korea, living a year in Australia, they moved to Texas. Shortly after settling in Houston, Rick started McCord Development in 1973, and more importantly to him, he and with Jane started their family, Meredith, Ryan, and Anne. He was a visionary often seeing opportunities where others did not. To achieve his vision, he was a tenacious deal-maker. He pushed everyone to be their best and was never shy in encouraging those around him to dig deeper, think more creatively, and make great things happen.
During the real estate downturn in the 1980s and on the brink of financial ruin, Rick drew upon his faith. Many times he quietly shared the stories of stopping at St. John the Divine's Church to pray to God for help. It was during this same challenging time that Rick joined ranks with a few dozen courageous and faithful men and women to help found Episcopal High School. He was a passionate believer in a well-rounded secondary education and served many years on the boards of both Episcopal High School and The Lawrenceville School ('63). From his children, he never demanded straight As, but always demanded 100% effort. He encouraged his children, and many a prospective student, to strive for their full potential and to believe that any goal could be achieved so long as they worked hard.
He raised his children, and then his seven grandchildren, with an especially playful energy and engaged them at eyelevel. For the children, Rick sought out adventures in the woods on the farm in Navasota, in the tropical waters of Belize, and at the duck camp in Louisiana. His children's friends were always welcome to join the escape from the city to learn to ride horses, fish, shoot a gun, throw a cast net, build lean-to's, whittle hot-dog sticks, or simply test foul weather gear in a storm. Any excuse to get out into the rain or have a fire in the fireplace was a good one. Rick had a special knack of making memories for the children following him. At parties and social functions he would passionately recall a recent event or conversation and was not afraid to entertain with the meaningless cork or napkin trick.
Friends from the River Oaks Breakfast Club, Houston Country Club and Garwood will remember him lighting up the room with abundant cheer and enthusiasm for whatever was happening in the moment. He'd passionately ask the guides about where the ducks were flying or the how the fish were biting. He'd dance the polka in the living room or turn up his favorite acts from the 50's and do the twist. Rick seemed to have boundless energy. He was that rare breed that would land on a flight from Europe and go straight out and play 18 holes of golf.
By the grace of the good Lord, Rick's knowledge of and faith in the saving grace of Jesus grew throughout his life to the end. He, Jane, and daughter Meredith (sometimes joined by Ryan and Anne and their spouses) ministered to orphans in Russia and Africa annually for the better part of the last twenty years. He was a father figure to those without one. He told them about Jesus. He always took them to eat and loved to abundantly feed them.
He'd play games with them and treat the orphans with the dignity and respect deserved by fellow human beings made in God's own image. As some of the orphans got older he helped them get jobs. For nearly 15 years Rick, Jane, and their family have been worshipping and growing in their faith together at Christ the King Presbyterian Church. Together they taught the young children, helped grow the church, and built community. Rick was quick to credit the success associated with any aspect of his life to God's grace whether it be in the conference room at the office or a dinner party with friends. He knew that he didn't deserve or earn his salvation in heaven, but despite his faults he knew he had it and lived like a redeemed man free from fear and free to care for those around him.
Rick was a lover of people and lover of rejoicing. He's now in Heaven which will suit him perfectly. Amen. He died fifteen months after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of kidney cancer. He fought bravely, without complaint, and encouraged many around him. The family would like to thank Dr. Amato, Dr. Blanco, Dr. Jani, and Dr. McCarthy of Memorial Herman Hospital for their wise and thoughtful treatment. The family would especially like to thank the nurses that brightened many days for Rick: Dasphene, Simon, Yolanda, Betty, Esdna, and Meggin. They were a rich blessing to Rick and to the family.
Rick is survived by his mother Mary Sherman Morris McCord; his wife, Jane McCord; his children Meredith McCord, Ryan McCord and wife Devin, Anne (McCord) Goss and husband Cary; his brothers Charles T. McCord III and wife Suzanne; Michael S. McCord and wife Gill; Stephen L. McCord wife Shawney; his seven grandchildren, Malin, Micah, Mills, Thatcher, Cameron, Piper and Stella; and over a dozen nieces and nephews, their spouses, and many children. The Memorial Service was held at 10:00AM on Monday October 26th at Christ the King Presbyterian Church 1201 Silber Rd, Houston, TX 77055. Rick loved life, loved people and loved festive colors. We plan to honor his memory by wearing bright colors to his service. Please feel free to do the same to help celebrate his amazing life.
If you would like to make a donation in honor of Rick, he would have appreciated contributions to continue funding Dr. Robert J. Amato's cancer research (http://www.memorialhermann.org/rcc/), in support of Christ the King Presbyterian Church (http://www.christtheking.com/Give), or in support Dr. Paul E. Schulz's dementia and memory disorders research (https://www.memorialhermann.org/donate/).