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Richard  Hailey

Obituary for Richard Hailey

February 17, 1949 - November 1, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 69

... a very creative person and talented musician...


Richard Aubrey Hailey, age 69, passed away peacefully on November 1, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife Helen by his side. He was born on February 17, 1949 in Beaumont, Texas, to Royce and Johnnie Fay Hailey. The family, which included his sisters Suzanne and Cynthia and brother Jay, moved to Dallas in 1955, where Richard (who is called Dick by his family) attended public schools and graduated from Bryan Adams High School.

During the Summer before his senior year in high school, Richard traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa with a church youth group to work with the missionaries in that country, which included door-to-door neighborhood visits to witness their Christian faith. That was a life-changing experience, because one of his visits was to the home of 16-year old Helen Swanepoel. When he returned to his home a few weeks later, it was clear to the family that Richard had met a very special person. After a 5-year long-distance relationship with Helen during high school and college, Richard received a degree in business administration from Abilene Christian University in 1971. Shortly thereafter, he renewed his courtship of Helen in South Africa and they were married on November 19, 1971. Their daughter Lara was born in 1976. She and her husband Josh Barnes have two beautiful children, Jayden, age 8, and Aubrey, age 6, who were a special delight to their Grandpa.

Richard and Helen lived and worked in South Africa until 1973, when they moved to Beaumont, Texas, where Richard started his 22-year career in the restaurant business as district manager of the Pig Stand drive-in restaurants in that city. The Pig Stands Company opened the nation's first drive-in restaurant in 1921 in Ft. Worth, and the idea of carhops delivering food to people in their cars became a national phenomenon. Richard's father, Royce Hailey, started working as a carhop during the Great Depression when he was 13 years old, and eventually became the owner of the company. After his father's retirement in 1986, Richard became the owner and President of the company, with restaurants in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Beaumont. The company continued in business until 2006, and its long, colorful history (which Richard did much to preserve and retell) has been the subject of several books, television programs and magazine articles, including Texas Monthly. []

Richard was a very creative person and talented musician, who was always looking for ways to express that creativity and use his talent to entertain people and bring a smile to their faces. Fifteen years ago, he formed a country-western band, "Richard Hailey & the Neon Stars", that became well-known in San Antonio, and he produced a CD that included a song he co-wrote with a member of his band. During the last decade of his life, Richard found a unique way to use his talent by entertaining residents at assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The money he earned doing that was appreciated, but the joy he brought to lonely people, was a much greater reward. Shortly before his death, Richard became a resident at one of the places where he had entertained. The activities director recognized him and took him to the piano, and he played his last song.

Richard is survived by his wife Helen; daughter Lara Barnes; son-in-law Josh Barnes; grandson Jayden Barnes; granddaughter Aubrey Barnes; sister Suzanne Reed; brother Jay Hailey; sister Cynthia Greenhaw; and many nephews, nieces and cousins. Richard was preceded in death by his parents Royce and Johnnie Fay Hailey.

There will be a memorial service celebrating Richard's life on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Northside Church of Christ, 19818 Highway 281 North, San Antonio, Texas 78258. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Richard's name to Northside Church of Christ.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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