Rick Crady (’75)

RICK CRADY Rick Crady, 71, of Waxahachie entered into God’s kingdom on February 26, 2023, surrounded by friends and family. He was born on January 14, 1952, at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas. Rick, a loving father and grandfather, is survived by his sons, James and Jeremy; their wives, Kristen and Brynn; grandchildren, Roland, Morgan, Presley, Ayla and Merle; significant other, Jennifer; former wife and mother of children, Debbie. At the age of 12, Rick accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. This was one of two life altering relationships he would have in a matter of years that would forever change, influence and shape the trajectory of his life. In middle school he would meet his first band director, Darrell Chambers. Mr. Chambers would inspire Rick to become a band director and teacher. His relationship with Jesus would inspire him to live with a deep personal commitment to his faith and as an example of Christ’s love to others. Upon graduation from W. W. Samuel High School, Rick attended Eastfield College and then quickly thereafter the University of Houston in pursuit of becoming a band director. Ultimately, Rick would go on to get his master’s degree in education at the University of North Texas. His teaching career started at Seagoville High School in 1975 and ended 30 years later in 2005 at Dan D. Rodgers Elementary. Between those two jobs, Rick spent the vast majority of his career as a middle school band director at Robert T. Hill Middle School inspiring other middle school kids to grow up and have a career in music the very same way that he was inspired. Rick always said that he loved teaching middle school kids because it felt like the last age that you could really make an impact before they went to high school, where kids were harder to reach. He lived this out in practice and left a meaningful impression on an unknown number of his students. Even after he retired, Rick returned to teaching for a few years as the band director for St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie and Ovilla Christian School in Red Oak, Texas. During his time in college and on into his professional career, Rick would tend to his spiritual side by serving on staff at multiple churches as a youth minister in college and later as a music director. This was a very special time in Rick’s life where many special friendships were made and maintained for the rest of his life. Most recently, Rick attended Waxahachie Bible Church as a faithful member. Rick was a friend to almost everyone he met and would work hard and fast to find common ground to connect with them. He would always remember names and work to pronounce them correctly so that he could make someone feel special the next time they met. His smile was always warm and genuine. His hugs were always heartfelt and will be missed by many. There are many things that Rick was called during his time on earth; son, father, grandad, friend, confidant, hero, etc. Some of those were probably his favorite things to be while he was here, but there is one name that was actually who he was and showed up in all those other roles without him ever trying: teacher. Rick was a teacher to students of course, but he was a teacher to his family and friends by displaying the selfless love and acceptance that he received all those years ago when he was 12, when he was unconditionally accepted and forgiven. Rick has left this earth and a hole in our lives, but he has also left a piece of knowledge and/or kindness forever engrained in all who knew him. The family wants to say thank you to Pathway Hospice and Angel Wings Funeral Home for the incredible service and care received. Thank you to everyone who visited, prayed and cared during these past few months.

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