I welcome this opportunity to share some of my thoughts about my long-time friend and HAR’s legal counsel for the past twenty-five years, Dick Hargis, who passed away on Saturday, September 7, 2013.
The year was 1988, and I had recently accepted the position as HAR’s chief executive officer, a decision that required my resignation from the HAR legal counsel position that I had held up to that time. Looking back, I recall that finding a new legal counsel was really an easy task. I had met Dick a few years before when his firm served as legal counsel for the Texas Association of REALTORS®. During those years, we worked together on the issues of the day that ranged from standard contracts to legislative issues. I remember having taken an immediate liking to Dick for his bigger than life personality. This feeling soon grew to a long-standing respect for his integrity and legal talents.
There are really only a handful of people in your life who make a real, lasting impact, and Dick was one of those people for me.
During the years, Dick represented HAR in every day legal tasks as well as complex lawsuits. One of these lawsuits went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Dick’s spirit, passion and legal talents winning each step of the way. For Dick, losing was never an option.
Dick was one of those sterling counsels who never failed to tell his clients what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear.
During his career, Dick became the go-to guy for all things real estate legal for much of the state of Texas. We could not have had a better attorney on our side.
As I glanced across the room at his memorial service it occurred to me that this was perhaps his ultimate tribute. There, in the spirit of respect and admiration, was represented the finest members of the Houston real estate community. Past, current and future leaders of HAR all stood together in respect of Dick’s long years of service. The principals of such notable firms and clients as Martha Turner Properties, John Daugherty, REALTORS®, Heritage Texas Properties, Greenwood King Properties and many more were all there to show their respects. Few events gather all of these industry titans in one room. But they were there for Dick.
Dick touched all of us here at HAR in many ways. He was an avid golfer who shared his game. He was stylish to a fault, and I often accused Dick of being a Ralph Lauren model. He was a die-hard Longhorn fan who always knew the final score. His personality was infectious, and it just made you want to be around him.
I will remember Dick as a colleague but even more as a true friend. I know he will be missed by everyone who knew him. We often dream of being individuals of influence, but Dick Hargis took it one step beyond. He became a man of positive impact who made a difference and for that we shall forever be thankful.