Richard Houston Gilreath

Born on August 21, 1964

Departed on February 19, 2020 and resided in Springfield, TN

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Richard Houston Gilreath, age 55 of Springfield TN, passed away February 19, 2020. He is survived by his wife Debra Gilreath; daughter Ashley (Kyle) Tarr; son, Ashtyn (Via) Schilling; grandchildren, Richard Harrison Tarr, Elizabeth Hailey Tarr, and Rebecca Kylie Tarr, and his beloved dogs Archie and Snoopy. A private family memorial will be planned at a later date.

23 Comments to Richard Houston Gilreath

  1. Ashley Tarr
    February 21, 2020 3:47 am

    Daddy, in life you taught me how to live a good life. In death you have taught me grace, love and strength. I miss you every second already.

  2. Jason Parker
    February 21, 2020 5:44 am

    Never a time on a ballfield you couldn’t make me laugh. A really good man.

  3. Tracy Todd
    February 21, 2020 7:56 am

    God created a wonderful person in Richard. When he came to HMA we immediately became pals. He was able to patients at ease with his kindness & wit. Debbie, you were his soulmate! He loved you so much & he was a proud of his children. I am praying for y’all.

  4. Tracy Todd
    February 21, 2020 7:57 am

    God created a wonderful person in Richard. When he came to HMA we immediately became pals. He was able to patients at ease with his kindness & wit. Debbie, you were his soulmate! He loved you so much & he was a proud of his children. I am praying for y’all.

  5. Jim and Ronette Jones
    February 21, 2020 9:21 am

    Richard was a good man who loved very well, was loved very well, and lived his life to the fullest. Hearing stories of his many escapades with his family and friends are a gift of beautiful memories that y’all can treasure forever. He made the lab at HMA a place to go visit, to be taken care of by Richard, not a place to just go and endure getting ‘stuck’. Debby, y’all both gave us a beautiful example of how to live life lovingly in all of life’s seasons. Richard will be (and has been) missed but he gave us the gift of being friends with a very special person.

  6. Kate Vaughn
    February 21, 2020 9:42 am

    Rich was my neighbor and friend. We bonded over Tennessee football and our sarcasm and wit. He would always give me a hard time even last week in the hospital. Even though we did give each other a hard time, I always knew he cared about me and loved me. They helped me through my divorce and I didn’t have a lot of support so it meant the world to me. I will miss him so much. Debbie will probably make me watch LSU now. I know he loved his children, those sweet grandchildren babies and of course his wife! He was a wonderful man and I will always remember him sitting on the front porch in his overalls and my kids spotting him and saying mista wichard.

  7. Anna Garlow
    February 21, 2020 12:25 pm

    You raised some amazing people and left a legacy for your grandchildren to follow! Your daughter is amazing! You helped create that life. Ashley will share your love and spirit everyday. She will pass on traditions and silly memories for a lifetime. Ashley will follow your example on your wisdom and strength. You will never be forgotten. I wish I could have met you more. I’m sure all your children and family will let your sprit live on through them! You will be missed, you are loved.

  8. Tom DiNella, MD
    February 21, 2020 1:52 pm

    I only got to work with Richard a couple of years at Heritage Medical Associates before he got sick and had to start treatment. Nonetheless, I always enjoyed trading barbs with him over Alabama vs UT, especially during football season. Patients all loved him and always requested him for their blood draws. We have missed him since he had to go on medical leave and ultimately retire. He was a valued employee and friend. As much as it pains me to say it, “Go Vols”!

  9. Deanie Hicks
    February 21, 2020 6:31 pm

    I worked with Richard at HMA. We talked about winning the lottery, the Vols, Alaska, and he loved to talk about his grandbabies. He was always fun to chat with. He wasn’t just a coworker. He was a friend. I miss his wit and his kindness. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  10. Ronda Gilreath Keefer
    February 21, 2020 7:02 pm

    Brother all the days of our life I have loved you. Even when you laughed at me when I ate my own friend (rooster) name Oscar. Canabalism. LOL. Dad never like him that’s why he became our supper . Cherishing our many unforgettable memories as we were growing up until now will forever be etched in my mind. God I will miss you so so much. I love you.

  11. Tina Wallace
    February 21, 2020 8:10 pm

    So sorry for the loss of Richard to all his family members and loved ones. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with the Gillreath family at this time. I didn’t personally know Richard but am very close to his sister Ronda and have been for many years and she loved Richard very much. Up until not long ago each time she came to visit me and my family she would light up being hopeful about her brothers treatment hoping and praying that was going to be his answer, so I know this is really hard as it didn’t turn out as expected. Ronda – we (me, mom, ht, and Noel ) love you very much. Keep staying strong and having faith. With deepest sympathy , Tina Wallace

  12. Renee Emberton
    February 21, 2020 9:00 pm

    Worked with Richard a long time at HMA. You always knew what he was thinking because he would tell you. I was honored to be his friend.

  13. Lana Canada
    February 21, 2020 9:10 pm

    Oh, Richard! In the 8 years I worked at HMA, never did I see him that I didn’t leave with a smile. He was such a wonderful, caring person.
    Prayers for the family for their loss.

  14. Keri Turbeville
    February 22, 2020 9:03 am

    I worked with Richard for many years. He took care of patients as if they were family. He took pride in his work. Prayers and condolences to the Gilreath family.
    Rest In peace, Richard, and Go VOLS!

  15. Cindy & Michael Tarr
    February 22, 2020 10:01 am

    To the Gilreath family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Even though I didn’t know Richard well I know he was a kind man & I always remember him smiling and loving on the grandkids. He was a great influence in his kids lives & I’m thankful he was such a great dad, father-in-law to our son, Kyle, & that you were such a huge part of our grandkids lives. Your memory & all the times you shared with them are forever etched in their lives. You will live forever in their hearts. My prayers are for each of you as you go through this time of grief.

  16. Linda Reagan Watson
    February 22, 2020 12:03 pm

    Many years ago, Richard did his clinical training at Fentress County Hospital in Jamestown TN. He was a good worker, and a pleasure to be around. My husband, Bill, and I always smile when we think of him. Rest In Peace, our friend, Linda and Bill Watson.

  17. Beverly Shafer
    February 22, 2020 2:24 pm

    God sends all types of people in our lives right at the right time. Such was the case for me meeting and working with Richard Gilreath for 7 years at Heritage Medical. He quickly became a dear friend and coworker for me. We always got to work early and had time to talk about our love for UT football, the Titans, bass fishing, deer hunting, and so many other things. Richard was one of the few there that could truly understand and keep up with me and all the different things I could switch to talk about in a conversation. LOL! When I was frustrated he could always calm me down at work, when I was sad going through the battle of cancer with my brother in law, my Daddy’s Alzheimer, and then telling me to follow my heart and the Lord in my decision to give up my job at Heritage Medical to care for my Daddy. We too were partners in crime when it came to many instances that would simply crack you up with laughter! We could take a serious moment and find something funny in it! We kept up with each other from time to time through Facebook over the years. I truly was blessed to have known Richard in my life. There aren’t many that you can say was truly a fighter to the bitter end, but this guy was. I send my condolences to Debby, Ashley, Pudge, son in law and daughter in law, those three adorable grandchildren that Richard and Debby adore. Ronda, Richard’s sister and other siblings and family. Debby’s Mom and family. I send my condolences to all the Heritage Medical family that grew to have loved and respected Richard as much as I did. Richard touched so many lives in his life and patients adored him! If he was not there, some of those patients would refuse to have their blood drawn!For real! All I know Lord, is that my buddy Richard has already found a fishing hole and has gone fishin! And every year when I hear “It is football time in Tennessee” I will think of you.

  18. Ethel Jane Fontenot
    February 22, 2020 7:47 pm

    Richard you were such a thoughtful son in law who made my daughter very happy. You were such a good daddy to the children. So many things about you to miss. I loved your dedication to your little family….. I will miss you so. Now you are in the presence of our mighty God. We will take good care of Debby for you.

  19. Lloyd and Tammy Mangrum
    February 22, 2020 11:16 pm

    Thank you Richard for near 40 years of friendship. From our party days in Cookeville, to our unforgettable baseball trip and of course Tammy’s role in helping introduce you to your lovely wife. You meant more to us than we will ever be able to express. You blessed more lives than you ever realized and you will be sorely missed. I hope this experience for the rest of us makes us realize how important it is to show our love to others every day because we never know how quickly they may be gone. I hope your family finds peace knowing you loved them dearly and set a good example as a man of character for others to follow. Your pain is gone. Your soul is pure. Rest in Peace, my friend.

  20. Vickie Teal
    February 23, 2020 2:32 pm

    I work for Quest Diagnostics and had the pleasure of talking to Richard through the years. Richard was a dedicated employee who did a phenomenal job. He was a joy to talk too and he made you feel like family. He loved his family and talked about his amazing grand kids. He was a fighter and never let his illness get him down. I can still hear his voice and it makes me smile. One day we will meet and continue our friendship. RIP my friend.

  21. Jeff Monday
    March 10, 2020 12:39 pm

    Well Richard, it’s been about 3 weeks now since you left here to go there, and as usual, I’m behind in writing anything to this site. Maybe you did well in nicknaming me Tuesday when we were in first grade, probably cause I was too slow to find myself on Monday…that, or since my Step-Grandmother, our first grade teacher, who you swore you thought she hated you, was just too big of a reminder of my last name, so to make it bearable you aptly made my name Tuesday. Nonetheless, it’s forever etched into my memory and my being and it was a privilege to carry that with me now and forever. I wish I could recall all the silly things you did in school for those 8 years we were together, if I could go back I’d write them all down, but we can’t. What I do remember is your friendship, and that is the most important part. We were two of the smallest kids in our class, but your wit and brilliant way of magnifying everyday mundane life, made you a giant and a larger than regular life many times. We could always count on you to do something to make us laugh and to make us see life and situations from a different perspective. I was fortunate enough to get to be on the same little league team as you, I was horrible, you were slightly better at the time, but we spent a lot of time in the dug out waiting for our inning to go to the field, and it was always lively, to say the least. I think we may have had more fun in there than on the field. I hated going to bat, like I said, I was horrible, and I prayed I would get walked or hit by the ball rather than strike out, but more often than not, I would strike out and take the walk of shame back to the dugout, but the pity didn’t last long, you would say or do something to get me out of the slump. I just figured you would always be around, but then your family up and pulled a “Kirby” and moved. We didn’t have social media, cell phones, ways of staying in touch, we had telephones, but it was going to be long distance, so we grew apart and our lives took us on different journey’s far from what either of us probably ever imagined. I had thought of you for years, where you were, if you had a family, what you might be doing for a living, the normal stuff, and when I signed up for Facebook and figured out how to use it, I did search a couple of times to see if I could find you. Then this past summer, I saw a post and I recognized that it was you and I friended you, it had been 40 years since we had any contact. I reached out, you responded and we were somewhat reconnected again. I hadn’t known what all you had been going through, couldn’t imagine, but it gave me comfort knowing that God had given you such a wonderful wife in Debby, that was with you every step of your journey through everything. I told my wife, I have to go see him. We didn’t tell you we were coming, I wanted to just surprise you, and we showed up at your house and we spent a couple of the best hours together that I could ever remember. You actually come to the door, and I was surprised because just a few days earlier, you had been getting around in a wheel chair. It’s as if God allowed it all to happen, and Ronda was there with you because precious Debby was out working and doing all she could to hold everything together and I can’t imagine how hard that was for her, but she knew you were in good hands with Ronda. We told old stories, you and Ronda cracked me up talking about life in Clarkrange where we grew up the first 15 years of our lives, honestly, I didn’t want to leave, it was so good to see and hear from you again, but I knew you would be getting worn out and exhausted. We wanted to come back, but with appointments, your schedule, my schedule, it just didn’t work out, but those couple of hours will be cherished in my heart until I see you again, there, where you are. I wish so much we could have known each other as adults and had time to continue our friendship here, but God had different plans. i’m thankful that He gave us that opportunity, that afternoon and the times on Facebook and texting, I wish we had more time, but so does everyone else. I’ll miss you Richard, and with my age, it probably won’t be 40 more years before I see you on the other side, but when I do, you will greet me, as Tuesday, I’m sure of it, as well as I know today, the day I am writing this is Tuesday. I pray for your wife and family, they are hurting, but they are trying so hard, I know they are, but all your friends are praying for them. I love you old friend, we’ll meet again.

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