Richard Parker Pelton, Sr., 78, of Abilene, Texas, left his earthly home on Saturday, February 26, 2022.
Funeral services will be held at 3pm, Friday, March 11, 2022 at Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 7457 West Lake Road, Abilene, TX 79601. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX.
Richard Parker Pelton was born in Albany, New York, but spent most of his years in Texas. He is known lovingly by family and friends as Dick Pelton and his grandchildren as “Boompa.”
Left to honor his memory are his wife of 16 years, Vickie Pelton; daughters: Ryane Tabor and son-in-law Terry Tabor of Grapevine, TX; Kristy Ziontz and son-in-law Roger Ziontz of NJ; and Paige Anderson of NJ; son: Richard Parker Pelton, Jr. of Abilene, TX; step-son: Clay Kelley of Abilene, TX; grandchildren: Stephen Austin of San Marcos; TX, Riley Austin of Grapevine, TX; and sister: Pamela Pelton of Garland, TX.
After graduating from high school, Dick had been accepted into Dartmouth College but decided to begin his life with an adventure so he joined the Air Force and was sent to Africa on his first deployment. He was trained as a Med Service Specialist. During his service he received the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and Longevity Service Medal but after 4 years he returned to New Hampshire and graduated from Dartmouth and became licensed as a Registered Nurse. He then joined the Army, trained and became licensed as an Anesthetist and this was his service while in Vietnam. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze stars as well as the Army Commendation Medal. He returned to the US to continue his military service, spending some years in the Army Reserves and eventually retiring as Lieutenant Colonel earning the Meritorious Service Medal as Officer-in-Charge of Current Intelligence, 244th Psychological Operations Company for a total of 22 years in service to his country. After living in El Paso, Breckenridge and Houston he retired, moved to Red River, New Mexico and spent ten years teaching ski school. Deciding he wanted to be closer to his family he moved to Abilene and worked as an Anesthetist at Hendrick Hospital for about 15 years.
Dick was an avid outdoorsman and loved the mountains. He participated in several hiking expeditions including Mount Everest in the Himalaya Mountains and Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains. He taught his kids and grandkids how to pack the perfect hiking backpack, we were prepared for anything! He loved exploring the world by any means: jeep, motorcycle, his airplane and hiking. More than once he toured Europe with friends on his favorite motorbike. His passion was to hunt and fish and spent many hunting seasons tucked in the woods with his best friend Slim Herman, watching and waiting for the perfect shot. But one of his favorite hangouts was the front porch of his little mountain home in New Mexico, watching the deer and the bears and drinking coffee with the love of his life, Vickie.
Dick was a passionate storyteller. His trips and adventures around the world fueled this endless supply of short stories and his energy was fun and captivating. He should have written a book. We will miss his bigger than life voice, personality and laugh...his love for life.
Until we meet again….we love you now and forevermore.
Friends and Family Visitation Friday, March 11th 5:00-6:00 pm at 51 Augusta Drive.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.