March 24, 1948 - May 24, 2016
Houston, Texas | Age 68
Richard John Ling, born on March 24, 1948, in Ipswich, England, died tragically in Caucagua, Venezuela, on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Richard was preceded in death by his son, Benjamin Ling. Richard is survived by his wife, Margaret; their children, Matthew Ling and Christina Ling McAllister and their spouses Traci Burkhalter Ling and Douglas McAllister; grandchildren Henry Ling, Penelope Ling, Eric Ling, Will McAllister, and Jamie McAllister; and by his sister Judith Charlton, her spouse Peter Charlton and their children Christopher Charlton and Alexandra Charlton. He will be missed by many more friends and family members, including Paula Burkhalter.
Richard read history at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was awarded an exhibition for first-class performance in examinations. He graduated in 1969 and married Margaret Christina Tims the same year before taking up a Ford Foundation Fellowship for PhD studies in economic history at the University of California at Berkeley. Grateful for the generosity of the fellowship, Richard bought only Ford vehicles for the rest of his life. After a year of research in Valencia, Spain, Richard completed his PhD and moved with his family to London, England in 1975. He worked as a sales representative at Kalamazoo and IBM, first in London and then in Houston, Texas, before taking over Overnight Solutions, a Houston-based international logistics company serving the South American oil industry.
Richard traveled regularly to Venezuela to Overnight Solutions' sister office in Caracas, and was concluding his latest round of client visits in Venezuela at the time of his death. He loved his work and cared deeply about his staff and their welfare. His family is very grateful to both the Houston and Caracas Overnight Solutions teams for their untiring support in the wake of his death.
Richard was a loving husband and father and adored his five grandchildren. He enjoyed life in all its richness and diversity, finding humor in even the direst of situations and delighting in recounting the events as lively stories afterwards. He was a loyal season ticket-holder to Opera in the Heights, accompanied regularly by his daughter-in-law Traci. He participated in the Houston Marathon for many years and was proud of his ultimately unsuccessful efforts to export Texas peaches to fine grocery stores in England. He was also known for his patient coaxing – and sharing – of honey from his generations of backyard bee colonies, undeterred by setbacks frequently delivered by hurricanes and human interference. He loved gardens and old architecture and was a regular and vocal presence at meetings of the Houston Heights Association. Most of all, he relished hours spent in the company of family, friends, and colleagues, just listening, laughing, and swapping tales of the weird and wonderful.
A Mass of Christian Burial honoring Richard's life will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 24, 2016, at Annunciation Catholic Church, 1618 Texas Avenue in Houston.
Donations may be made in Richard's memory to the Benjamin Ling Fellowship, c/o the Development Office, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, 04901, or to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation, 2726 Bissonnet Street, Suite 240-314, Houston, Texas, 77005, or at www.sarcomacancer.org.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
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