In memory of Dick Hibbert (1933-2010), I am posting selections from his art. He painted in oil, was an avid photographer, did watercolors, and sketched in pencil, ink, and charcoal.   You can send me email by addressing it to my first name at mydruthers.com. --Chris

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eulogy



I noticed recently that the only obituary I linked to was the Washington Post's remembrance. Here's a re-write of the eulogy I gave at my father's services, mixing in some details from the obituary notice we ran in the Post.
Richard Tudor Hibbert was an architect, engineer, builder, artist and teacher. His first degree (from Oregon States) was in Design, but he'd been designing buildings (that got built) since he was in high school, so he returned to school and earned an Architecture degree from the University of Oregon. He got his architecture license in California and practiced there for a short while. He learned the technique for producing the tilt-up decorative stone walls that became something of a trademark during this period. His first solo project was a church in Los Altos, about a quarter mile from where I live now. The church is very distinctive, having an octagonal floor plan.
He served two tours of duty for the Navy, the first as an officer on the USS Toledo before he got his architecture license, and afterward he moved his family to Japan where he was head of family housing on the Yokosuka Naval Base. We lived there for six years, and traveled extensively. We visited all the major sites and many out of the way locations. We were often in places where Americans were a serious novelty, so we got used to being the center of attention. My family is all dark haired; when we occasionally traveled with light haired friends, we saw that they attracted even more attention. Most of our other friends from the Navy base didn't make any attempt to see the country--it seemed a real waste to me even then.
After Japan, we moved to northern Virginia, where my dad was Chief Architect for Family Housing for the Navy. In this capacity he visited every active Navy base and installation anywhere in the world, so he did a lot of flying. He must have loved traveled, since he also visited many places on his vacations. He took vacations to Australia, China, and South America with my mom, and visited Russia and Italy with tour groups.
His architecture also included a private practice--he designed several new homes, as well as numerous additions and remodels to houses throughout the country. He also designed and (personally) built two homes for the family in Fairfax County Virginia. The first, Fairfax County's first active solar home, was completed in 1980. The second, an earth covered passive solar home was completed in 1985. His passion in architecture was to ensure that the building not only met the client's space requirements, but worked with the site and added to the visual value of the location.
At home, he was in constant motion. He built furniture, houses, and cabinetry. He built a HeathKit TV. He could do plumbing, electrical, drywall, whatever. Until the last few years, I seldom remember him resting. He'd watch an hour or two of TV in the evening, but the rest of the time, he was always designing or building something.
As an artist, he was a painter, sculptor, and photographer. He sketched with pencil, ink, watercolors, pastels, and charcoal. His furniture included a set of chairs, a stone topped coffee table, and a pair of cabinets for a stereo and slide projector. He carved a mobile of a fish, and when we lived in San Jose, he built a welded fountain in our yard. Even the play structure he built for us was as beautiful as it was functional.
And of course, he shared what he knew. He started a photography club when we lived in Japan. He taught classes in photography and sketching in Virginia.
I think each of his children has tried to emulate him in some way. I often call myself a Software Engineer or a Software Architect. I've taken a few pictures that turned out well, and even a few that earned compliments from my Dad.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons

Labels

Japan (152) Photo (152) sketch (126) Places (123) buildings (87) StillLife (68) Landscape (52) Trees (48) People (47) Painting (38) Roofs (38) EarlyWorks (36) abstract (31) Slide (28) flowers (27) Temple (25) bridge (21) animals (19) churches (17) watercolor (16) Russia (15) Rice (12) Charcoal (10) Italy (10) pointillist (9) Cartoon (8) PotteryFactory (8) Shoes (6) Venice (6) Enlargement (5) Sculpture (5) fishing (5) SpiderWeb (4) Meta (3) SouthAmerica (3) Commentary (2) obituary (2) scan (2)