Dr. Richard W. Lovette, age 90, a resident of Colorado Springs for over 18 years, passed away on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at his home in Colorado Springs, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He had retired after serving for over 20 years as the Superintendent of Schools for the Richmond Unified School District in San Francisco, California.
Richard Ward Lovette was born on May 2, 1921 in Pueblo, Colorado to the late James Preston and Maude (Ward) Lovette. He was a 1939 graduate of Central High School in Pueblo, served in the United States Navy, was a Pearl Harbor Survivor, graduated and coached at LaJunta Junior College and soon moved to California to graduate from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Biochemical Medical Sciences. He went on to complete his masters and doctorate there as well.
In his youth, Dick was an exceptional athlete who loved boxing and wrestling. He went on to win the “Golden Glove Award” in boxing. He was a professor and coach at University of California at Berkeley and moved upward in this school district as counselor, dean, principal, deputy superintendent and superintendent… which was uncommon at that time within the same district.
Dr. Lovette was active in the political arena in the San Francisco Bay area. He also served nationally on the President’s Committee for the Handicapped and worked in Washington, DC diligently for the promotion of the America with Disabilities Act beginning with John F. Kennedy through George H. Bush. He was a member of Mira Vista Country Club in El Cerrito, California and loved to golf, garden, jog and travel. He was an avid baseball and boxing enthusiast. He was enthusiastic about collecting antiques and restored many of his collectables.
“Doc” served on the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus with St. Paul’s Parish in Colorado Springs. He was a Master Mason and received an honorable citation for being a 65 year member of South Pueblo Lodge No. 31, AF & AM. He was active in the El Cerrito Rotary Club in Berkeley, was a member of PAL and the Elks. He served on the Board of Directors for Standard Oil/Chevron Research. He also served on Board of Directors for Doctor’s Hospital in Pinole and Brookside Hospital in San Pablo. He was honored as citizen of the year for the San Francisco Bay area in the late ‘80s. He was also a speech writier for a number of California politicians. He married Virginia Elizabeth Alaniz on January 7, 1978 in El Sobrante, California.
This advocate for the handicapped reached thousands of lives and dedicated his life to the education of children and worked diligently at every level of his involvement in community service. He had many varied interests and never gave up on anything to do with advancing the rights of those who were handicapped. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a magnetic personality and always loved a new adventure. He had a rich life and had a gift of connecting to people. He was the foundational rock in his marriage to his beloved, Ginny.
He is survived by his wife; his 2 daughters: Kristine (husband, Ron) Weeks of Pinole, California and Michele (husband, David) Tashinian of Pinole; Ginny’s daughters: Holly Hersmann of Chico, California and Tess Porter of Benicia, California. They have 9 wonderful grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a host of friends in both California and Colorado. Richard was preceded in death by his brothers: Preston, Bill, Neal and an infant brother.
A memorial mass and celebration of his life will take place early next year. Cremation is planned and his cremains will be interred at Cheyenne Mountain, Carmel, California and San Francisco. Memorials in Dr. Lovette’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2315 Bott Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904.
He will be dearly missed.