Richard was born April 25, 1972, in San Bernardino, Calif., to Robert and Carol (Rowe) Gatlin. He lived in Rialto, Calif., with his family where he loved to play outdoors and climb the orange trees with his sisters. In 1980, his family moved to Blair where he attended Blair Schools until 1987, then he transferred to Navajo High School where he graduated. Richard played basketball in school and baseball from little league to high school. It was a sport he truly loved.
Upon graduation, Richard operated a greyhound kennel for four years. Later jobs included working for Burlington-Northern Railroad as a conductor and Quartz Mountain Lodge in security. He was currently enrolled at Western Oklahoma State College, where he embraced a new love for learning. Most of the staff and students knew him as an inspiring, caring, and funny individual.
Richard loved riding motorcycles, camping, fishing, hunting, music and singing, but above all, he loved spending time with his family, whom he loved deeply and were his pride and joy. He was especially fond of his nephews, great-nephews, and his only niece. Richard loved to get into mischief with them all, in his "Peter Pan" fashion, and they loved every minute of it.
He spent a great deal of time with his dad talking, fishing, doing yard work, and watching baseball and football games. He usually rooted for the underdog, but never when it came to his beloved Sooners. Richard spent a lot of time in the kitchen with his mom, who enjoyed his tasty creations. Richard will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Willis and Mary Gatlin, and maternal grandparents, Edward and Thelma Rowe.
Richard is survived by his parents, Bob and Carol Gatlin; sisters, Mary (Gatlin Bryce, Anne (Gatlin) Koukal, and Sarah (Gatlin) Dillahunty; brothers-in-law, Bobby Bryce, Randy Koukal, and David Dillahunty; nephews, Eric Koukal, Kevin Koukal, Chris Dillahunty, and Dylan Bryce; niece, Jordan Gatlin; great-nephews, Kyler Proffitt and Braxton Koukal; and a multitude of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to Western Oklahoma State College in Altus in Richard's memory.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday at Lowell-Tims Chapel with the Rev. Randy Mitchell officiating.
On line tributes may be made to the family at www.Lowell-Tims.com