Richard Hermling

Richard Hermling fought a valiant five year battle against dementia and is now at peace. Richard was born February 2, 1943 in Highland Park, MI and passed away March 20, 2020 in Friendswood, TX.  Richard is survived by his loving wife of fifty-six years, Linda Wegner Hermling, and his son Todd Richard Hermling & his wife Mary Beth and his daughter Dawn Hermling Sims & her husband Rodney Sims.  He also leaves behind his two sisters, Karen Hermling Thomas & her husband John Thomas and Vicki Hermling Leazier and her husband Page Leazier.  He is also survived by seven grandchildren whom he adored Noemi, Shantel, Jackie, Elena, Christina, Hunter, and Joey and two cherished great-grandchildren Bella and Beau. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law Diane Christensen and her husband Neil Christensen and Jan Wegner.  He also leaves behind his beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and an array of good friends, neighbors, golf buddies, and former NASA co-workers.  Richard was preceded in death by his loving parents, Alroy C. Hermling and Evelyn Sayen Hermling, his infant sister Joan, his nephew Terry Thomas, his cousin, Linda Hudak, his brother-in-law Sam Wegner, and his beloved aunts and uncles.

Richard was one of a kind.  He had an amazing work ethic even as a young child.  He got his first job at age ten chipping concrete off of bricks.  He thought he could get rich at a penny a brick.   At age eleven he got a job as a pinsetter in a bowling alley back before they had automated machines. I am sure this violated all child labor laws, lol.  While In high school, he worked two paper routes one morning and one evening all while taking college prep courses and playing varsity baseball.  When his dad was laid off and unable to pay for him to go to college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force so he could get their educational benefits.

While serving in the Air Force, he began attending college and he also worked at McDonald’s part-time to make ends meet.  While stationed at Ellsworth AFB he met his future wife Linda and as they say, the rest is history.  After his enlistment was up, they moved to Houston where he got a job working at NASA.  He worked long hours at NASA while attending college part-time and completing his engineering degree.  He lived on four to five hours of sleep a night for years.  Among his many accomplishments, he was most proud of the fact that in 1967 NASA built a prototype of the Apollo spacesuit for him which he tested in Chamber A, Building 32, at the Johnson Space Center.  That spacesuit is now in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. After retiring from NASA, Richard and Linda started and built their own small fledgling company, Southwest Seminars, into a successful nationwide company.

Richard enjoyed hunting in the Black Hills of South Dakota and he also loved to drive his camper to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to hunt with his family.  He liked yard work and was a rare individual who would cut his grass in Texas with a hand mower when it was 100 degrees out.  He especially enjoyed playing golf with his golf buddies and was one of the oldest members of the group and the only one who liked to walk eighteen holes of golf rain or shine.  Richard loved his wife of 56 years, his children, his grandkids, his family and friends.  Also, he loved his dogs and cats.  In short, he was a great guy and an inspiration to others.  We will miss him forever.


At this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, I want to reach out and let all our family and friends know how much we appreciate all their social media, texting, phone calls, cards, and emails communications.

Thanks to all of you for your emotional support and kindness during this sad and difficult time.  It has meant the world to us.

Linda Hermling & Family

The family would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this difficult and painful journey and loss.  Special thanks to:  Serenity Gardens and Melia (owner), Rusty (manager), and especially the staff who provided incredible, loving care for Richard.  Traditions Hospice and especially Kendall and Rudy for the wonderful care they provided Richard in the final stages of his disease. Cheryl, Gloria, and Nana who provided wonderful, private in-home care for Richard. The members of New Hope Church who rescued us during Hurricane Harvey and especially Sara Castenada and Patricia Bishop.  Griggs Video Services who compiled and put together an extraordinary tribute video.  Curtis Nickelson, a Serenity Gardens volunteer and professional musician.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, no services have been planned at this time. An online virtual remembrance will be available at a later date.


  1. Will miss my dear brother in- law Richard. Will cherish all the wonderful memories. Our last time together in the Black Hills, will always be a great memory . I know Sam ,was waiting for his hunting buddy, happy hunting. God Bless you and you will truly be missed by all. Love you , your Wegner Family

    Jan Wegner
    • Sad to hear of Dick’s passing. I worked with him many years ago in the space simulation chambers. He was so very proud of being a suit-subject in thermal vacuum tests. I was was very envious!

      Rob Kelso
  2. My Co-Worker, Friend and Golfing Buddy was a Man of extraordinary talent and work ethic who treated everyone he met like family and he wife Linda Approved. He was one of the Original four who started what we now call the Sunday Tee Golf Association. We are all sadden by his untimely passing but his mark on us shall remain forever. AS the organized of the weekly Golf Group I have collected their combined condolences:
    Memories of Dickey the Kid from Michigan
    Dicky was the definition of STGA. He played in 98 degree Houston Summers, pull cart in tow, and a warm Budweiser in the other hand. He carried hammers before hammers were popular. Persimmon woods were always a part of the arsenal and he could hit em. My memories are many and I am saddened by this day. I also know he is in a better place now!
    What I will remember most about Dickey is he always had a smile on his face. Walking down the fairway, beer in one hand, pull cart in the other. Rest in peace.
    Very Sad to hear that. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
    He was quite a character. The few times that I had the opportunity I always enjoyed playing with him. Pulling his cart and hitting em down the middle and kicking my a$$ doing it…lol
    Don and Yulia
    My prayers for Linda and family. I shall always remember Dickey for the number of times he told how the space suits were tested. RIP.
    Very Sad to hear that. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
    Sorry to hear that. I didn’t know Dickey but often sat in on conversation while the group talked about him and laughed about all the good times. I know he meant so much to you originals. Condolences to the family.
    Even though I didn’t know Mr. Hermling, reading Victor’s weekly prayers made me feel like I’ve known him for a while. I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
    I didn’t know him but from Victors weekly updates he hung in there and fought the dementia for as long as he could. God Bless may he Rest In Peace.
    To all those that knew Dickey, I’m very sorry for your loss. Though from the stories I’ve heard, it sounded like it is also my loss for having never met him. I also feel gratitude for him as a founding member of STGA, for without a doubt, golf would not be as much fun without the awesome camaraderie of STGA!
    I remember coming to work in EC4 straight out of school. Victor suggested I play golf with a good group of guys. I had my suspicions knowing Burt was part of the group. The few times I played in his group, Dickey always had something to teach me. He said nice drive and then talked a lot about enjoying my youth. He often told me to listen to Victor and Dac, not your Uncle; sage advice.
    Dickey had retired from NASA when I met him, but was quick to welcome me to the group. I think he enjoyed playing with me because I hadn’t heard his jokes before.
    Thoughts and prayers to his family and to Victor and Dac for losing a lifelong friend.

    Victor C. Murray
  3. To the most awesome and loving dad in the world. Thank you for the selfless love and dedication that you provided to mom, Dawn and I. You taught us all the importance of hard work and dedication to everything you attempt in life. As husband, father, grandpa, great grandpa, son, brother and friend you were our rock. We all have benefited from your love and incredible friendship. You will always be loved and remembered by so many who had the gift of having you in their life. I know that you have gone on to a wonderful place and it is there that you will wait until the rest of us make the journey to be with you in the presence of God. This is a promise given to us by Christ. I will always remember you dad for the rest of my time here on Earth. I love you dad and I will see you again.

    Todd Hermling
  4. Linda and family,
    It is with a heavy heart that I learned of Richard’s passing a few days ago. I know the struggle that you and Richard have endured these last years. I fondly look back on the over 50 years that our friendship has lasted and vividly remember both you and Richard as fellow students at Alvin Junior College in the 1969. How are paths have been intertwined since them. Richard was such a kind individual and I will always have great memories of him stopping to talk to Glenn on the street as he took the dog for a walk. Take care and know that I am here for you no matter what you may need. I pray that God’s perfect peace comfort you now and in the days to come.

    Gerri Martisek
  5. It was a pleasure knowing Richard hearing about his stories, cooking for him I enjoyed it very much. My sons Randy, Saul and isai enjoyed listening to him and the advice he have them. He was very proud of Saul joining the marines.

    He will always be in our hearts and we will enjoy the memories we had with him.

    From Gloria Arenas and my family

    Gloria Arenas
  6. Richard and I were close friends at NASA-JSC. I will miss him and his friendliness.

    Garland Bauch
  7. Worked with Richard for many years at JSC. He was a hard working great guy, always happy. During the last several years I would see him at Challenger Storage where he kept his camper in a stall that was directly accross from mine. It was great talking old times with him.
    Rest in peace my friend.
    Prayers for his family.

    Jim LeBlanc
  8. I’m so sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. He had a long battle as did you, his caregiver. Love to you and your family.

    Cheryl Conley ((Bink)
  9. Love and hugs to the most wonderful young man! Richard was always an inspiration to our family and the neighborhood grandfather…you are so very special! Praying for the entire family as you go through this process….we love you, The Ferguson’s

    The Ferguson family
  10. Dickey was one of the most memorable and compassionate friends I had in the 52 years since I first met him during the Apollo Program at NASA. We worked together at the Crew Systems Lab at MSC when he was transferred from the Space Environment Simulation Lab to CSL in 1968. His dedication to his job; his positive attitude; his unique sense of humor; and his distinctive character are just some of the qualities that made him highly respected and a pleasure to know and work with. I am fortunate, as are many others, to have had such a man as Richard Hermling for a friend.

    My wife Merry and I offer our deepest sympathy and prayers to Linda, Todd, and Dawn and share the grief of your loss.

    Tom Wilks
  11. I was Honored to be a Caregiver to Richard when he lived at Serenity Gardens for 1 1/2.An also my care for him would continue into his final days in his an Linda’s Home..I knew this Richard My Rocket Man he was funny ,an always smiling ,had a strong hand shake an a kind heart.He called me his Beautiful Friend an he was my Rocket Man.I remember one day he was telling in his way about NASA so I thought let’s fly to the Moon ..I’m a little nuts I got 2 pull ups an used them as Space Helmet an we sit on 2 bar stools an flew with our imagination. He just loved it.He would whistle thru the hallways for his Pepper his dog he loved so much an her him..An holler for his Lilly (Linda)his love of his life.Looking for her to come visit with ofcourse chocolates she would bring. There love story is truly amazing…I love you My Rocket Man🚀 til we meet infinity 🌚 an beyond⭐

    Nana Haynes
  12. I was honored to have been a Caregiver to Richard when he lived at Serenity Gardens for 1 1/2.An my Caring for him would continue in his an Linda’s home into his final days
    I know this Richard he was funny he was kind he had a strong hand shake an loved to be busy an wanting to help.He would in his own way he could tell me Stories of his NASA days
    So one day I told him Richard let’s go to the Moon..He ofcourse replied hell yeah.So an I am a little nuts ..went an got 2 pull ups an 2 chairs an used the pull ups as Space Helmets an we sit an in our imagination went to the Moon. It’s a great Picture an Moment I will cherish always.He called me his Beautiful Friend an I called him My Rocket Man. He would often follow me an say her she goes here an there whoosh..he would whistle for his Pepper his Dog he loved so much an her him..he would wait at the front door for his Lilly(linda)for her to come an ofcourse bring his Chocolates but first he would kiss her an say his Lilly I love you..there love story is amazing .I love you My Rocket Man 🚀Til we meet infinity 🌚an beyond ⭐

    Nana M.Haynes❤
  13. Linda and family,
    My heart breaks for you at this time. I know your journey has been long and hard and Richard is at peace now. He was such a delight to know over the many years that our friendship has lasted. One of my favorite is he and Glenn talking at the street when Richard would take Pepper for a walk. Stay close my friend and know that I am available for whatever you may need.

    Gerri Martisek
  14. I knew Richard through Linda, Dawn, and Todd. What a beautiful family with Richard one of the most loving and caring husbands and father I have ever seen. My heart is broken by his loss and my prayers are with all of you.

    Conny and Bruce Moran

  15. Richard was an excellent engineer at NASA who was extremely competent and accurate in his support of our NASA programs. His good humor and graciousness was greatly appreciated by all who worked and associated with him. He is greatly missed. Godspeed, our friend.

    Jordis and Bob Wren
  16. Richard was an excellent engineer at NASA who was extremely competent and accurate in his support of our NASA programs. His good humor and graciousness was greatly appreciated by all who worked and associated with him. He is greatly missed. Godspeed, my friend.

    Bob Wren
  17. Richard, Dickey for those of us who knew him for 53 years, was about a good a friend as you could ask for. Dickey and several of us came from similar backgrounds in the Air Force, Aviation Physiology, which dealt with training crew members on the effects of high altitudes. So basically we worked in altitude chambers and with the equipment that is required to sustain life where it is incredibly cold, there is not enough oxygen and not enough pressure to keep your blood from boiling in your body. We started working together in 1966 as rescue technicians in the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory, where they had the Appolo Command and Service module for testing and crew training. Dickey took the lead in testing out new Space Suits and modification, he spent many hours in the Space Suits and in the Space Environmental Simulation Chamber. Sometimes things would go wrong, as they often do when you are testing new things. Dickey would keep his head, get the test done, and complete the objective.

    We all were fresh out of the Air Force, our families had very young children, and we had a driving desire to graduate from college. I guess because we had so much in common and our lives were so similar, we bonded almost like family. As families we would do things together, my fondest memories were of going to the beach in Galveston, playing in the water with the kids and cooking hot dogs over a fire as the sun set. We would have chicken fights in the surf with the children on our shoulders, Todd and Dickey made a pretty good team.

    Every body has a golf story about Dickey, mine which most exemplified the Dickey we loved, was about the time we were going to play golf on Sunday in January. We had to be first on the course at day break which meant we would have to get up at 6:00 am. My radio alarm went off and the announcer said it is 28 degrees. I thought to myself, no one is going to play golf at this temperature so I just rolled over in my nice warm bed and went back to sleep. Shortly there after my phone rang, it was Dickey, he said the greens are frozen in Texas City so we’re going to Hillcrest!

    I feel very grateful for having the opportunity to have Dickey in my life, he made it a better world. In addition I couldn’t speak more to his wisdom than in noting his choice for a life partner, Linda, who lovingly took care of him for so long through trials, tribulations, and natural disasters.

    To Richard’s family, Peace be with you.

    Larry Matson
  18. I am so sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. I am praying for Linda’s strength during this difficult time. Linda Miller (formerly Linda Kohler).

    Linda Miller
  19. Losing my father has been so hard on all of us, especially my mother. She was at his side every single day and there with him in his final moments. My mother and father were amazing, loving parents who always went above and beyond for my brother and myself. My father especially pushed me and my brother to be our very best, through education, hard work, helping others and being respectful. My father always had such “forward thinking”/ he knew things would eventually happen (predicting many years before it would happen) and they did. When tropical Allison hit the Houston area, my father was the FIRST to get up and say “we have to help these flooded people” and set up chairs/tables at a local senior center and bought all the flooded victims food. Every Christmas my father gave me money to “hand out” to those that need it and it was done anonymously. He never expected anything in return. I have so much of my dad in me: love of yard work, keeping things extra tidy and a “strong personality” – it’s what has made me a better person. My brother, Todd also has so much of my father in him – extremely brilliant, very forward thinking and also “strong personality” – my brother and I are so ever thankful for all my father has done for us. His legacy will live on through his grandchildren. I love you dad/ we shall meet again one day and we can talk about all our plants and gardening. Until now, rest assured we will take care of mom and live our life in happiness knowing you are safe and sound talking it up with Uncle Sam.

    Dawn Hermling Sims
  20. Richard took the scenic route through life. He tried everything and was curious and open to new experiences. Bold and courageous describe him well. He didn’t leave this world with regrets over what he didn’t do. He lived well. He loved well.
    He was not a “good enough” person. He was a self-starter who strived for excellence and did more than what was expected. He was passionate about family, friends, work, and country.
    Richard brought out the best in us. Maybe he wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for us. He lived a life of honor, success, integrity, and purpose. Sleep well, dear brother. Safe journey.
    With love, The Christensens

    Neil and Diane Christensen
  21. To my Great Uncle Richard,

    I want everyone to know that you had a ripple affect on the family. You’re strength and honor has been a beacon to this family for generations. You were an incredible person from what I know. I wish I had known you better. Truly. I love you dearly and I will always picture you just like that picture, and remember your sweet voice. Tell Grandpa Al and Uncle Terry I miss them too! 💕🥰🤟 Rest peacefully

    -your Great Niece

    Aleecia Giorlando
  22. My sweet Uncle Richard you will be missed tremendously. Thank you for all the childhood memories. I bet my Pop was so happy to see you. Aunt Linda now has you as her guardian angel. Love Jess

    Jessica Crane

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