Philanthropist, business leader, and family man Dub Riter died Tuesday night at the age of 79. Riter's vision and leadership has touched and shaped East Texans for the last 5 decades.
On Wednesday night, Dub Riter's son, Whit, talked about his father's commitment to God, family, and the community. "Our family just surrounded him," said Whit. "We were around his bed. We were holding his hand. We were praying with him. We were reading scripture."
Dub Riter had battled a lung disease for several years. Whit says he understands how his father approached life, by seeing how he faced death. "He has fought this disease, and not one time did he complain. And, as I stayed in the hospital with him at night, I'd ask him about that and he said, God is in total control."
I asked Whit what he knew about his father that the rest of East Texas might not know. He replied, "His Christian walk. It was very quiet. He didn't talk a lot about it. But, as I watched him, I saw him model the Christian life, as opposed to talk a lot about it."
But, Dub Riter's quiet walk apparently made a lot of noise. Others saw What whit saw in his dad, and now they want to share in his family's grief. "There are people that come up to me I don't even know that said 'I knew your dad. And boy, he has just had a tremendous impact.' And, I have to say, 'Well, tell me how you knew him. What happened.' And, it seems like I hear a story over and over every time I talk to somebody new."
But, every story has the same ending. Dub Riter will be missed.