Richard Monroe Koehn, Jr., of Van Horn and Corpus Christi, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 15, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife, Lacey, his mother, and his sisters. Richard was born on September 25, 1970, in Van Horn, Texas, and was the first of three children to Kaye and Richard Koehn. Alongside his father, he learned from an early age about ranch life on the family’s farm and ranch. As a young boy, he had a natural curiosity about “all things mechanical.” These childhood lessons provided him with a work ethic that stayed with him the rest of his life.
After graduating from Van Horn High School in 1989, Richard pursued his love for agriculture at Texas A&M University in College Station. He proudly embodied the traditions and values of the University, earning a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1993. As a student, he worked at Transportation Services, providing maintenance for the bus fleet that transported fellow Aggies to and from campus. While attending school, Richard also met the love of his life, Lacey Fellows, and they were married on January 13, 1996, in Bandera. The young couple returned to west Texas, where Richard started JR Cattle Company and JR Farming. In addition to ranching and farming, Richard and Lacey built, managed, and eventually sold the Plateau Truck & Auto Center on I-10, east of Van Horn. The timing of this business venture was a blessing in helping the family ranches survive a long and severe drought in the early 2000s.
Richard pursued a love of flying by earning his pilot’s license and owning and piloting two airplanes over his 25 years of flying. His piloting allowed Lacey and Richard to enjoy time on their boat, “Koehn Kondo,” in Newport Beach, CA for several years, before relocating to Corpus Christi. Both places allowed Richard to pursue another passion that was not available in the desert mountains, his love for fishing.
Richard’s pilot’s license and mechanical knowledge led to a career with Defense Support Services in Alpine, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and McAllen where he worked his way from Lead Mechanic to Branch Manager. In these roles, Richard supervised the maintenance of aircraft used to protect our Nation’s border.
After his father passed away in 2014, Richard and Lacey returned to Van Horn to manage Koehn Ranches’ ranching and farming operations in Culberson and Erath Counties. During this time, he implemented a new irrigation system to bring the family pecan orchard to maturity, followed by many abundant pecan harvests.
Richard loved to share his knowledge and interest with others. He introduced his nieces and nephews to many of his passions, and they were always excited to see what adventure Uncle Richard had in store for them next! He was a loyal friend to many. He could fix anything. He was a competitive domino player, enjoyed music and cooking, and was an avid gardener. Richard’s humor, zest for life, and gift for storytelling will be fondly remembered.
Richard is preceded in death by his father, Richard Monroe Koehn, Sr. He is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Lacey; mother, Kaye Koehn; sister, Kellye Gregory and husband, David, and nieces, Macy and Lillian; sister, Allison Ledet and husband, Aaron, and nephews and niece, Joseph, John, and Molly; grandmother, Wilda Sommer; great aunt, Wanda Ordile; father and mother-in-law, Kim and Charlie Fellows; brother and sister-in-law, Carrie and Cody Tripp and niece Madison Tripp; uncle Morris Koehn; cousin Bode Koehn; uncle and aunt Debbie and Craig Sommer, aunts-in-law JoAnn Welborn, Jean Fellows, and Candy Sapp; and numerous cousins and friends.
Memorial services to celebrate Richard’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 23rd at First United Methodist Church in Van Horn where Richard was baptized and confirmed. There will be a reception at The El Capitan Hotel following the service. Richard will be laid to rest in a private ceremony on the family ranch in Van Horn.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please consider honoring Richard’s memory with a contribution to The Wounded Warrior Project or the Culberson County 4-H Club.
Services have been entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home in Van Horn, Texas.