Richard Weil, 73, died on Sept. 29, 2021 from complications related to treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. Born on Nov. 15, 1947 in Denver, Colorado to Bettye Lou and William Weil, his lifetime of irreverent adventure began in his teenage years when he ran away (twice), stole his father’s car (briefly), and threw a raucous party while his parents were out of town, which ultimately got shut down by the police.
After college and heeding the call of the open road as a truck driver for a few years, he enrolled in graduate school at Marquette University to study English literature. Amid the Chaucer and Shakespeare, a quietly elegant classmate from Mumbai, India, caught his attention. For reasons that still occasionally mystify their relatives and friends, Zarine and Richard began dating and eventually married. They were together for 37 years.
He supported his family through a small logistics business, RW Freight. The work was sometimes mundane and required collaboration with difficult individuals. He had a basement office, and the family often heard choice words emanating from below (always in unique and inventive combinations). Nonetheless, he earned the respect and friendship of his peers in the industry and retired after a career of more than 45 years.
From slinging donuts at the Farmers Market to holding forth on Wallace Stevens with the Lowell Society, he formed an extensive network of friends within the Oak Park community. Ever seeking to further his horizons, he became a cherished member of a tight-knit Ashtanga yoga community in Chicago, as well as an enthusiastic student in online courses on modern poetry.
But family was his top priority in life. Through them, his passions persist: the outdoors, bicycling, travel, poetry, gardening, music, yoga, and intellectual pursuits. He is most remembered for all this, as well as his generosity and sense of humor. He will be deeply missed.
He was the beloved husband of Zarine; father of Aaron, Darius, and Delna; and brother of Kathe (Robert) Jervis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard’s memory to the Kelly Writers House Endowment Fund or the Sierra Club.