December 29, 1955 February 24, 2022
Richard Edwin Theis, aka Gumby was born December 29, 1955 in Ridgewood, NJ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kathleen T. Theis in 1998, and Walter W. Theis in 1991, and his sister Virginia Ginny Shellorne in 2019.
Rich grew up in Parsippany, NJ; Silvermine, CT and Wycoff, NJ. He served 4 years in the USAF from 1974-1978 where he was stationed at Vandenberg AFB, CA. After he separated, he stayed in the tiny coastal town of Lompoc, CA until moving to Little Rock, AR in 2020. He is survived by his wife of almost 23 years, Kim R. Theis, brother Robert Theis, sister Marilyn Decker, 2 children, Richard W. Theis and Kathleen D. Theis, 2 stepchildren Tiffany R. Teague and Nicole (Chris) Matthews, and 7 grandchildren. He retired from the sheet metal industry after almost 50 years in the industry, after he was affected by Guillain Barre and Transverse Myelitis, rendering him paraplegic in 2016.
Rich was an avid gun collector and pro-marksman; he was into racing at the Santa Maria Speedway and served 3 years as the Post 211 Commander in Lompoc. He was very into BBQ'ing and put his sheet metal talents to work building several BBQ trailers. He built a 1968 Pro-street Mercury Cougar that won many trophies across the state of CA.
He was known for his big heart, great care and compassion he always had for others, and his goofy sense of humor. His brother Bob had a very special bond with this remarkable man. Richard leaves an unbelievably huge void in this world. By thinking of him, talking about him and displaying photos of him he will have a measure of immortality!
Richard died in the VA Hospital in Little Rock, AR on February 24, 2022.
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lompoc Record from Mar. 23 to Mar. 30, 2022