NO. 17543 • 28 August 1927 - 24 October 1997
Died 15 December 1981 in Birmingham, Alabama, aged 53 years
Interment: Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama
RICHARD GEORGE BASTAR, JR. (Dick) was born in Birmingham, Alabama on 25 December 1927, the son of Jennie Abbott Bastar and Richard George Bastar. Dick attended grammar school in Birmingham, and also Ramsay High School where he was president of the senior class. He was Alabama State Track Champion in 1945. Prior to his appointment to the Military Academy, Dick attended Marion Military Institute at Marion, Alabama, where he was a letter man in track and football.
While a cadet at West Point, although academically high, Dick was recognized primarily for his athletic prowess which established him as Army's best pole vaulter for four years. He was captain of the track team and was invited to the Olympics. Graduating in 1950, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in Armor.
After graduation Dick served in Japan and had twelve months of combat duty in Korea, where he distinguished himself as a tank commander, receiving the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Upon his return from Korea, Dick served as aide-de-camp to General Henry Hodes, who was then Commandant of the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at Fort Leavenworth, Dick married Alice Marie Nettles of Mobile, Alabama. They had their first child, a daughter, Ruth Abbott Bastar during his tour of duty there. Their second child, Richard George Bastar, III, was born in 1956 after their return to Birmingham. Dick remained at Fort Leavenworth until his resignation from active military service in June 1954.
Returning to Birmingham, Dick served in the Army Reserve until June of 1978 when health problems precluded Congressional confirmation of his recommended promotion to brigadier general, At the time of his retirement, Dick was a colonel and was Commander of the Support Command of the 87th Maneuver Area Command of Birmingham. Although actively engaged in the business and civic affairs of his native Birmingham, Dick remained always close to the military, and he gave freely of his time and talents, which were many.
Dick returned to Birmingham as a mortgage banker for Protective Life Insurance Company, later joining Realty Mortgage Company in 1964 as the executive vice president. In 1969 he became a partner of Engel Realty Company, specializing in commerical-industrial real estate. Active in all phases of the real estate business in the Birmingham area, Dick was highly regarded as a real estate appraiser and consultant. He was a member and past president of the Birmingharn Chapter of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, The American Society of Real Estate Counselors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Dick was an outstanding citizen of his community, serving on the board of the Arthritis Foundation, the Executive Committee of United Way, the Camp Fire Council, and as a past Senior Warden of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
Dick Bastar's achievements and honors were many, but above all he was dedicated in his life, and the living of it, to the principles of Duty, Honor, and Country. He never swerved from these - he was a devoted husband, father, and friend to all who had the privilege of knowing him, and I count it a distinct honor to have been his wife.
Dick is survived by his wife, Alice Marie; daughter, Ruth Bastar Jones; son Richard George Bastar, III; and his sister, Mrs. Robert O. Harris, III.
- His wife