Richard Haste Wyatt Jr. Richard Haste Wyatt Jr., died early Sunday, November 10, 2013. Friends describe Rick as a big-hearted giant of a man. Born October 14, 1947, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, he attended the University of Virginia, where he met his future wife, Debbie in 1967. They married in 1972, and he remained her loving husband, and best friend for 41 years thereafter. He was the bedrock of a father for their two sons, Tom and Will, not only attending their soccer games but coaching their teams with his playing-to-have-fun and winning-isn't-everything philosophy. Soon after marriage, Rick started woodworking with a youthful purchase of a Sears radial arm saw, then turned briefly to construction, helping to build, among other homes, the first and only known geodesic dome in the area. In 1979, Rick, Blaise Gaston, and Chris Murray came together to form the fine woodworking company of Gaston, Murray and Wyatt. The company grew and changed, his partners pursued other courses, and by the mid 1990s, he was the sole owner of what was now Gaston and Wyatt. Gaston and Wyatt became Rick's second family. He employed over 40 workers at a time, hiring a diverse group from top woodworkers to folks with little to no experience. He went to bat for them when they needed support, always trying to pay good wages with special benefits. Following the 2009 recession, he worked around the clock for years to bid jobs to keep from having to lay off any of his employees. Even with a fun-loving, easy-going managerial style, Rick, together with Gaston and Wyatt's fine woodworkers, established a national reputation and achieved such success that it was selected to do specialized work on various magnificent homes and buildings around the country, from Savannah, Georgia, to Greenwich, Connecticut, including historic buildings such as Charlottesville's own Monticello, the Octagon, Montpelier, Poplar Forest, and most recently the Maryland State House where the Treaty of Paris was ratified. Gaston and Wyatt was selected to reproduce the intricate trellised niche in the gardens of the novelist Edith Wharton. Rick and his company received many national awards for their contribution to fine woodwork and architectural restoration. Gaston and Wyatt continues on as Gaston and Wyatt Ltd. Rick's other great passion - to the perpetual mystery of his wife - was fishing, especially fly fishing both fresh and salt water, and he developed many wonderful and close friendships with impressive fellow fishermen. Rick was also adventurous and fearless, heading off into the jungles of Guatemala with Debbie for 6 months in the 1970s, and in subsequent decades, seeking out other raw worlds in Central America and enjoying off-the-beaten-track experiences anywhere he could find them. For years he hosted a widely attended fall trebuchet party, with a huge medieval trebuchet (siege engine), brought from VMI by a friend, which would hurl pumpkins and other items at distant targets to the cheers of the crowd. But of all Rick's qualities, he was certainly known best, and immediately, for his unshakable principles and integrity and his amazing sense of humor, which included irreverence for anything presumptuous, refusing to take himself - or anyone else no matter how esteemed - too seriously. Rick succumbed to his year-long fight against cancer days after returning from a final 4-day fishing trip. In addition to his wife and two sons, Rick leaves a loving sister, Linda Wyatt Gruber, of Ross, California. He was recently preceded in death by Fred, his close Irish Setter buddy of 13 years . A memorial to remember his life and recognize the loss will be scheduled. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Building Goodness, P.O. Box 4325, Charlottesville, VA 22905, or Pacem, providing shelter for the homeless, P.O. Box 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902.