Cover photo for Richard Robert Kent's Obituary
Richard Robert Kent Profile Photo
1951 Richard 2023

Richard Robert Kent

January 22, 1951 — August 15, 2023

College Station

In Loving Memory

Richard Robert Kent

January 22, 1951 - August 15, 2023

Son, Brother, Friend, Musician, Instructor

Richard R. Kent was born in Flushing, New York, to Richard G. Kent, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and to Henriette Martel of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is survived by his sister Michele Kent of Hamilton, New Jersey; her sons, Evan Barrett and wife Jacqueline, their children, Sophia and Natalie; and Adrian Crook and wife Evelyn, their children, Simone and Lucy. Also, Richard is survived by friends who cherished his friendship and by his beloved cat, Red.

Richard was uniquely different, highly talented, a loyal friend, honest yet opinionated, and forever a truth-seeker throughout his life. He searched for meaning and tried to make sense of the ever-changing world around him, which at times confounded him. He experienced great loss and difficulty in his life. He was old-school. Nary a computer, television or any means of modern convenience. He liked it that way.

As a young man living in Willingboro, New Jersey, Richard was a talented athlete and musician. He was a star Kennedy High School football player, championship weightlifter and shot put champion, who also happened to play the saxophone beautifully. With his love of music at the forefront, he left New Jersey to enroll in Instrumental Studies at the University of North Texas, College of Music. Receiving a Bachelor of Music from UNT in 1974, Richard was a featured soloist with the UNT One O'clock Lab Band, playing saxophone on an album nominated for a Grammy Award the following year.

With the New Orleans, Louisiana jazz scene calling his name, Richard embarked on a journey that would lead him to playing gigs wherever he could find them, from small venues to cruise ships. He was able to cobble together a living plumbing by day and gigging by night. Eventually after 20 years there and with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Richard was forced to move. With his few belongings, he settled in Whitehall, a community in Navasota, Texas. He worked as an on-site caretaker of a rural facility. There he experienced more loss after the devastation of the Dyer Mill fire, consuming over 5,000 acres and destroying roughly 30 homes. He lost everything, again. He found himself homeless.

He was part of the music scene in Bryan-College Station, with dear friends in the industry who ultimately helped him get back on his feet. He played First Sunday Jazz with the Greg Tivis Dixie Band at Downtown Uncorked, the LaSalle Hotel and Luigi's Patio Ristorante, along with Greg Patterson's Midnight Express at the Palace Theatre.

He played various jazz, festivals all over with the Greg Tivis Nawlins Jazz Band, and played tenor saxophone with WeB3. These friends were his lifeline and music was his life.

Mr. Kent was also a dedicated music instructor. He cared so much for his students and for their musical success.

He was relentless in this effort and will be remembered fondly by each student who had the privilege of learning the art and practice of music from him.

Richard R. Kent is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Kent and his beloved dogs, Cassidy and Licky. On behalf of Mr. Kent, the family would like to extend thanks to all who helped him throughout the many difficult times in his life. May he rest in eternal peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Robert Kent, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, October 5, 2023

9:45 - 10:45 am (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church-Adoration Chapel

2541 Earl Rudder Fwy, College Station, TX 77845

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