Richard Aaron Siegal passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on January 5, 2020 in Palos Verdes, California.
Richard, son of Genevieve and Leo B. Siegal, was born on May 11, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois. Dick was raised in a bungalow on Bernard Street along with his sister Judy (1934-2006). As a young man Dick was known for his keen work ethic and sense of humor; he graduated from Von Steuben High School in 1947 and Mary Gage Peterson Grammar School in 1943 with his childhood group of friends named the Ogres. He was the first in his family to matriculate from college, and he did so with Honors from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH, 1951, where he later became a Trustee.
Fortunately an Antioch professor encouraged him to apply to Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. As a member of Yale University School of Law, Class of 1954, Richard earned his JD and served as editor of the Law Review. When asked about his time as a Yalie, he recounted memorable friendships with law school classmates and professors.
Next, Richard served two years as an enlisted man in the US Army and while stationed in Germany, he met and later married in 1963 the love of his life, Evelyn Haase Siegal (1933-2007). He credited Ev with sharing and expanding his world with gusto and courage. Interestingly, Richard learned both French and German; a love of language and travel was something they enjoyed together.
In 1956 Richard began his practice of law at a small Chicago law firm, Antonow and Weissbourd, specializing in corporate and real estate matters. After 5 years, Richard left the practice to join a small real estate development partnership along with Bernard Weissbourd and Alan H. Levinson, which specialized in urban high-rise office, apartment and hotel projects. His work took him to Montreal, Canada, back to Chicago and then finally to Los Angeles. The firm of Metropolitan Structures, Inc. also known as Met Structures developed and managed real estate properties such as Illinois Center, a pioneering mixed-use development on the Chicago lakefront, the Mercantile Exchange at 10 and 30 South Wacker Drive, One South Wacker, and 2400 Lakeview in Chicago. Other projects included: One Charles Center, an office tower part of the Charles center development, in Baltimore, Nun’s Island, a planned residential community with office and industrial space near downtown Montreal, and California Plaza, a mixed-use development in downtown in Los Angeles. Richard retired in 1989. Known for his integrity and intelligence, he regarded his time with his partners and colleagues with gratitude and humility.
A passionate reader with a preference for history, Richard visited the public library and listened to books on tape. In his fifties he savored an active California lifestyle: playing mixed doubles tennis, snow skiing in the mountains, swimming, sailing, and taking up golf with his family. Richard loved to listen to classical music driving the LA freeways, in concert and quietly at home.
Opportunity, education, and hard work along with luck are words he used to explain his life’s journey. Richard was known for his integrity, love of family, and a dry sense of humor. As a father, friend, and grandfather he was an informed conversationalist. All his life he gave the best hugs!
When asked to retell his work-related accomplishments Richard responded modestly. “I came from a loving family; my mother, father and sister. Now I’ve been blessed with Evelyn, my three daughters, and our four grandsons. You are my greatest gifts.” He knew that work was work and that what mattered most was his family.
Richard Siegal supported The Norris Theater (a local performing arts center); Antioch College and Yale University Law School.
A private family service was held in February of 2020 at Green Hills Cemetery in Palos Verdes, California.