“I met Dick on Aug. 31, 1983 at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon in Room 389 of the education building. I bet a lot of people can’t be that specific about when they met the love of their life.”
“Dick and I were both working on our doctorates in higher education administration, and we ended up having a lot of classes together and becoming very good friends. We were studying how housing units were created on campuses. The Division of Housing used to fly in 10,000 lobsters once a year for all the students living in the dorms, so Dick invited the whole class to dinner the night they were serving lobster. Afterwards I said to my adviser, ‘Why don’t I get a bottle of wine and a thank you note and we can have everyone sign the note and give it to Dick in the next class?’ I brought it into class and I handed it to Dr. JoAnn Fley, and I said here’s the wine and card for Dick, and she said ‘I think you should give it to him.’
“Two days later, I get a card in the mail and it said, ‘I’m really shy, but will you go out to dinner with me?’ I said yes and we went out to the Round Barn Restaurant and saw the movie ‘Terms of Endearment.’ And he cried and I’m like, ‘This is the guy for me.’”
Illinois alumni Pat and Dick Justice were married for 28 years until Dick passed away in 2014 from esophageal cancer. They first met as higher education administration doctoral students both attending many of the same seminar classes. Dick later went on to become Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution in the late ‘80s. Pat served as the Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement until her retirement and currently is an adjunct assistant professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership in the College of Education. Dick and Pat also co-taught a graduate course together. They have three children, two from a previous marriage of Dick’s, their son, Will, and six grandchildren.
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