Richard Tabor was known for his warm personality, variety of interests, his intelligence and his vast knowledge of various and interesting subjects.
Tabor, former UCM professor and chair of the agriculture department, died Feb 21 at age 82.
Tabor started working at UCM in 1973 and retired in 2000. Fanson Kidwaro, professor and program coordinator for the agriculture department, said he met Tabor when he came to UCM to get his master’s degree.
“He was a good guy,” Kidwaro said. “He was very student-centered, always wanted his students to succeed. He always wanted to see the department to continue to grow.”
Kidwaro said Tabor had an interesting way of getting to know his students by taking their “mugshot” and hanging them up in his office.
“He put them in his office so he could remember them,” Kidwaro said.
John Inglish, director emeritus of public relations, said he knew Tabor when he worked at the university. They were also neighbors for over 18 years. He said Tabor was a well-rounded man with many interests, including going to a shooting range near Higginsville, Missouri, for fun.
“Richard loved firearms. He was an avid shooter,” Inglish said. “Several of his friends would go up there and shoot all the time and he was good. They had competitions and he’d win…I enjoyed watching him.”
Inglish said Tabor had a warm heart and volunteered in the community.
“He was a really bright, warm, caring individual,” he said. “We had a neighborhood stray cat run around. He’s the one who adopted it. He was just constantly carrying that cat around. He spent a lot of time and energy working at the food center here in Warrensburg. He was a great guy.”
While working at Oak Ridge University, Tabor became interested in studying bomb fallout isotopes as well as radon gas and irradiated foods. His projects caught the attention of scientific journals and the media, according to his obituary.
Inglish said Tabor was a scholarly man who loved to learn in his spare time.
“He was a man for all seasons,” he said. “He was the most intellectually curious person I think I’ve ever known. He loved to read Aristotle for fun. He was just interested in everything. During retirement, every time we’d meet at the mailbox he’d be picking up yet another package of courses on tape that he would study and take. That’s what he did for fun was study and learn and study and learn. (He was) brilliant. Just absolutely brilliant.”