Richard "Dick" Spilo

April 30, 1936April 9, 2012

Richard (Dick) Allen Spilo, who was born on April 30, 1936 in Oak Park, IL, passed away in his sleep on April 9th, 2012 in Austin, TX.

Dick received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1957 and went on to earn his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue in 1958. His area of study was digital control theory.

After college he served in the Army from 1959 to ‘62 in the Nike missile guidance program. He then worked for several companies, including IBM, Eagle Signal, a small startup company and Motorola. At Eagle Signal he was a pioneer in the new field of computer control and was instrumental in designing the first mini-computer to control the lights in a 5 way traffic intersection. He retired from Motorola in 2001 where he worked in Strategic Sales of their micro controllers. He held several patents, served on several standards committees, and was a long-time member of IEEE.

Dick spent his retirement traveling the world and taking amazing pictures. Travel was not only a way to find new things to photograph; it was a way to learn more about this world as well. The family took long road trips to visit National Parks and cities throughout the continental US and Canada. He and his wife took many trips that covered almost every continent.

He was a lifelong model train enthusiast and accomplished bridge player. He participated in several bridge groups throughout his life and especially here in Austin during his retirement, but still enjoyed playing casual cards with friends and family. He had a passion for woodworking, photography and architecture, even designing two of the family homes. In all his work he was precise and purposeful. He was currently building a layout for his model trains that filled a large room specially designed in their house for trains.

Dick was a charter member of Triumphant Love Lutheran Church where he served in many capacities over the last 35 years including as treasurer, a member of the original building committee and a member of the stewardship committee. He was also one of the founders of the bridge club.

Dick grew up in Oak Park, IL as the only child of Carl and Evelyn (née Laderer) Spilo, who both preceded him in death. After living throughout the Midwest, the family moved to Austin, Texas in 1976 where he quickly fell in love with the hill country area and sailing on the area lakes.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Joyce (née Briggs), and his three children Linda Tarby and husband John, Sonia Chase and husband, Joseph, and David Spilo and wife, Hilary. He also had the joy of watching his grandchildren, Rebecca and Eric Chase and Walter and Chandler Spilo, grow.

He was a beloved son, cousin, father, uncle, grandfather, and especially husband. We were blessed by his love and thank God for his life.

Memorial Services will be conducted at three o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 12th of April 2012, at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church, 9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, Texas.

Memorials may be sent to the Triumphant Love Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, 9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, Texas 78759.

Condolences may be sent to


  • Visitation Wednesday, April 11, 2012
  • Memorial Service Thursday, April 12, 2012

Richard "Dick" Spilo

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Steve Marsh

April 14, 2012

Joyce, I am so sorry to hear that Dick left us. Working for him at Eagle Signal was a true blessing. He established a wonderful family-oriented environment for those of us fortunate enough to have worked for him. Some of my fondest memories were forged during that era. At Motorola he was the person who could be counted upon to be the genuine gentleman. I like to think that his light just shifted from this world to higher ground.

April 14, 2012

Joyce, I sent you a message Saturday afternoon, stupid me, I forgot to sign it. I'm sorry. I referenced John Reilly informing me, so if you see an unsigned message it's probably from me. My God and time ease your pain, during this difficult time.
Ralph Rogers

April 14, 2012

Joyce, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. John Reilly emailed me. God bless you and your family. May you find peace during this difficult time. Take Care.

April 12, 2012

Joyce and Family, very sorry to learn of your loss. May God comfort you at this difficult time.
John Reilly

Paul Lake

April 12, 2012

Dick and I worked very closely in Motorola's microcontroller division and covered many thousands of miles visiting customers and winning new business for the company. I developed a great deal of respect for his professionalism and thoroughness. He will surely be missed by his family and the rest of us. May the Lord be with Joyce and the family at this time.

Carol Hearn

April 12, 2012

Hilary, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God will give you strength to persevere.

April 11, 2012

Sonia, sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your father. You and your family are in our prayers. Karen, Sperry, Mattie, Garrett, and "little" Rebecca.

Larry Drayer

April 11, 2012

David's call this morning was shocking and very sad. We are so sorry about Dick's death.
Larry and Anna Drayer

April 11, 2012

Joyce, I was so shocked to read the obituary for Dick in the paper. I am so sorry for your loss. I know you have wonderful "kids" to provide support, but of course this is a huge loss for them also. We are heading out to Virginia to visit with Cliff and family -- and soon after that we'll be making our annual "summer" trip to Oregon. After that, I hope that we can work out a time to get together when you're up to're in my thoughts! Sylvia & Jim

Rachel Keeney

April 11, 2012

Hilary and David, you and all your family will be in our prayers, that God will comfort you in your time of mourning with faith, hope, and loving memories.