Richard Francis DeMong of Charlottesville, Virginia passed away peacefully on August 5, 2023, after a valiant battle with glioblastoma. He was a beloved family man, a man of faith, an esteemed Professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, a highly decorated U.S. Air Force Colonel, and a friend to all who were blessed to know him. His life was devoted to service.
Rich was born on May 2, 1944 in Freeport, Illinois to Maurice and Jane DeMong. He spent his childhood in Illinois, Upstate New York, and ultimately moved with his family to Southern California. He learned about service at an early age, starting as an altar boy in his parish and proudly earning the Eagle Scout Award as a teen. He graduated from Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove, California and in 1966, he graduated from the California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Political Science.
Soon after graduating from college, Rich joined the U.S. Air Force. He flew 896 combat missions in support of operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, serving as co-pilot, pilot, and an instructor in the C-130 aircraft. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Philippines Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross. Rich left active service in 1972 and served in the Air Force Reserves until his retirement as a full Colonel in 1989 after 23 years of service.
Upon leaving active duty in the Air Force, Rich returned to his studies and completed his M.B.A. at the College of William and Mary in 1974 with a focus in finance and management. His desire to teach and do research then led him to pursue a Ph.D. in Finance and Management Science which he received from the University of Colorado in 1977. While a student at the University of Colorado, Rich also served in the Colorado Air National Guard.
Rich accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in 1977 at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce where he spent the entirety of his academic career. The University of Virginia, combined with the beauty of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, became his and his family’s home. Upon his retirement in 2010 as the Virginia Bankers Association Chaired Professor, he wrote in his reflections as being “privileged to know and teach from the Class of 1978 to the Class of 2010.”
Rich’s considerable contributions to the University of Virginia extended across teaching, research, and administration. Over his illustrious academic career, he was a beloved teacher of many finance courses and authored numerous articles and books. His research led him to be a sought-after expert regarding subprime and non-prime mortgage and home equity lending. In 2004, he testified to two subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives on the need for federal regulations of subprime and predatory lending. He was relied upon to serve in several of McIntire’s most important positions, including chairing its Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee for more than a decade.
Rich often spoke of his love for his colleagues, students, the UVA Honor Code, and the McIntire School’s commitment “to excellence that paralleled Jefferson's vision for his academical village”. Rich was humbled to be the first McIntire faculty member selected as the University’s Secretary of the General Faculty, a position that dates back to Mr. Jefferson. Above all was his unending devotion to his students, and whenever he would see a former student at a football game or on grounds, he had an amazing knack to not only recall their names but ask about their professions and personal lives.
Following his “retirement” from the University of Virginia in 2010, his family joked with him that he was busier than ever. He continued as a faculty advisor to the McIntire Investment Institute and served on the Board of the University of Virginia’s Physician Group. He was very active in civic service to the Charlottesville community including serving on the Board of Directors and as President of the Rotary Club of Charlottesville where he was awarded Rotarian of the Year in 2015. He was also a former President of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and Board member for the Senior Center, the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, the Central Virginia Chapter of Military Officers Association of America, the Village of Innisfree, and led several parish council finance committees. His thirst for knowledge continued as he regularly attended lectures, enrolled in courses at The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, joined the Oliver Turner Society, became a member of a Catholic Bible Study, and was involved in a wonderful T'ai Chi group.
Rich was an avid traveler, reader, and connoisseur of knowledge with news and data that greeted him daily in the forms of multiple newspapers and magazines. He never stopped learning. He maintained lifelong friends and even remained close to his flight school buddies with weekly meetings full of laughter and stories. He loved the mountains and the great outdoors, history, all things Disney, classical music, trains, UVA and his grandchildren’s sports, staying fit, was an amazing ornithologist…and of course he could not make it through a day without a cold Diet Coke and a scoop of ice cream.
Above and beyond all of these vast achievements and interests, Rich loved and prioritized his family. In his final note to his family, he penned to his children and grandchildren “I have accomplished a lot, but none of my accomplishments were as important to me as you all were. I had a great life because I got to know each of you as individuals.” He attended nearly all of his large family’s celebrations including many events and trips with his beloved aunts, uncles and “dozens of cousins.” He was never too busy to cheer on a grandchild at a lacrosse game, a Rubik’s cube competition, first communion or graduation. He loved so deeply and generously and was the foundation and rudder for his entire family. He was blessed to share his young adult days with his first wife, Sue, mother to Cheri and Lynn. In his midlife, he married the love of his life, Linda, mother to Suzie and Mike, and they were blessed with 30 years together before she preceded him in death in 2017. In 2020, he met Adele “Hutch” Livingston who became his fiancée and loving partner until his death.
He is survived by his four children: Kathleen Suzanne “Suzie” Odell and husband George, Michael Scott Krongaard, Cheryl “Cheri” DeMong Hubbard and husband Thomas, Lynn Ann Waidelich and husband David, his fiancée Adele “Hutch” Livingston; his eleven grandchildren: Emily Odell Kirven and husband Blake, Linda “Blake” Krongaard, Garrett Joseph Odell, Michael “Mikey” Joseph Krongaard, Mary Jo Krongaard, Catherine Jane DeMong Hubbard, Marian “Claire” DeMong Hubbard, Matthew Barrett Waidelich, Andrew “Drew” Thomas DeMong Hubbard, Mary Elizabeth Waidelich, and Daniel Richard Waidelich; his brother Robert DeMong; sister Cheri Teale and husband Peter; sister-in-law Mary Gould-DeMong and nephew Michael DeMong. He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Jane DeMong, his wives, Linda Krongaard DeMong and Sue Ann DeMong, and his brother Maurice DeMong.
At his request, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to support students in financial need at the McIntire School of Commerce or Cristo Rey Richmond High School, two schools Rich ardently supported.
Gifts made in memory of Rich at the McIntire School of Commerce Foundation will support the Alice V. Griffin Bicentennial Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships to McIntire students with financial need. Gifts may be made online (www.commerce.virginia.edu/give), or checks payable to the McIntire School Foundation can be mailed to P.O. Box 400173, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173. Please indicate that your gift is in memory of Richard DeMong.
Cristo Rey Richmond High School where Rich’s daughter, Lynn, is now the principal, is a high school where 100% of the students receive financial aid and the school’s mission is to use the power of education to change the trajectory of a young person's life. To donate, please send a check to 304 N Sheppard Street, Richmond, Virginia 23221 or donate online (https://www.cristoreyrichmond.org/support/givenow/) and indicate that your gift is in memory of Richard DeMong.
A visitation will be held on August 12th at 12:30 pm at the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville, VA, followed by a Mass of Resurrection at 2:00 pm. A final interment at Arlington National Cemetery is not yet scheduled.
“There is a season for all and my season has ended, not with sadness, but with joy, for I lived it,” were his departing words in his last letter to his family. We imagine upon his death, he was greeted by the Lord with the sentiment, “ well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Condolences may be shared with his family on the Tribute Wall.