Rho Lambda Newsletter
Greetings, Brothers! We’re devoting next month’s newsletter to the strides we’re making to reactivate the DKE chapter at OU in 2025. Before then, we’ll summarize it all on this website under News & Galleries/2025 DKE Colony. Please give this some thought before then because your feedback and ideas will be vital.
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FROM THE DKE RL Board:
Spring is almost here, although you can’t convince some parts of the country.
ΡΛ Brother of the Month – RICHARD LEGATSKI
Beer Steins and OU
When I first called Richard, he said, “I don’t have many photos of me when I was younger, so how about I tell you what I did, instead? I was raised in Bartlesville with two brothers in the family of a Phillips Petroleum executive. My youth was filled with family support, education, and travel. For example, when I was 17, my dad arranged for me to visit Germany. I enjoyed a summer there living in a small community on the Rhine River, and working for a local company.” Hmmm. A summer on the Rhine. That explains the beer steins on his mantle.
“I went to OU in 1965, checked out Rush week, and became a Rho Lambda pledge. Fortunately, Randy Morrison agreed to be my Big Brother, and I met Terry Miller, with whom I’ve been a close friend ever since. He’s been my best man twice. My advice for young men entering college? Look for true friends, not just a party place. True friends will last. But it takes emotional effort, and I worked at it.
Law and the Sea
“I graduated from OU law school in ’73, then began a post-graduate program on International Law of the Sea (LOS) at the University of Washington in Seattle.”
The more I listened to Richard, the more impressed I became with the shrewd arc of his career and the strokes of luck which regularly appeared, as others recognized in him a bright, steady hand at law with a talent for dealing with people.
For example, after the LOS program, Professor Bill Burke hired him to work with him and a classmate on a U.S. State Department contract to prepare a study on “National and International Law Enforcement in the Ocean.” Richard was asked to prepare part of the book on maritime environmental law. Since the enforcement of maritime law is part of the mission of the Coast Guard, he routinely met with their Puget Sound lawyers to fully understand the then-current U.S. practice.
“When the book was completed,” Richard said, “the Coast Guard offered me a direct commission as a Lieutenant for four years to serve in the Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. I accepted, and we moved to D.C.
“After Coast Guard service, I became a lawyer/lobbyist for the National Ocean Industries Association, where I worked for several years advocating the interests of various organizations before Congress and Federal agencies. One of those agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hired me as its Coastal Zone Management component leader, and I remained there until I retired in 2002.
“During this time, my then-wife Mary, whom I’d married in 1980, and I lived in Arlington, Virginia, just outside D.C. We had a second home in Delaware near the ocean and became involved in various social and volunteer groups.
“Sadly, Mary became ill with cancer and passed away in 2016. Since I was settled in Delaware, I stayed here and expanded my activities to include volunteer work with community and political groups. I took time out for a trip to Colorado with my brother Karl and his family.
“I met Jack Markell while he was running for Governor of Delaware and joined his campaign team as a volunteer. I was able to help Jack gain the support of several organizations where I had friends.
After Jack was elected, he appointed me to chair the Delaware Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board. The Board reviews applications from groups desiring to develop coastal land for private uses, and we required them to furnish environmentally proper steps before we’d approve their proposals.”
Here’s where the photos multiply. “A few years ago, I decided to try online dating,” he said. “I hit the jackpot when I met Laurie Doyle; who is now Laurie Legatski. She ‘brought with her’ an extended family, including parents, siblings, four children, and three grandchildren, so I now have a wonderful family and a happy, rewarding life.”
Richard, Laurie, and I had a terrific confab about tables full of food and loving families. “It’s perfect chaos around our dining table during family dinners. That’s Paul, Nicole, Brandon, grandson Christopher, and his friend Carter. Merideth is drinking a beer. The redhead is Sharon, then David and us. It’s total mayhem, and we love it.” Then Laurie insisted: “I just have to say this one thing: by waiting, I found the best man at the end of my life.”