Having lived the fullest life with many great accomplishments, Richard “Dick” Ziegler crossed over from this earth on Saturday, October 12, 2019, in Crete, Nebraska, at the age of 85.
Richard Christian Ziegler was born July 29, 1934, in Rushville, Nebraska, to Gladys Geraldine Ziegler (nee Moore) and Leo Drennan. He was adopted by his maternal grandparents, Christian C. and Nettie Ziegler October 25, 1938.
Dick was reared in Rushville by his loving parents, Chris and Nettie, and graduated from Rushville High School in 1952. He entered the U. S. Air Force August 8, 1952, and was discharged August 4, 1956 after serving in California, Colorado and Texas, as well as nearly three years at Burtonwood R.A.F. Station near Warrington, England.
Dick attended Chadron State College beginning in 1957 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education in 1960, followed by his Master of Science degree in 1968 and his Specialist in Education degree in 1988, also from Chadron State College.
He had a colorful career from dealing craps at The Mint and Aladdin casinos in Las Vegas to owning and operating The Sheridan County Star in Rushville, which he said was the best job he had and sorely hated to leave it. Dick spent the majority of his career in education and was a teacher in Morrill and Hyannis, Principal of Rushville Jr/Sr High School and Superintendent of Schools in Clarks and Burwell until his retirement. He enjoyed retirement in Friend, where Ruth continued as a teacher. He’s well known for his long walks which turns out were actually long talks.
Dick always said the greatest day of his life was December 1, 1972, when he was married to Ruth Ann Kearns of Rushville. He infamously claimed to be an Outlaw, never an Inlaw, and loved the extended Kearns family dearly. Unto this union were born three wonderful children, Wade Christian, Rachel Christine and Kristin Michelle. All survive, including Wade’s wife Christine and their sons Logan and Mitchell. Rachel’s two sons, Brayden, and Jake, Kristin’s husband Pete and their daughter Zoe. Dick is also survived by a half brother, Sam Morgan of Florida along with many nieces and nephews.
Organizations to which Dick had belonged include the Rushville Junior Chamber of Commerce, Elks, Rotary, Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska Association of Retired School Administrators. He joined the American Legion in 1956 and later served two years as Post Adjutant and one year each as Finance Officer and First Vice Commander, and was a member of the Henry Davis Post #161 Color Guard for twenty-five years. He was elected to the Rushville City Council three times for a total of nine years. He was an avid hunter, woodworker, enjoyed photography and tolerated fishing from time to time.
Dick’s ashes will be interred at Rushville’s Fairview Cemetery. (He always wondered in whose opinion there was a “fair view.”)
The family is eternally grateful to the wonderful nurses and staff at Tabitha in Crete where Dick spent his final days.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family to be shared with organizations dear to Dick’s heart.
A Memorial Service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 21, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Friend with Msgr. Adrian Herbeck officiating. A Rosary was also conducted prior to the service on Monday at 10:30 a.m. Judy Kohout served as the Lector. Alphie Manalili was the organist and accompanied the congregation as they sang “Be Not Afraid”, “Prayer of St. Francis”, “Here I Am Lord” and “Amazing Grace”. Offertory Gifts were presented by Pete, Kristin and Zoe Becker. Memorials are directed in care of the family for later designation. Lauber Funeral and Cremation Services of Friend are entrusted with the care and arrangements.