Charles Richard Stanley was born in a farmhouse near Barada, Nebraska on July 30, 1933. He had two older doting sisters and was the third born of seven to Louie Elijah “Puud” and Ella Christine (Steinbrink) Stanley. Richard grew up over the course of his childhood on several farms and attended country schools in southeast Nebraska. As a youth, he enjoyed 4-H by showing livestock at the local county fair as well as being fortunate to also show cattle at the Nebraska State Fair.
After graduating from Auburn High School in 1951, he began working. Some of his early employment was at the Allied Chemical fertilizer plant near Plattsmouth, Nebraska, applying fertilizer for area farmers with his brother-in-law, Bob Hector, and driving a rock truck. Richard also served in the Army National Guard, and would later on in life, proudly proclaim to have operated the military tank located in the Auburn Memorial Park.
On September 2, 1956, he married Melva Jean Shroyer, at Pleasant View Methodist Church, rural Humboldt, NE. After a short courtship which began at Tiny’s Cafe on the north edge of Auburn, Richard proposed to Jean on Christmas Day 1955. The couple made their first home south of Howe, NE and later moved to a family farm just west of Shubert, NE after forming a mutual partnership with Shubert native, Phillip Johnson. Over the course of several years, they grew their farming operation in Richardson County, and across the river in Missouri until 1971 when Phil sold his interest in the farming operation. A year later, Richard and Jean bought a farm close to Steinauer, NE where their family lived for two years until buying their farmstead northeast of Stella, NE. They stayed on the farm near Stella until 2012 when Jean passed away. It was rare that Richard made mention of any personal or business successes but was prompt to note that any credit due belonged to Jean, who he loved dearly.
Richard greatly enjoyed farming, raising cattle and hogs, and making the rounds as a seed salesman. He was a regular at the table when there were cards being played and passed on his competitive nature to his children and grandchildren. He loved socializing over coffee at the elevator and soil service and driving miles for the down-home cooking of several area cafes. He also loved attending and working at local sale barns on auction days and helping haul in the harvest for neighbors after he hit retirement.
He and Jean traveled together, including many trips to Yellowstone where they worked during several summers. They enjoyed being members of Aksarben & square dancing with the Ruffles & Shuffles group, card parties with family & friends and attending their kids and grandkids’ sporting events and activities, of which they were always so proud. They participated in the Nebraska Farm Bureau, served on the church council for St. Mark’s Lutheran of Verdon and the Prairie Union Cemetery board. Richard served on the school board of Southeast Consolidated schools, and also drove a bus route and activities bus for many years. He was a leader in Richardson County 4-H as well as the Stella 4-H club, where he supported his children in participating, and helped them with breaking many 4-H calves and getting them ready for the show ring.
Richard moved “to town” where he lived independently but spent little time in his Auburn duplex as he put over 80k miles in less than 3 years on his first red Ford Edge. During this time, longtime family friend Janice Fischer was his frequent companion, of which he was blessed and thankful for, along with so many others in his life.
Richard had moved to Long’s Creek Assisted Living in Auburn, NE in late 2019, just before the Covid pandemic. Eventually he would have to move into the Good Samaritan Society of Auburn following a broken hip resulting from a fall during the summer of 2020. While there, he was very thankful for all the care he received by the nurses & staff and was famous for keeping his call light on.
Richard was a current member of St. Paul’s Lutheran, but belonged to several Lutheran churches throughout his life and loved to read the passages in “Portals of Prayer”. He was not known to be outspoken about his faith, but if you asked him about God’s presence, he would let you know that faith in Jesus Christ was central to his view of how to live one’s life.
Best known as Richard to most, he was greeted by several with a variety of names. Certain family, friends or acquaintances would refer to him as Charles, Richard, Rich, Chuck or an occasional Dick. But of all the names he would answer to, Dad & Grandpa were certainly special.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Melva Jean (Shroyer) Stanley; son James Lynn Stanley; parents-in-law Melvin and Estle Shroyer; sister Lois (and Bob) Hector; sister Doris (and Edward) Johnson; sister Shirley (and Darrell) Stowater; brother Keith Stanley; brother-in-law Wayne McNeely, and sister and brother-in-law Meredith and Don Grove.
Richard is survived by son Neil (Fara) Stanley, daughter Sondra (Steve) Westenburg, daughter Cindy (Don) Munchrath, son Bruce (Betty) Stanley; sister Elva Jean McNeely, brother Mark (Cindy) Stanley and sister-in-law Joyce (Keith) Stanley. He also is survived by 10 grandchildren: Grant Stanley, Laura (Jarod) Hindes and Rachel Stanley; Bryce, Brooklyn and Brynn Westenburg; Taylor and Michaela Munchrath; Kaitlyn (Jackson) Powell and
Reagan Stanley. He became a Great Grandfather with the birth of great granddaughter, Naomi Hindes, and has one great grandson on the way. He will also be missed by many nephews, nieces, extended family & friends.
A funeral service will be Saturday, February 18, 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn. Burial will follow in Prairie Union Cemetery near Shubert. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with family greeting friends 6:00 to 8:00.
Memorials suggested to family choice.
Services are entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.