Don Ray Richards was born November 6, 1947 in Osceola, NE to parents Earl R and Nettie M (Wolfe) Richards. He departed this life on March 8th, 2019 in Hastings, NE with family by his side.
Don was educated first at District 16 rural school in Webster County, then in 4th grade was a student in the Red Cloud Public Schools where he graduated in 1966. In April 1967 he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he spent 2 years, being trained at Ft Bliss Texas, Ft Huachuca AZ and Ft Gordon GA, before being sent to Germany and the 50th Ordnance Company in December 1967. In August 1968 the 50th was transferred to Ft Carson Colorado where he remained until Discharge in April 1969. He was united in marriage with Christina McManis on October 16th 1968. They were married 10 years, during which time they adopted their daughter Celine Marie. After divorce in 1979, he was a single parent with daughter Celine, a time which he always held dear to his heart. They lived in Grand Island until he returned to college in Kearney where he graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration.
Don moved to Lexington, NE where he was an Alcohol and Drug Abuse counselor. He then moved to Grand Island and began a 25 year career at Central Community College, first as a teacher of Social Science, then becoming Registrar. He retired in 2011. Don moved back to Red Cloud in 2015, working part time at the Willa Cather Foundation which he enjoyed immensely.
A beloved father and grandfather, Don always enjoyed his daughter and her family and spent time with them often as he could. Don owned and operated a cafe and donut shop in Red Cloud when in his 20’s. In Grand Island he made Cinnamon rolls once a year and invited his many friends in for coffee and rolls. He was called upon to bake pies for Thanksgivings with his daughter and family. He had also made and decorated cakes for many weddings, etc while in Red Cloud, Grand Island and Kearney.
He is survived by his daughter Celine and her husband Brian Zlomke, 3 grandchildren, Alexis, Kaleb and Eliana of Grand Island, brother Jim and his wife Sara of Red Cloud and many more family and friends. He is loved by so many, a true testament to a life well lived. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Leonard and Bill and their wives and by sister-in-law Kaye with whom he was very close.
Funeral services were Thursday, 2:00 p.m., March 14, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with Rev. Dan Albers officiating. Interment with military honors was at the Red Cloud Cemetery.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud Nebraska 68970
Phone (402) 746-2500