Richard "Dick" Spady


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Updated: Tue, 04 Mar 2014 05:17:27 CST


Richard “Dick” J. Spady, 84 years of age from Hastings, died on Friday, February 28th, 2014, at the University Of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

A Memorial Service will be Thursday, March 6, 2014; 2:00 P.M. at the City Auditorium, Hastings with Dr. Cindy Spady officiating. Private family burial will be held in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Richard “Dick” J. Spady Memorial Fund. 

Dick was born on July 18th, 1929, in Hastings to John and Alberta (Perkins) Spady. Dick grew up in Hastings during the great depression and the dust bowl of the “dirty thirties”. His father John worked for the telephone company and his mother Alberta was the youngest sister of Edwin Perkins, the inventor of Kool-Aid. When Alberta was pregnant with Richard she worked on Edwin’s original Kool-Aid production line filling Kool-Aid packages.

Dick grew up in Hastings and was a star pitcher for the Hastings American Legion baseball team. He was selected and played in a special 1947 Brooklyn Against the World game where he pitched against major league Dodger players. After graduating Hastings High School in 1947 he attended the University of Nebraska during the Fall and played minor league baseball for the Dodgers each Spring and Summer. From 1948 to 1956 Dick played on Dodger teams in Ponca City, OK, Santa Barbara, CA, Greenwood, MS, Miami, FL, Newport News, VA, and Pueblo, CO. During his career he had the opportunity to play amongst famous players such as Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese. An ankle injury forced Dick to retire from baseball in 1956. After this Dick completed his Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in May of 1958. Dick married Norma Wolf on June 14th, 1958. Norma and Dick then resided in Lincoln where Dick was the Assistant Director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. In 1974 they moved to Hastings where he became a partner at McKinley and Lanning, a farm management and farm loan firm.

Since moving back to Hastings Dick has been involved in supporting the Mary Lanning Hospital. Dick served as secretary/treasurer of the Mary Lanning Hospital Trust, chair of the hospital Board of Trustees, and was a member of the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors. For nearly 40 years Dick served on local, regional and state committees addressing issues related to health and safety, and health care education. Dick was also involved in numerous civic and fraternal organizations in the community.

Dick was an avid artist and landscape designer. Each year he looked forward to working on the Hospital grounds and at home planting and tending trees, shrubs and flowers. Dick is responsible for designing much of the hospital’s landscaping. His most recent projects include the Perkins-Spady Recuperative Garden, the Morrison Cancer Center Healing Garden and the landscaping around the Home Away from Home.

Dick was a caring husband and loving father and grandfather. During his lifetime he touched many others though his generosity and leadership.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include:
Wife: Norma Spady – Hastings, NE
Children & Spouses: Sarah E. Spady-Lyle – Hastings, NE
    John R. & Rhonda Spady – Omaha, NE
    Stephen W. & Cindy Spady – Ayr, NE
    Dr. Tom J. Spady – Escondido, CA
Grandchildren: Andrew L. Lyle
    Shaunice E. Lyle
    Deon J. Lyle
    Noah A. Lyle
    John D. Spady
    Shae E. Spady
Sisters & Spouses: Barbara & D.R. “Buck” Buchholz – Hastings, NE
    Jody & Darrell Laschanzky - Centennial, CO
    Chris & Joe Barnason – Lincoln, NE
Numerous Nieces, Nephews and Cousins