They were preceded in death by 4 of their sons: Clair 46, (1958), Roger 4 (1914), Robert 24, (1944), Donald 33, (1948). Allen, 76, expired later (1999). His children were: Michael, Ron, Randy & Janet. The only surviving sixth brother is Dale (Sandy) and children Melanie, Leesa and Bradley.
I served as a United Methodist Minister in the Iowa Conference from 1952 until I retired in 1985. I attended Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, and received my Master of Divinity Degree from Drake University.
I married Janet McKeen Obman on October 7, 1979. This union extended my family by 3 wonderful children: Kelly (Obman) Pimley (Tom) and their daughter Kaitlyn Jean; Kamela Obman Bridgford and step-daughter Kelsy; Kary Obman (Barbara Veit), daughters, Jacque (Obman) Renze (Ryan), and son Tyler; and Jodi Obman.
My first wife and I had 2 beautiful daughters: Julie (Viney) Cronk, (Ron). They have 5 beautiful children, whom they adopted and love as their own: Diane, Cathy, Tanner, Andrew and Lynn. And daughter, Jane (Viney) Abbey (John) and their daughter, Jennifer Lynn.
I had a very wonderful experience in ministry for the entire span of 33 years. I wasn’t interested in being successful. I only wanted to be faithful to my Lord Jesus Christ. My ministry was touched with the average “ups” and downs” of any minister. Without question, however, it was an experience filled with God’s love and forgiveness. My heart was continually filled with experiences of happiness and fulfillment. It was a truly “great ride”.
There were some outstanding experiences that filled my heart so full of God’s grace. I was very much a people person and from 1954 to 2011 God and I joined over 2,000 couples in holy matrimony. I could write a book on the extraordinary experiences I had. Jan joined me for the last 1,700 as a professional photographer.
In the late 70’s, I served as an Associate Pastor ½ time and also worked outside the church with the Iowa Great Lakes Ministry. For 7 years I had the opportunity of working with child abuse, domestic violence, riding with the local sheriff and deputies on night calls, and working in the emergency room. The Iowa Great Lakes was such an exceedingly busy place, as sometimes up to 2,000 people would be vacationing in the area. One of my duties was to visit the bars at night chatting with the customers. They wrote the agenda and we talked of God and problems…and many other experiences.
After my formal retirement I served as a pastor for 6 years in an RV resort in Texas. This was really a joyous experience. I felt God leading me and the Holy Spirit affirming me in the joy and warmth of that ministry. It was a great challenge to serve such a diverse congregation…but God still worked through all of us and it was beautiful and extremely fulfilling. Jan enhanced my work by directing the Alamo Rose choir during that period. My highest calling was serving my Father and His blessed Son in my ministry. No matter where I went… God was there with me…and He led by his wondrous love in Jesus.
A great, great joy of my life was the walk, side by side, with the most wonderful, warm, sensitive and caring wife, Jan for 34 years. Jan, thank you for you and the wonderful person you are and the dedicated wife you are. Yes, we had the normal life of “bumps” in the road… but the “ride was more than joyful!”
Richard left us and his earthly bounds to join his Heavenly Father and prepare a place for us on October 23, 2013. He will be sorely missed by many.
Visitation will be Sunday, October 27, from 4:30-6:00 pm at the Lakewood Estates clubhouse, Branson, Missouri. Memorial service will be 10:00 am, Monday, October 28, 2013, at Branson United Methodist Church, Branson, Missouri, with Rev. Stacie Williams officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Oxford Healthcare Hospice, Convoy of Hope and Springfield Victory Mission.