STERLING – Richard Allen Gebhardt, 80, of Sterling, passed away Thursday, April 10, 2014, surrounded by his family.
Richard was born Nov. 2, 1933, in Sterling, the son of Kenneth and Elizabeth (Rienstra) Gebhardt. Richard married Nancy R. Snavely on July 4, 1954, at First Presbyterian Church in Sterling. They would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year. The couple had two daughters. Richard’s family meant the world to him, and he worked hard to teach his children and grandchildren the value of hard work and determination.
Richard graduated in 1953 from Sterling High School. His first job was at National Manufacturing in Sterling. Richard served in the Army from 1956 until 1958. When he returned to Sterling, he owned and operated the Phillips 66 gas station. His next adventure was owning a liquor store. He became the manager of Blain’s Farm & Fleet in 1967, retiring in 1987, after 20 years of service. In his retirement, Richard was elected as Sterling Township road commissioner. He served as a trustee for Sterling Township before he was elected as Sterling Township supervisor. He also was elected to the Whiteside County Board, retiring from public service in 2008.
Richard was a member of Masonic Lodge 602 in Sterling, the York Rites of Freeport, and the Shriners. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Sterling, where he was ordained as an elder. Richard enjoyed attending weekly Sterling Municipal Band concerts in the park, having coffee at The Precinct, and playing at the park with his great-grandchildren.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Nancy of Sterling; his daughters and their spouses, Lori (Richard) Davidson of Milledgeville and Diane (Patrick) Mertens of Devils Lake, N.D.; four grandchildren, Lindsay (Steve) Ebersole of Chadwick, Tyler (Sarah) VanDeVelde of Jamestown, N.D., Katie (Warren Thomas) Mertens of Devils Lake, and Drew Davidson of Milledgeville; three great-grandchildren, Lilly and Wyatt Ebersole and Peyton Mertens; three beloved brothers, Ray and Fred of Sterling and Jim (Janet) of Columbia, Mo; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., with a Masonic service at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at Schilling Funeral Home in Sterling. Visitation also will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday and the funeral at 10 a.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church of Sterling, with the Rev. Christina Berry, pastor, officiating. Burial will be at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling.
Memorials have been established to First Presbyterian Church of Sterling and the Sterling Schools Foundation.
Visit www.schillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.