FREMONT, Neb. — Richard Dean Vitters, 82, of Fremont, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Nye Legacy.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday at First Lutheran Church in Fremont, followed by Military Honors at the church. The committal will be Monday afternoon in the Omaha National Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 2 to 4 p.m., today at the Ludvigsen Mortuary, Fremont.
Richard was born July 8, 1935 in Huron to Herb and Hazel (Abbott) Vitters, the oldest of nine children.
After graduating from Wessington High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served in Japan and Korea.
Following his military service, he began his academic career. He attended various colleges in South Dakota, and graduated with his Doctorate ED.D in Curriculum/Instruction at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.
In 1965 he married Carolyn Miller and adopted her daughter, Tamara. They later divorced.
He taught at the Huron High School, Huron College and following that he was the superintendent of the Wolsey School System for two years. From July 1975 to June 1979, Richard was the Superintendent-Principle at South Wilmington School District #74 in South Wilmington, Illinois. In 1978 he was the Grundy-Kendall Counties Democratic candidate for Superintendent Educational Service Region. He also taught in Tarkio, Miss., and went to Midland Lutheran College in Fremont in 1985 where he was Education Chairman.
Then an opening in the South Dakota National Science Project became available, and after eight years at Midland, he went back to South Dakota. Richard later returned to Nebraska and worked at Clarkson College in Omaha at Register/Instructor.
Richard spent time in Saudi Arabia, working for Remco Oil Company, writing manuals. Then Wayne State College asked Richard to help supervise student teachers in this area, which he continued to do in his retirement.
Retirement had him working for the Oak Tree Hotel as a van driver, and he also delivered phone books for Yellow Book. He enjoyed the challenge and the exercise. His dream of flying was realized when he and friends bought a small airplane which he enjoyed flying to the Miller area in the fall to pheasant hunt with his brothers. Richard was a scholar who loved learning new things, a true lifelong learner. He still had time for 15 Elder Hostel Trips.
Richard was a member of First Lutheran Church, the Cosmos Club, Midland Bridge Group and the Masons and was president of the Platte Valley Civil War Round Table and Past Commander of Welstead Camp No. 3 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
On April 10, 1976, he was married to Judy Sullivan.
Richard is survived by his wife, Judy; and family, Gregory and Marilyn Sullivan, Anne and Ted DeBord, Kathryn and Shane Isham, Eric and Stacey Sullivan; grandchildren, Brandon (Melissa) Benson, Ashley (Ryan) Benson, Levi and Lily Isham, James DeBord; great-grandchildren, Payton, Jake, and Sawyer; daughter, Tamara (Dr. Rocky) ’Vitters’ Mohr of Huron, and children, Karly, Cory, Landon and Garret; brothers, Donald (Kathy), Wayne (Betty), Albert (Marilyn), David (Sharon), Clifford (Sandy), John (Judy); sister, Marles (Larry) Wilson, sister-in-law, Sylvia Lemke.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Jerry.
Memorials are suggested to his church or the donor’s choice.