Richard Leo Sheahan, 85 of Sabetha, KS passed away Monday, December 31, 2012 at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha, KS.
According to his parents, John Leo & Catherine Elizabeth Sheahan, Richard Leo Sheahan was born on April 18, 1927 in Wichita, Kansas despite finding out at age 65 that his birth certificate says he was born on April 19 th . The family is inclined to believe Richard’s mother and has always celebrated his birthday on April 18 th .
Richard was raised on a farm outside of Kingman, Kansas. He second oldest of twelve kids. He attended a one room country school house where his mischievous streak sometimes got him into trouble. Richard told stories of antics such as putting all the girls on a sled and sending them down the hill and throwing rocks at the outhouse door.
He graduated high school at age 17 in 1944 and planned to join the Navy so he could see the world. On the day he was filling out his Navy application, a Marine came through the room and asked for volunteers to join the Marines. When no one stepped forward, the Marine selected a few “volunteers” and Richard found himself joining the Marines.
When Richard returned from the Marines he attended college at Kansas State University for six months and realized it wasn’t for him. He moved on to Wichita and worked for three different aircraft manufacturers. Eventually he ended up in Formosa, Kansas where his parents had moved while he was away. He tried his hand at farming before signing a contract with the Jewell County CO-OP service station in 1952, in Randall, Kansas where he worked for the next 29 years. He was subsequently a rural mail carrier for 10 years.
Lynell Marie Koss, daughter of Paul Herman & Frances H. (Larson) Koss, was 15 when she moved to Randall. She recalls not being allowed to fill the car up at the station where Richard, “that handsome man” as her mother referred to him, worked. Due to a stroke of fate, Frances sent Lynell and a girlfriend to the community square dance one Saturday evening to ask Richard, the only other Catholic in town, what time church was the next day. Richard gallantly volunteered to escort Francis, Lynell, and her brother Paul to church and slowly became an integral part of the family, regularly escorting the Koss’ to church.
Richard and Lynell fell in love and were married on May 30, 1955 in Esbon, Kansas. Between 1956 and 1963 they were blessed with six children, Rick, Cathy, Steve, Maureen, Linda and Tim. The children grew up helping Richard and Lynell with their many endeavors, such as dismantling three old houses to build a family room on to the house he had moved in from the country, eventually creating a lovely home for the family. Richard was an accomplished mechanic, carpenter, and craftsman.
He was a City Councilman and then Mayor for many years in Randall in addition to being a volunteer fireman for fifty years. After retiring, Richard’s work really began as he helped his children and others work on homes and other projects. Richard taught himself to carve wood and began filling requests for wood crafted items for his kids and eighteen grandchildren. Richard also always wanted to be a pilot and at age 67 he met that goal by earning his pilot’s license. Richard was a member of the American Legion, the Rural Postal Carrier Association, and a Fourth Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus.
In June of 2007 Richard had a stroke that affected the left side of his body. He worked hard in rehabilitation and was still able to go on a previously planned family trip to Ireland in September of 2007. In 2010 he was moved from a nursing home in Beloit, Kansas to the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha, Kansas. Lynell gave up the family home to follow Richard to Sabetha where they could again live under the same roof. Richard passed away on December 31, 2012, surrounded by family.
He is survived by his wife Lynell, Son Rick and his wife Stacey (Kansas City, KS), Daughter Cathy and her husband Chris (Seneca, KS), Son Steve and his wife Teresa (Valley Center, KS), Daughter Maureen and her husband Tom (Manhattan, KS), Daughter Linda (Manhattan, KS), Son Tim and his wife Cindi (Shawnee, KS); and his siblings Charlie, Dan, Vick, Walt and Rosalie of Colorado, George (Missouri), Joan (Nebraska), Clarice (Overland Park, KS); as well as eighteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents John and Catherine; siblings Albert, Bernard, and Delores; and grandson Caleb.
Mass of Christian burial will be Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sabetha, KS. Father Greg Hammes will be celebrant. Casket bearers will be Jason Sheahan, Ryan Shayto, Derek Holthaus, Jordan Holthaus, David Holthaus, Nik Holthaus, Allan Sheahan, Sam Sheahan, Nicholas Rider, Nathan Sheahan and Scott Stokes. Burial will be in the Albany Cemetery, Sabetha, KS. The rosary will prayed Friday, January 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Popkess Mortuary in Sabetha, KS.
Memorials are being left to the Nemaha County Home Health and Hospice, Nemaha Valley Community Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department or the Apostolic Christian Home and may be sent in care of the Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia, Sabetha, KS.