July 8, 1935 – Feb. 3, 2018
FREMONT — Richard Dean Vitters, 82, of Fremont died Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Nye Legacy.
Richard was born July 8, 1935, in Huron, South Dakota, to Herb and Hazel (Abbott) Vitters, the oldest of nine children. After graduating from Wessington, South Dakota 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 Curriculumnstruction at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. From July 1975 to June 1979, Richard was the Superintendent-Principal 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.
Richard spent time in Saudi Arabia, working for Remco Oil Company, writing manuals. He taught at Huron College in South Dakota and he taught in Tarkio, Missouri, coming 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, so after eight years at Midland, he went back to South Dakota. Three years later, Richard returned to this area and worked at Clarkson College in Omaha at Registernstructor. 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, South Dakota, area in the fall to pheasant hunt with his brothers. Richard was a scholar who loved learning new things, a true life-long learner. He still had time for 15 Elder Hostel Trips.
Richard was a member of First Lutheran Church, the Cosmos Club, Civil War Round Table, Sons of the Union War, and Midland Bridge Group.
On April 10, 1976, he was married to Judy Sullivan. Richard is survived by his wife, Judy, and family, Gregory and Marilyn Sullivan, Spokane, Washington, Anne and Ted DeBord, Fremont, Kathryn and Shane Isham, Coal City, Illinois, Eric and Stacey Sullivan, Seguin, Texas; grandchildren, Brandon (Melissa) Benson, Ashley (Ryan) Benson, Levi and Lily Isham, James DeBord; three great-grandchildren, Payton, Jake and Sawyer; his brothers, Donald and wife Kathy, Wayne and wife Betty, Albert and wife Marilyn, David and wife Sharon, Clifford and wife Sandy, John and wife Judy; sister, Marles and Larry Wilson; sister-in-law, Sylvia Lemke; adopted daughter, Tammy (husband Dr. Rocky) “Vitters” Mohr and their four children of Huron, S.D.
A brother, Jerry, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday (Feb. 12) at First Lutheran Church, followed by Military Honors at the church. The committal will be Monday afternoon in the Omaha National Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be on Sunday (Feb. 11) from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ludvigsen Mortuary, Fremont. Memorials are suggested to his church or the donor’s choice.
Online guestbook at www.ludvigsenmortuary.com.