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A Tribute

Oct 23, 2016

Richard Ralph Quaday

Blue Earth Richard Ralph Quaday age 96, of Blue Earth, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. He was a Hospice resident of St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center in Blue Earth. A Memorial Mass was held on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, Father Klein, Celebrant.

What I did for ninety six years – Dick Quaday

As the youngest of four, three brothers, one sister, Richard (Dick) was born Sept. 2, 1920, in Blue Earth Township. He was a straight ‘B’ student, at District #104, skipping the second grade at the country school. He was confirmed in the Evangelical Church in Blue Earth in 1935.

For grades 8-12 he attended the Blue Earth Public School, graduating in 1937. He participated in Boys Glee Club and mixed chorus. He was also a charter member of the Quill and Scroll organization, while working as the business manager of the Mahkota newspaper for two years. Dick was the stage manager for the Junior and Senior class plays, and carried a ‘B’ honor roll average, and some ‘A’ honor roll honors. He was a Boy Scout for one year.

While a youth, Dick ran a used bicycle shop, to fund all his school bills, and buy his own clothes. Dick won an appointment to the Annapolis Navy OTC, but failed the color blind test, so he was unable to attend.

In 1938 Dick started farming with his father, William, on a 50-50 partnership. In his spare time Dick sold used cars, and played on the Church Softball Team, where they won the Championship for four years.

He attended the School of Agriculture in St Paul, in 1940, winter quarter with 18 credits, all ‘A’s’, but one. He participated in intramural sports, playing the center on the Dining Hall Basketball team, where they won the championship in his junior year. He won second place in the ping pong tournament, and took second place, at six feet four inches in the high jump. Dick also won the 145 pound wrestling Championship. In Literary Club, he won the essay contest. Dick attended the college with a personal policy of throwing all the ‘Bull’ session visitors out of his room so he could study, when he had to. He was noted for making the best hot cheese sandwiches as his treat for visitors, when he didn’t need to study.

Dick met his spouse, Neva, in 1941, and they married on a 45 degree day, on Jan. 19, 1942, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth. Their witnesses were Gordon Siebert and Loretta Warmka, with Father Mische performing the ceremony, with 10 guests in attendance.

Dick and Neva honeymooned at the Farm and Home Week show on the St. Paul Campus, staying at the Andrews Hotel.

In July of 1942, Dick bought 80 acres of land for $4500. Dick and Neva moved Jan. 1, 1943, into the Sailor place, where they lived for six years. The farm site was in need of many repairs, so he got to work! He built the corn crib, a poultry brooder house, along with a chicken house, and a machine shed. Dick shingled the barn and the house, and put a block foundation under the barn. He dug a well, and installed running water, sewer, and electricity in the house, along with tile and cupboards.

In 1949 he traded his 80 acre farm with his Dad, William’s 80 acre farm, paying him an additional $18,000 to boot. Dick began the same repair process on the new farm site, remodeling the kitchen, shingling all the buildings, dug a new well, rewired all the electricity, built a new corn crib, painted all the buildings white, installing water hydrants, changing the farm from a dairy focus to feeder cattle, lamb, hogs and chickens. He made a nine hole golf course in the sheep pasture. Dick increased his land ownership by 18 acres, buying the river bottom for $1800. from the Kark family.

Dick’s first trip West was in 1950, to Montana, the Dakotas, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. He found lifetime friends, in Havre, Montana; Steve and Sadie Boyce, whom he purchased lambs and feeder cattle from, year after year. Dick bought his first lambs, which were rail shipped, and continued to buy lambs or cattle for 18 years on the Havre ranches. Dick flew to Timberlake, South Dakota and bought lambs, that were three decker trucked to South St Paul, for him to pick up, and truck to Blue Earth. Dick was a prudent lamb producer, cutting the death losses on feeder stock from 10 per cent down to 1.5 percent. He dealt with Pawlenty Friday, a stock representative of South St. Paul, on lambs, Indian calves, Angus, and Hereford Calves. The Bengochea family, Tony, and Concepcion, of Montana, sold Dick lambs, which he and his youngest son, Michael, used to share a stock partnership, when Mike began working the farm. In January 1985, Dick and Mike held a farm sale.

During Dick’s farming career, his farming operations grew from 80 acres to over 1000 acres; from hand husking corn to eight row corn combines. The grain harvest progressed from a thrashing machine to an eight row 21 foot header combine.

Later in his life, Dick enjoyed bowling competition; as a youngster, he set pins in the bowling alley to learn how to bowl. Dick bowled on three City League Championship teams, bowling one pin short of a perfect game. He scored identical three game scores of 173, in league. He made money for 22 consecutive years, winning second in the Knights of Columbus Tournament, with a 627 pin, no handicap score.

Dick was elected to several offices in the Knights of Columbus Council 1836 of Blue Earth, a Catholic Church organization. He was KC District Deputy Director (Wells, Easton, Albert Lea, and Blue Earth) for four years. He served on the State KC Charities Commission for eight years, increasing the Student College Loan program from $5000, to $250,000, which was awarded to members’ sons and daughters to further their education. He served as Vice Chairman, and Scribe for 8 years. He also served on the SS Peter and Paul Church Council, and sang in the church choir for 25 years. Dick was elected as an International Delegate to the Knights of Columbus Convention, at Denver, Colorado. He wrote a monthly article in the KC Knightline, the State Bulletin.

As a farmer with children, Dick worked as a 4H leader for 21 years, as a cattle Superintendent, Sheep Superintendent, and Hog Superintendent at the Faribault County Fair. His children showed open class hogs, lambs and fat steers, with mostly blue or purple ribbons.

Dick was voted as the Outstanding Senior Citizen of Faribault County, accepting his crown at the Faribault County Fair, and continued his competition to the MN State Fair.

Dick was the editor of a column ‘Quaday’s Qorn’, that appeared in the Minnesota Corn Growers monthly publication. His qualifications to write the column stemmed from his first place prize as the 1966 Faribault County Corn Growers contest, sponsored by the Frank Brothers Elevator Corn Club.

After retiring from the daily routine of farming, Dick worked for the Pillsbury Green Giant Plant, working the late corn pack for three years. He also drove new and used cars for L & M Motors for 20 years.

Dick was the editor of ‘Quaday’s Quotes’, a weekly opinion column in the Faribault County Register, for 20 years and 3 months. He never missed a week, and was always on time Monday morning. He retired from writing the weekly column at age 91.

Dick and Neva raised nine successful children; three sons and six daughters, all living. They all had an opportunity to attend college; Mary, Jim, and Pauline, graduated Cum Laude of their classes. The professions range from: Charles: Superintendent of Shipping and Packaging at Federal Cartridge in Anoka, Kay, Accountant at Kaplan Paper Box, Director of Star of the North State Games, Volunteer Director of the United States Olympic Festival, and Assistant editor of the MN Corn Talk newspaper. Joan: registered Nurse. Mary; Master’s degree in Audial Visual and computer, Author and Publisher. Jeanette: Chief Cook at Eden Prairie High School. Jim: Specialized Medical Doctor, in Lung and Heart, Internal Medicine and Emergency Room. Pauline: Master’s degree in Library Science, Business Management. Peg: Office Manager for Forest City Auto Repair. Mike: Manufacturing Superintendent at Lasix Laser Electronic Manufacturing Co., White Bear Lake.

Dick traveled through 45 states of the USA, including Alaska, in addition to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, and briefly in South America.

Dick lived out his life after the passing of Neva, at Friendship Court, transferring to St Luke’s Lutheran Care Center when he suffered a fall. He died peacefully at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016.

He is survived by sons, Charles (Jan), of South Haven, Dr. James (Karen), of Dellwood, Michael (Rose), of Shoreview; daughters, Kathryn “Kay” (Larry) Husfeldt, of Brownton, Joan Wilson, of Westfield, Indiana, Mary (Jim) Stoffel, of Isanti, Jeanette Jorgensen, of Eden Prairie, Pauline (Merlyn) Siem, of Blue Earth, and Margaret “Peg” (Craig) Kalskett, of Leland, Iowa. His grandchildren, William Quaday, Melissa (Tim) Owens, Steven Quaday, Joe Lacher, Eric (Jill) Lacher, Shelli Wilson, Jessica (Ben) Larson, Nicholas (Nico) Quaday, Rachel Quaday, Jason (Jerusha) Siem, Jeff (Julie) Bormann, Anna, Lorena and Andrew Bormann. Great-grandchildren, Rachel Quaday, Geneva Owens, Valencia Owens, Alexandria Owens, Stevie Lacher, Henry Larson, Samuel Larson and Dasha Lee Sankey, Therese Lynn Bormann; step-grandchildren, Evan Husfeldt, Sydney Husfeldt, Tom Stoffel, and Steven Siem, and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Neva (Fischer); his father, William; his mother, Lorena (Levenick); sister Marie (Don) Anderson; and three brothers, Francis (at birth), Carl (Mildred) Quaday, of Mankato; and John (Stella) Quaday, of Naples, Florida.

This is a gift from Pauline Siem to her Dad.