Richard Laverne Grell
November 18, 1931 – December 14, 2019
Richard was born on November 18, 1931 in Crawford County, Iowa, and died on Saturday December 14, 2019 in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 88 surrounded by his family. He spent his childhood living on the family farm and graduated from Denison Iowa High School in 1950. His favorite horse was Lady Bell and he won many ribbons showing Lady bell at the county fair. He married Donna Comstock on September 28, 1952. He served in the National Guard where he was called up to active duty to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he acquired his engineering and surveying skills. He trained as a forward observer and his highest rank achieved was Recon Sergeant. In 1954 he left the service with an honorable discharge. He was then employed by Kirkham Michael Engineering Company and they moved to Omaha. He worked as a surveyor for building the nuclear missile sites in South Dakota. He was then employed by Dugdale Construction Company and worked his way up to Vice President of the company. He was responsible for the concrete paving of many of the streets in Omaha including the Radial Highway, Military Avenue, Epply Airport runways and I-80 in Council Bluffs. He also spent 10 years managing construction sites in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He later formed a partnership with Matthew Rupert and started Rupert Construction, a minority company. They were partners for 42 years up to the time of his death. He also loved flying and obtained a pilot’s license.
Richard could talk to anyone, on one business trip while having breakfast he met Terry Bradshaw who had just purchased a ranch. Terry sought his advice on what type of cattle should be purchased. While in Arkansas, Governor Bill Clinton would come to the job site to chit chat with Richard. He also met Barry Switzer at the family donut shop.
Richard loved to take his family on vacation. They did many trips to California, Montana, Florida, Texas, and one of his favorites was the yearly ski trip to Keystone, Colorado. On his last ski trip to Keystone, he had 48 family members join him. All were given hot pink ski caps so he could identify us on the mountain. Every time he saw a pink hat, he would yell “TRADITION”, and all would repeat “TRADITION” back as it echoed down the mountain. He was an amazing husband father, grandfather and friend. We will carry on “TRADITION” for him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Donna; eight children:
Deborah Meyers (Pat), Diana Gottsch (Randal), Daniel Grell (Kim), Cynthia Moldenhauer (Richard), twins: Richard Grell (Christine), and Randall Grell (Cindy), Ann Marie Grell (Chad) and Laura Pearson (Jay), 26 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; many family and friends.
Preceded in death by parents, John and Amanda; siblings: Fritz, John, Helen, Walter and Lydia; grandchildren, Little Al, Rachel and Rhonda; and son-in-law, Benji.
Family will receive friends Thursday, December 19th from 6pm to 8pm, at the West Center Chapel. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Friday, December 20th, 10am, The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (5217 N 54th St.) Memorials will be directed by the family.