Richard N. Blackwell, age 85, of Aurora, Kansas, entered into rest, March 20, 2017 at the Cloud County Health Care Hospital, Concordia. He was born April 8, 1931 on a farm near Aurora, Kansas, the eldest son of Edward H. and Marie F. (Letourneau) Blackwell. He had one brother and four sisters. Richard attended country grade schools, Aurora High School and received a Bachelor of Arts from Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas in 1952. On June 2, 1952, Richard was united in marriage with Dorothy Girard at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Aurora, Kansas. They were blessed with five children, three sons and two daughters. Richard served in the United States Army during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955 and the Inactive Reserves from 1955 until he was honorably discharged in May 1961.
Richard was a faithful servant of his beloved church and joined the Knights of Columbus in 1952. He served in all the offices of the 3rd Degree including Grand Knight from 1958-1960. He joined the Knights of Columbus Assembly of 4th Degree Knights in 1968. He was appointed Financial Secretary in 1969 and served in that office for many years, as well as, serving in all the offices, including Faithful Navigator. He was appointed District Deputy of the Knights in 1970, where he served four years. He was elected State Council Delegate to the Knights Supreme Convention in Seattle, Washington and accompanied the State Council to the Supreme Convention in New Orleans. Richard served as State Committee chairman for the Knights of Kansas for 10 years. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Knights.
In 2001, Richard retired from the Postal Service with over 46 years of Federal Service. He was an active member of the National Association of Postmasters and served as president of the Northwest/Northcentral Region of Kansas. He was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. Richard was closely associated with Cloud County Community College. He served on the Endowment and Scholarship Board from 1980-1990 and on the Board of Trustees from 1990-1993. Richard was a Life Member of American Legion Post #76 and served most of the Offices of the Post, including two terms as Post Commander. He served the 6th District of the Legion as Sergeant of Arms from 1997-1998, was elected Vice Commander, 1998-1999, as District Commander 2000-2001 and elected to the Executive Committee from 2001-2004.
In the Aurora community Richard served 20 years on the City Council. He served as Fire Chief, Water Commissioner and was a member of the Township Board. Richard was a Pee Wee Baseball coach for 25 years and a member of the Aurora District 15 Cemetery Board.
Survivors include his three sons, Stephen Blackwell (Jeanie), Lawrence, KS.; James Blackwell (Beth), Aurora, KS.; John Blackwell (Leslee), Spring Hill, KS.; two daughters, Sharon Dykes (Darwin), Concordia, KS.; Joan Graves (Keith), Crete, NE.; three sisters, Gladys Chaput, Salina, KS.; Mildred Solbach, Wallawalla, WA.; Mary Kenworthy, Aurora, KS.; fourteen grandchildren, and twenty-four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy, daughter Mary Ann, grandson Evan Dykes, parents, sister Peggy Sulanka and brother Carroll Blackwell.
Visitation will be held at Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 28 from 12 to 9 pm, with the family greeting friends after the 6:00 pm Vigil Service and Knights’ of Columbus Rosary Service. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am on Wednesday, March 29, at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Aurora, Kansas, with Fr. Steven Heina & Fr. Larry Letourneau officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Aurora. Military Honor Guard by Ft. Riley Military Personnel, Ft. Riley, Kansas and local VFW Post #588, American Legion Post # 76, Concordia. The family suggests memorials to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in care of the funeral home. Online condolences, please visit www.chaputbuoy.com.