OBITUARY: Richard ‘Dick’ Oliver Stineman

Richard “Dick” Oliver Stineman, 82, of Newton died on July 4, 2020, at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, Wichita.

Dick was born at Axtell Christian Hospital in Newton on Dec. 20, 1937, to Oliver and Lavera Stineman. The family moved briefly to Davenport, Iowa, to live among many cousins, aunts and uncles, then returned to Newton; these early years set the stage for a rich and full life, deeply rooted in family, faith, and fun. As the firstborn, Dick was older brother to John Stineman (Pratt), Gordon Stineman (Newton), and Jane Stineman (who died in Phoenix, AZ, in 1980). Dick navigated the older brother role with an inner sense of responsibility and a true appreciation for the bold, energetic, and diverse personalities of his siblings – a role that would serve him well in later life as a father, manager, and community leader.

Dick graduated from Newton High School in the class of 1956, a stand-out on the Railroader’s baseball team. He loved his car but learned it could be taken away if he were caught with soda bottles and peanut shells covering the floorboards. His senior year, he started working at Dillon’s, beginning what would become nearly 20 years of work for the family-owned grocer. With his high school diploma in hand, Dick moved to Pratt where he pursued his love of baseball by playing for a semi-pro league while working at the Dillon’s store there. A few years later, Dick was thrilled for the opportunity to showcase his abilities for a tryout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, an experience he never forgot.

While playing ball, Dick started dating the love of his life, Margaret “Anne” Hall, and they were married on July 19, 1959 at First Christian Church in Newton. They quickly set their minds to creating the family that would be the center of their lives for the next decades.

Dick progressed up the ladder at Dillons in Newton and In 1971, he transferred to Salina where he was on the management team of the new Dillon’s Family Center. After a few years, he left Dillon’s to apply his management skills to lumber and hardware, at the family-owned Morrison’s Building Supply. Years later when it was acquired by Payless Cashways, Dick accepted a transfer to Altoona, IA. In 1987, the opportunity came for him to move back home to be near aging parents and manage the Payless Cashways in Wichita, and soon after, he managed the AAA Builders Supply in Newton.

Even in retirement, Dick continued to work, just like his father before him. He travelled across the state as a crop adjuster for Great American Insurance, fishing pole alongside him, with the company of his prized Brittany, Babe. Throughout his life, Dick worked at his regular job during the day, then took on extra work in evenings and on weekends, both to make ends meet and to help people who needed an honest, helping hand to make affordable improvements to their homes.

Dick did not regard life as a spectator sport; he came to play – whether playing slow pitch beyond his body’s prime years or testing his skills in the local rodeo (in his brand-new white jeans, for which Anne forgave him, but never forgot). Ever the civic-minded man, he and Anne were members (and both eventually elected presidents) of their local chapters of the Jaycees (Junior Chambers of Commerce) and Jaycee Janes. Dick was also a member of the Toastmasters Club and became one of the local chapter’s most decorated speakers, with numerous trophies that filled the family bookcase. To bolster his work life, Dick took the full complement of the Dale Carnegie course – an executive management and leadership training course – eventually becoming one of its most sought-after instructors, inspiring a whole generation of leaders and managers.

He served for many years and in various leadership roles on the Board of Directors at the Belmont Boulevard Christian Church in Salina, the church home of the family, where many of Dick and Anne’s closest friendships would be forged. He was a Deacon, an Elder, and often filled in for the minister in the pulpit, drawing upon his many years of study and certification through the Menninger Bible Study. He and Anne both completed a course for lay ministers through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kansas and represented their church at numerous retreats, regional, state, and national conferences.

Few things gave Dick more pleasure than the sport of hunting and being with and around his numerous buddies who shared his love of the hunt. Yet, as with most things, hunting was not the extent of his involvement. For many years, Dick taught certified hunters’ safety courses for hundreds of youth and required it of each of his children. He raised quail in home-made pens for later release in the wild, ensuring healthful populations and responsible sportsmanship. When a chick was born blind, he would bring it to the safety course training to have each participant hold it in his or her hand, reminding these future hunters of the responsibility they have for valuing the life they take. He was proud of the many dozens of Brittany spaniels he raised, trained, and who became much adored members of the family.

Dick, also known as ‘Ace,’ was the best of the players at his 3-times-a-week poker game. Artistic in painting, hand-lettering, home design, and wood carving, Dick was also a cowboy poet, spirited writer, and was often (happily) mistaken for Dr. ‘Red’ Duke. Every Christmas, he would read something he wrote to the gathered family, cleverly weaving in their names and experiences, making each feel personally valued and loved.

Dick became reacquainted with a grade school friend, Doris Joan Hessler, formerly of Newton, then living in Albuquerque, NM. Their love blossomed, and they married on July 12, 2013. Joan continues to live at the home in Newton.

Surviving to honor Dick and Anne are their five children: Lori Stineman of Colorado Springs, CO; R.M. ‘Mike’ Stineman (Purna Rodman Conare) of Jersey City, NJ; Liz Anstine (Barry) of Overland Park, KS; Lyndi Salas (Ray) of Newton, KS; and Matthew Stineman (Brandie Beaman) of Mclain, KS. With his marriage to Joan, Dick also had three stepchildren: Debra Cannon (Brian) of Corrales, NM; Janell Martinez (Dan) of Placitas, NM; and Kevin Bradshaw (Albuquerque, NM, died in 2018). Dick had 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Petersen Funeral Home, Newton, Kansas on Thursday, July 9th from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. with family present from 3 to 5 p.m. An online (Zoom) service will be hat the First Christian Church in Newton, Friday, July 10, at 10:30 a.m. Facemasks and social distancing are required. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9929548770?pwd=STVYTHA3akZSQzFwbjQxcFBkVnE5dz09

Memorial contributions can be made to the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Newton, or to the Caring Hands Humane Society of Newton. Memorial contributions can be sent directly to the funeral home.