Cover photo for Richard A. Heyne's Obituary
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1933 Richard 2023

Richard A. Heyne

April 18, 1933 — December 30, 2023


Richard Adam Heyne, 90, of Pender, NE, died on December 30, 2023, at Brookstone Village in Omaha, NE.  The visitation will be on Thursday, January 4, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender, NE.  The funeral service will be on Friday, January 5, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ United Church in Pender, NE, with Pastor Daniel Springer officiating.  Burial with military honors will be in Rosehill Cemetery in Pender, NE.  Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.  Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.

The funeral will be live streamed at:

Richard was born April 18, 1933 at Buis Memorial Hospital in Pender to Edward Heyne and Laura (Mayberry). He was so small that he was placed in a shoebox with hot water bottles to serve as an incubator. His proud Grandma Ester Mae Mayberry displayed a sign in their farmhouse for decades in his honor which said “From small acorns grow mighty oaks.”
Along with his sister, Faye (Christiansen), he was raised in the farmhouse shared by his parents and grandparents, Adam and Ester Mayberry. Later, he and his wife, Mary, would raise his four daughters in the same farmhouse that his grandparents built in 1912.

Richard walked the two miles to his one room school house, Frog Pond, every day with Faye and neighbors. He loved playing pranks on his sister and “Kick the Can” with his classmates. It was at Frog Pond that he made lifelong friends; where his Grandpa Mayberry, serving on the school board, met and eventually married the school teacher, Ester Tarrant from Bancroft; and where his dad and mom went from becoming grade school sweethearts to spouses.

Attending Pender High School, he often stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Mayberry who had moved to town. It enabled him to attend extracurricular activities such as being in the Headless Ghost play. He was also able to socialize with friends, which included roller skating in the tent at the Pender Park. Upon graduation, he was drafted to serve in the Army. He was assigned to drive trucks in South Korea. Eventually he became postmaster of his unit. He traveled on the U.S. Naval Ship General E.T. Collins to South Korea and served for two years before coming back home to farm with his dad and grandfather. After his military service, being young and single, he enjoyed driving his car around Pender and other
towns roaring his Smittys and generally having a good time, until the town cop stopped him with a stern warning. Once, after staying out all night, he was met by his grandfather with two feed buckets, “Welcome home Grandson. It’s time for chores.” Play hard, but work harder-a life lesson he never forgot.

Richard loved going to dances at the Tomba in Sioux City. However, he was warned by his mother not to stop at the Winnebago dance hall on his way home. Being a very obedient son, this is exactly what he did! It was there that he saw a beautiful young woman, Mary Pycha, sitting with three guys in a booth. He married the young woman and the three guys with her that night became his brother-in-laws. Richard and Mary were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Pender on February 4, 1956. Following the wedding, they celebrated at the old Dutch Hall where the attendees lined up around the dance floor and the second-floor balcony to watch their “first dance”. Richard and Mary continued to love dancing together for their entire lives and became charter members of the Tin Roof dance club where they danced to records along with their neighbors and friends. In addition to dancing, Richard and Mary loved playing cards. They “shot the moon” many times with their neighbors. Dad especially like the Poker parties!

Richard and Mary farmed together northwest of Thurston and started their family of four daughters: Nancy Laura, Linda Kay, Lisa Faye and Darlene Mae. While raising his daughters and farming, Richard enjoyed bowling, Pender High School and University of Nebraska sports, as well as Mayberry and Pycha family gatherings. It was at these family gatherings that his daughters were always able to locate him in the largest crowd by his distinctive laugh. He was the dad at these event that played ball with the kids and went swimming with them in addition to playing cards with the adults. Richard was very civic minded. He was a life-long member of the Legion and VFW. He served in the Color Guard for decades at the Memorial Day Services at Rose Hill Cemetery and marched in local parades with the Honor Guard. He also enjoyed working at Watermelon Days and the Pender Legion Hall to raise money for the VFW and Legion Hall. He contributed to community efforts both with his time and financially, including a substantial gift to the Pender Community Center. Later, he loved coffee at PoPo’s or Smith's to debate the local and national political solutions!

Richard loved being a farmer and embraced the farm life. He was a McCurdy Seed Dealer. He allowed his hired man to enter his brand-new International Harvester Tractor in the Watermelon Days Tractor Pull (Dad kept the trophy and the hired man kept the prize money)! He instilled work ethic into his daughters by making them walk the beans, sort the hogs, watch the gates and feed the chickens. He bought them horses and helped them with their 4H livestock projects. He volunteered his equipment and time at many a plowing or harvesting bee when a neighbor was in need. After retiring from farming his own land, he worked at Weborg Farms for a brief time.

Richard was a lifelong member of the First United Presbyterian Church in Pender which his Grandpa Mayberry had helped start. He served as a Deacon or Elder for many years, as well as on the Building Committee. While he didn’t mind board meetings, his pant legs shook like leaves in the wind when he had to read the scriptures. He made sure his daughters attended Sunday School, Bible School and sang in the choir. And when his daughters went through confirmation, he recalled one of his confirmation questions: What is the chief purpose of men? The answer: to glorify God. He did his best to live up to that answer.

Everyone knows that Richard was a sports fan. But he also was a music lover. He played the piano. He sang to his wife and daughters on the way home from family gatherings. He made sure his daughters were able to take piano lessons. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to be in the band and school choirs, faithfully attending concert and marching band shows. He was so proud of his four daughters singing together at church, especially at the Easter brunch!

While he loved his wife and daughters with all his heart, his son-in-laws were his sons. He loved talking and watching sports with them. And when his first grandchild was on the way, he expressed, “I hope it is a boy, so that I can watch him play football, basketball and baseball.” His wish came true with eight grandsons. He was also overjoyed by the birth of his only granddaughter, whom he watched play soccer and compete in equestrian sports. He was proud of their hits and their state championships. He would tell you that they never struck out, fouled out or missed a cut-unless it was because of bad refereeing or poor judges. He occasionally let that be known during an event! His grandchildren’s spouses became
his grandchildren and he was also excited to be able to cheer on great grandchildren at their sporting events.

Richard loved seeing the country. As a child, he traveled on the train with his grandparents out to California, later telling stories about the steep drop offs as the train passed over the mountains. Mary and he took car trips to Arkansas for their honeymoon, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, to Northern Wisconsin and many other places. He took his family to the Black Hills and to Peony Park where he regaled us with stories of dancing there as youth. One of his most memorable trips was to the Fiesta Bowl to stay with his friend Lyle and watch the Cornhuskers win a national championship. Being the
consummate farmer, he loved seeing what was happening in the farm fields along the way.

Richard is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Nancy (Jeff) Quine, Linda (Mark) Finger, Lisa (Ron) Rennolet, Darlene (Craig) Weborg; grandchildren, Bret Quine, Cody Quine, Kip (Brittany) Finger, Leigh (Danny) Schmitz, Andrew (Rebecca) Houdesheldt, Derek Houdesheldt, Adam (CharLee) Weborg, Alexander (Jessica) Weborg, Austin (Makenna) Weborg; and 14 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Faye Christiansen (Kenneth) and his parents, Edward and Laura Heyne.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to:
Christ United Church of Pender (504 Earl Street, Pender, NE 68047)
Pendragon Sports Complex, Pender-Thurston Education and Community Foundation Fund (

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