Funeral Services for Dick Rel of Chadron, Nebraska will be held Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chadron, Nebraska. Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Chadron, Nebraska.
Ricardo “Dick” Lopez Rel was 83 years old when his work on this earth came to an end. Although Dick lived most of his life in Southern California, his heart was in Nebraska. About 10 years after retiring, he moved back to “good ol’ Nebraska.” First to Crawford, and then Chadron. The panhandle of Nebraska reminded Dick of his birthplace, he always referred to this area as “beautiful country.” He enjoyed family, friends, fishing and cultivating a prolific garden every summer. He never met a stranger.
Dick passed on Saturday, December, 4th, 2021 in Scottsbluff from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Dick was born on May 4,1938 in Las Cruces, New Mexico to Blas and Juanita Garcia Rel. One of 12 children, Dick was a playful child, always getting in trouble for playing when he was supposed to be working on the rancheria. He loved riding horses. In fact, his first memory was trying to fill the water trough before the horses drank it all. He also enjoyed jumping and swimming in the pond with his dog, Wolf, and meals with his large family.
Dick moved to North Hollywood, California when he was 15. He caught the eye of his neighbor Patricia “Patsy” Muro and “the rest is history.” In 1957, at the age of 19, they were married and their love story continued. They recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this past November.
In 1961, Dick enlisted in the US Army and became a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne known as the Screaming Eagles. Dick was stationed near Nashville during the height of desegregation. When African American students were beginning to integrate into all-white schools, Dick was one of the soldiers appointed to safely escort the students through angry hordes of protestors. After he was honorably discharged, he returned to Southern California, and explored his passion for landscaping and botany. He began his own landscaping business and enjoyed a variety of clients, including celebrities.
Dick and Pat began their family in 1964. Dick is survived by his wife Patricia Rel of Chadron, NE; children Robin Stetson (Tony) of Crawford, Ron Rel (Melania) of Carlsbad, CA, Ted Rel (Lina) of Auburn, CA and Marianne McNeese (Jason) of Woodland, CA; grandchildren Trenton Stetson (Missy), Devon Parkins (Calvin), India Rel-McNeese, Quinn Rel, Radley Rel, Connor Rel, Ryle Rel, Diego Barragan, Maya McNeese, Valentina and Mateo Rel; great grandchildren Brandon Parkins, Rhett Stetson, Luke Stetson and Annaleigh Parkins; siblings Dorothy Candelaria, Joe Rel, Luisa Fernandez, Blas Rel and Stella Lucerio; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial has been established Disabled American Veterans and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Chapel, PO BOX 970, CHADRON, NE 69337.
Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com