Reverend Richard “Dick” Near, 85, of Central City, Nebraska died Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at Litzenberg Memorial Long-Term Care in Central City. Memorial Services will be Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Bucklin, Kansas, with Rev. Brad Zimmerman officiating.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.soltwagnerfuneral.com. Memorials are suggested to the Central City Fitness Center. Richard Dean was born October 10, 1936 to James R. and Mabel L. (Beach) Near in Garden City, KS. He grew up in Garden City and graduated as Valedictorian of his class from Garden City High School in 1954. While in high school, he gave his life to Jesus Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade. After high school, Dick turned down admission to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a minor league baseball contract offer from the Brooklyn Dodgers. Wanting instead to be a minister, Dick attended Kansas Wesleyan University and then Garrett Theological Seminary in Chicago. He married Ruby L. Lofstead and the coupled lived in Courtland and Osborne until Ruby’s death in 1974. In 1977, Dick married Virginia L. Paxson Supernaw. After seminary, Dick served as a United Methodist Minister in many different communities throughout his career. He served in Kansas at Barnard from 1958- 1959, Courtland-Lovewell in 1964, Hoxie-Meno-McGraw from 1969-1972, Osborne from 1972-1977, Chapman from 1977-1984, Hebbubgs in 1987, Jennings-Dresden from 1988-1991, Hillsboro from 1991-1995, and Great Bend First United Methodist from 1995-2000. After retiring in 2000, Dick and Virginia moved to Abilene, KS to manage the Sunflower Apartment Building. In 2014, they sold the apartment building and moved to Central City where they lived the remainder of their lives. Dick was known for his love for his family, especially when it came to feeding the grandchildren sugary treats. He enjoyed watching sports and was a big fan of the Kansas City Royals and KU basketball. Flat soda pop, beans and chocolate were among his favorite foods. When he was able, he delighted in hiking in the mountains of Colorado and staying fit by jogging. Always one to take advantage of a bargain, he shopped with coupons and went to garage sales. His positive attitude about life continued to the end, as he rarely ever complained.
Those left to cherish Dick’s memory are his children: David (Brandee) Near of Napa, CA; Laurie Near-Shockley of Eureka, KS; Ralph (Lori) Supernaw of Central City, NE; Cheryl (Keith) Atkinson of Berthoud, CO; Barry (Annie) Supernaw of Forestburg, SD; Bradley Supernaw of Central City, NE; 22 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruby, in 1974; and his wife, Virginia, in 2017