Richard Seib—husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, Korean War veteran, civic volunteer, lifelong Catholic--died peacefully Saturday, May 4. He was 87.
Seib was born Sept. 6, 1931, on his family’s farm just outside Hays, Kansas, and spent all but the final year of his life as a resident of the Hays area. He spent a year and a half serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, surviving severe cold, a Chinese offensive and at least one close brush with an enemy sniper, and missed the birth of his first son as a result of his Army duties.
After military service, he went on to work for four decades as a printer and composer at the Hays Daily News. His career there spanned a dramatic revolution in the craft of printing, from the time of hot lead presses to computer-generated offset printing, and his skills advanced throughout.
Richard Seib was married for 68 years to Annette Doerfler, after they met at a Hays drive-in restaurant where she worked. Together they raised seven children, mostly in a modest and loving home on Main Street in Hays, and were inseparable throughout their time together. They were known as loyal members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish, and, in retirement years, as producers of homemade egg noodles, sold from their home to a band of regular customers.
Seib loved growing up as a farm boy and was an active member of the Future Farmers of America while attending Hays High School, from which he graduated in 1948. He fully intended to remain a farmer until military and family duties intervened, though he never lost his love for the land and the rhythms of farm life.
While in high school, he also considered a career in business and as a result learned how to type, which was then considered a useful job skill in the business world. Because he could type, he became clerk for Company B of the 439th Engineer Construction Battalion when that unit, a part of the Kansas National Guard, was activated for service in Korea in August 1950. He went to Korea in January 1951 and returned in May 1952.
His military service also remained an integral part of his life, particularly as he became a stalwart in the Veterans of Foreign War Post 9076 in Hays. He served multiple terms as post quartermaster, and ultimately was elected commander. In retirement, he served regularly as a member of military honor guards at veterans’ funerals throughout the Hays area.
Raising seven children left relatively little time for leisure activities, with a few notable exceptions. Wednesday nights were reserved for bowling. Seib was an exceptionally strong bowler, and part of a team in a Wednesday night league for years. In his later years, he also became a regular on the Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course.
In addition, Seib sang as a tenor in the Sunday choir at St. Mary’s Church, then a part of St. Joseph’s parish. His participation in the choir was, in itself, a family event, with his wife and children regularly accompanying him to sit in the choir loft during the 9:30 High Mass.
Richard and Annette Seib left Hays in 2017 to take up residence in a retirement community in Kansas City, Kansas, nearer three of their sons, and he was there when he died.
Seib is survived by his wife; his seven children, Tom (Cheryl) of Lincoln, Neb.; Phyllis (Robert Brack) of Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Debbie (Robert Lang), of Amarillo, Tex.; Jerry (Barbara Rosewicz), of Chevy Chase, Md.; Jeff (Kelly Ashton) of Overland Park, Kan; , Paul (Johnna) of Kansas City, Mo.; and Patrick (Susie) of Overland Park; his niece, Belinda (Merle Mahoney) of Hutchinson, Kan.; and their families. He had 22 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Richard Seib was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Germaine (Bittel), and by his brother, Laverne. Laverne Seib served in Korea as an infantry-man at the same time as his brother. Indeed, they discovered later that, at one point, they spent a week stationed across the road from each other as Laverne was recovering from a wound. They learned how close they were only after they both had returned home.
The family will receive friends and relatives Tuesday 4 PM - 8 PM and Wednesday 9 AM - 9:30 AM at Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601.
A combined parish vigil and rosary service will be at 6:30 PM on Tuesday at the funeral chapel.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hays. Burial will follow in the St. Joseph's Cemetery with military honors courtesy of the Hays VFW Honor Guard.
If desired, friends may make memorial contributions in Richard Seib’s name to TMP-Marian Junior and Senior High School in Hays.
Condolences may be left by guest book at www.keithleyfuneralchapels.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.