Richard Lee Wadleigh


October 27, 1943 - March 31, 2015


Richard Lee Wadleigh, son of Elmer and Mabel (Sipe) Wadleigh, was born October 27, 1943 at the Methodist Hospital in Mitchell.  He was the third of five sons and grew up on a farm northwest of Mitchell, SD.  He attended his first 8 years of school at the Avery Country School and then graduated from Mount Vernon High School.  In 1966 he graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a BS in Geological Engineering and began working as a geophysicist with Amoco in Denver, Colorado.  The Draft Board was calling so he entered the USAF in 1967 where he met his future bride, Karen Halle who he married in 1969.

After leaving the service and returning to Denver, his beloved son, Shawn and beautiful daughter, Sarah  arrived.  Sarah has since added another son, Sean to the family as her husband.

In 1979 Richard and his family came back to the Mt. Vernon area to farm.  He was up early and always making lists of things to accomplish but on a nice evening you could find him outside, pitching a softball to his children or enjoying a book on events in history.  In 1991 he was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and enjoyed helping the friends in the congregation as a ministerial servant.  In addition to his love of traveling and making new friends, he loved to take children along the Firesteel Creek and look for fossilized shark teeth.  The fun day usually ended with a barbeque, bonfire, and lot of laughter, all while memories were being made.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Karen,  son, Shawn both of Mt. Vernon, daughter Sarah (Sean) Earleywine of Des Moines, IA, four brothers, David (Roselyn) Wadleigh of Mt. Vernon, Dale (Vangie) Wadleigh of Cheyenne, WY, Jerry (Darlene) Wadleigh of Mt. Vernon, SD, Eugene (Cynthia) Wadleigh of Casper, WY, two step-granddaughters Jade Earleywine, Brooke Earleywine, step-great grandson Gunnar Bryson all of Des Moines, IA, and many nieces, nephews, brothers-in law and sisters-in law, cousins and dear friends who will miss his easy laugh and big grin.  He was preceded in death by his parents.


Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.


Friday, April 3, 2015
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Saturday, April 4, 2015
11:00 AM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
Mitchell, South Dakota


Mount Vernon Cemetery
Mount Vernon, South Dakota

Posted by Friend from the past on April 8, 2015
Thank you sir for being a friend and accepting me into being a part of your family. Pray that your family will experience His peace during this celebration time...:-)
Posted by Darrell and Dee Tollefson on April 6, 2015
Our love and heartfelt sympathy are with you and your family at this sad time. We will always remember Richard for his kind and loving nature and feel privileged to have known him.
Posted by Kay Bush on April 4, 2015
So sorry; but understand the situation now that my husband has passed away about 6 mo. ago. My heartfelt sympathy for you Karen, Shawn and Sara and family. So glad you visited me when you did and kept me up to date. Love you.
Posted by Roy and Karla Boone on April 3, 2015
So sorry to hear of Richard passing. Karen, Shawn and Sarah our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I will miss his stories at the reunion and how he always came up with great games. Josh our son got to go on a great adventure with Richard hunting shark teeth. We will miss him greatly he was a very thoughtful person.
Posted by Miranne Walker on April 3, 2015
We miss and love you all and pray that peace and comfort be given to you. Much love from the Walker family to the Wadleigh family.
Posted by Gary & Glennice Shay on April 3, 2015
Sorry we can't be there to extend our thoughts. But please know that Richard was the rock among people. His devotion and loving grace will be remembered. His calmness was his trademark that few could compare, along with his intelligence which brought many benefits for his family. From the class of 1961 at MVHS, his light will always shine as the brightest.
Posted by Douglas Wiken on April 2, 2015
I knew Richard when he was a student at SDSM&T. My brother and I and Richard and his brother roomed together or in adjacent cabins, etc. Richard was one of those guys anybody who had him as a friend was lucky. I only saw him once after SDSM&T. He and his wife were square dancing in the Winner area and decided to drop in for a short visit. I will get his obituary into Dakota Today. Condolences to all of his family.
Posted by John Logue on April 2, 2015
I knew Richard well when we were both at the School of Mines, but hadn't seen him since then. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Anita Minino on April 2, 2015
I will always miss your smile and you always love to tease me and you keep me going. I know I will see you again in heaven and we will laugh again. Till Gifford hi for me.
Posted by Rick and Sue McMichael on April 2, 2015
We all miss you, Richard....loved your smile....whenever you came down to the house in Hot Springs, we had a wonderful time. Mom loved all the rocks you brought her.
Posted by Dina Vostad on April 2, 2015
I will always remember his great laugh and large smile from ear to ear. Your family will always be in our prayers.
Posted by Robert Sipe on April 2, 2015
God bless Richard, his memory, and family. My dad had a special place in his heart for Richard and the boys. Now they can swap farming stories in heaven. The only problem they will have is the angles will not be able to tell them apart. That photo of Richard could be a photo of my dad, they resemble each other that much.
Posted by LaVon Hall on April 2, 2015
I regret the loss of Richard.
Posted by Jeanette Nusbaum on April 1, 2015
I will always cherish my childhood memories of the time spent with your family while visiting for the Hershey picnics. I am truly blessed that my kids have been able to create some similar memories. Uncle Rich will be truly missed.
Posted by Steve Tollefson on April 1, 2015
Words cant comfort all of you at this time but the knowledge of the love of your friends, family and Jehovah give you the peace and strength you need. The god of comfort holds you and family in his loving memory and will soon bring all of the one that sleep in death back to us. Nancy and I are thinking of you all and share in the feeling of loss. Your a special family to us.
Posted by Karen Gomez - Gladys Irahola (Bolivia) on April 1, 2015
From the distance our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family, we love you guys! We will keep him in our memory.
Posted by Dalene on April 1, 2015
You are in my thoughts and prayers...may peace overcome you and memories sustain you...his legacy lives on forever through his wonderful family. Much love ♡
Posted by Rodney and carol gusso on April 1, 2015
Always will be missed
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