Richard "Dick"'s Story
Richard "Dick" Charles Lyness, 86, of Rio Vista, Texas went to be with the LORD on January 26, 2017.
Rosary will be held at 2:30 pm, with visitation from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Sunday, January 29, 2017 at Rosser Funeral Home, Cleburne, Texas
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Monday, January 30, 2017 at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Burleson, TX.
Burial will follow at Grange Hall Cemetery, Rio Vista, Texas
"If a man does his best...what else there" - George S. Patton
Dick was born, on April 17, 1930, to Lloyd and Nellie Lyness at his family's farm outside of Ryan, Iowa. He went to a small country school as a child and attended West Delaware High School in Manchester, Iowa, where he graduated in 1948.
He farmed with his father throughout his youth. In 1950, at the beginning of the Korean War, he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps. He served his country with distinction before being honorably discharged, due to the death of his father, in 1952.
Dick returned to the family farm where he farmed with his mother and younger siblings until 1960. Due to the necessity generated by growing up on a farm, or perhaps by his inherent inquisitiveness, he developed an appreciation for all things mechanical, which would serve him greatly during his life. The enjoyment he received from working with his hands, and a fondness for his herd of registered Ayrshire dairy cows, never left him.
In 1960, when his younger siblings came of age, Dick looked toward Texas for opportunities. Leaving his family farm, he went to work as a mechanic for the H.B. Zachry Construction Company, of San Antonio, TX. He began a short tenure working on, what today is known as, the Twin Buttes Reservoir in San Angelo, TX. After only a short period, he was called back to Iowa to assist in rebuilding the family farm, which had been destroyed by an unfortunate tornado.
During his return to Iowa he met, fell in love, and married his wife of 54 years, Margaret Eleanor Meader. They were married on January 12, 1963 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After a brief honeymoon in California, Dick and Margaret returned to Texas. In the summer of 1963 Dick once again started working at the H.B. Zachry Construction Company, this time it would last for almost 35 years. During his tenure with Zachry Construction, Dick had the privilege to be involved in some of largest construction projects built in Texas, at that time, which included the initial construction of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the Palacio Del Rio Hotel of San Antonio.
After some years working and moving around Texas, he and Margaret settled their young family in Johnson County, near Cleburne, TX, where they have remained since 1973. There, Dick continued his interests in mechanics, carpentry, and quiet country living. Over the years, he and Margaret had seven children, and as many tractors (if not more). He was a faithful man, devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a quiet man, who offered what he could, and helped when he was needed.
In 1997, he retired at the age of 67. He then went on to work at his children's construction company: Lyness Construction, LP in Cleburne, Texas. During his part-time retirement and as he was not one to idle, Dick enjoyed restoring his collection of antique tractors, traveling, reading, and most of all enjoying time with his family.
Dick was devout Catholic from birth, and has always been a member of a Catholic parish, most recently as a parishioner of St. Ann's Catholic Church of Burleson, Texas.
Dick is preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Mary Ellen "Nellie" Lyness (nee McGraw), siblings: Lloyd, Jr., Nadine, Maureen, Leslie and Lester.
Dick is survived by; his wife Margaret Lyness (Rio Vista, TX), their seven children (their spouses); Mike (Kathy), Pat (Rita), Tim (Lori), Loraine (George) Pittenger, Terry (Stephanie), Bryan (Unna), and Ryan (Casey); multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren; his sister Mary Jean Davis (Ross) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; his brother Jerry Lyness (Patty) of Ryan, Iowa; and countless cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
This is a brief summary of the life of Richard Charles Lyness. We, his family, would like to make it understood, that Dick lived his life for God, family, and country. He was not one to take credit, nor boast of self-achievements. He was an extremely hardworking, sternly honest, and a quietly humble man. He was blessed with a willingness to sacrifice so others could succeed, and we ask that when thinking about Richard Charles Lyness please remember this quote;
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived"
- George S. Patton
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the St. Ann's Catholic Church Building Fund, Burleson, TX.
Published on January 27, 2017