Richard Eugene Sonnenfelt "flew away home" Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at the age of 89.
He was born at home near Kilgore, NE on August 6th, 1927. He grew up around the Kilgore and Valentine, NE area. He served 2 years in the Navy during WWII. After the Navy, Richard worked on the railroad until he retired. He then drove charter bus out of Norfolk, NE and worked as a mechanic, including owning his own shop for a few years and finally retiring from Ford in Elgin, NE. Richard was a member of the American Legion Post #229 in Elgin for close to 40 years.
Richard never knew a stranger and he loved to entertain people. He played many musical instruments including "the spoons", but is best known for playing his guitar and singing at various events. He was also a part of the "Old Fiddlers" group out of Oakdale, where he lived for 40 years. After Oakdale he lived with his oldest grandchild, Chadrick Moore, in Texas for two years and before returning to Nebraska. His final residence was the Plainview Manor in Plainview, NE where he passed away.
Besides music Richard also loved fishing, bowling and tinkering in his garage. He was well known for working on small engines and older cars even after he retired. His favorite thing to do was spend time with his family, including his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Richard is survived by his wife of 50 years, Virginia Sonnenfelt, daughters AnolaGay Sonnenfelt, Deanna Lee Brown, and Billie Jo Herbert, son Gene Olnes (from a previous marriage to Lavonne Olness), sister Bonnie Eatherton, 15 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren, cousin Julie Cruthers, who was very helpful during his last few years, and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother Celia Galloway-Sonnenfelt-Halsted, his father Frank Sonnenfelt and step-mother Melva Sonnenfelt, his two sons Richard Eugene Sonnenfelt II, and Brian Keith Sonnenfelt, his brothers Cecil Sonnenfelt, Bobby Sonnenfelt and sisters Betty Sanderson, Dorothy Soto, Ruth Ann Holland, and Connie Sonnenfelt.
There will be graveside services at a later date when all arrangements have been taken care of. That information will be provided at a later date. Richard will receive military honor guard provided by the American Legion Post from Elgin.
In lieu of flowers and because memorial donations cannot be sent directly to the funeral home the family is asking that memorials and cards be sent to his oldest daughter, AnolaGay Sonnenfelt at PO Box 197, Bronte, TX 76933. All memorials will go directly towards the costs of the burial expenses. The family would like to everyone in advance for their support and encouragement. Richard will be greatly missed.