Richard “Zeke” “Dick” Ziesenis was born in Lawrence Ks August 8th, 1930, he resided there attending Pinckney Elementary school until his family moved to Eudora Ks, where he finished out his high school years graduating from Eudora High School in 1949. Richard played left end for the Undefeated 1949 Football team which he was proud of until the day he passed.
Richard was recruited by the Navy shortly after high school And Joined in 1950. After a few months of Navy training a high school classmate convinced him to enlist in the Army. Richard signed with the Army in the same year enlisting with the 10th Mountain Division. He did his training at Fort Riley Ks, and was later stationed in Fairbanks Alaska during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953 while stationed in Fort Bragg Louisiana.
Richard married Rosalie Thomas on June 25th 1955 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Eudora. Residing in Eudora the whole time Richard and Rose had 3 children Rick, Randy, and Rachelle, 6 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Richard and Rose divorced in 1968.
Richard later married Shirley Ann Keech on September 17th 1975 in Ozark Ar, Richard and Shirley had 2 children Angela and Waylon, and 7 grandchildren. Richard and Shirley divorced in 1997.
Richard being a depression baby quickly learned the value of a dollar and did all he could to provide for his family. Richard as early as he could remember was helping his father Fred Ziesenis in the grocery store business and repairing shoes in Fred’s Shoe Repair Shop. Shortly after his return from his service in the Army, Richard worked for Phillips 66 Oil Co. on the Kansas Turnpike this being from approximately 1955-1965. From 1965-1972 Richard worked at the Hercules Army Powder Plant. He helped make ammunition for the Vietnam War. Richard worked other jobs including Bendix KC and Gas Station Island in Desoto before moving to Arkansas with Shirley. There he worked for Garines Clothing Factory and The City of Ozark. Richard and family moved back to Douglas County Ks, in 1985 where he spent the rest of his years between Lawrence and Eudora. From 1985 till his retirement in 1995 Richard worked jobs at K-Mart Distribution Center, Desoto Lumber Yard, and Allied Signal. Richard always made sure to provide for his beloved family.
In his spare time Richard had many hobbies. Since his glory days as a left end on the Eudora Cardinals Football Team until the last KU Basketball game he watched from the VA hospital bed shortly before his passing. Richard was a true “homer” always cheering for the local teams, Jayhawks, Royals, Chiefs, and even hoping one day to see an undefeated Eudora Cardinal Football team beat his 1949 teammates memorable feat. He and many of his ‘49 teammates attended home games together even in to their later years. Fishing was another past time that Richard found to be a big part of his life. Richard learned to fish with a cane pole in the mid 1930’s from his Uncle Will Stadler. Richard quickly learned all the catfishing holes on Captains Creek, The Wakarusa River and The Kansas River. He was still fishing those same deep holes in the summer of 2018 pulling 80 lb. Catfish out of the Kaw. Richard also had a true love for fast cars and loud motorcycle. He owned many motorcycles over his years. His favorites included his 1970 Comando Sport, his ‘65, ‘69, and ‘70 Nortons. And his 1972 Harley XLCH Sportster. Richard purchased his 1st car in 1948 A 1931 Model A. He owned many car brands a few being a ‘35 Chevy ‘50 Ford Convertible ‘54 Olds ‘70 Dodge Charger, and a ‘73 Buick. Richard quickly grew fond of the Camaros and later in life owned three a ‘67, ‘69, and ‘72 taking them to many car shows and collecting many medals and trophies. More than any of these hobbies put together Richard loved his family and his family history. He could talk for hours about his family and their history and it would never get old to anyone in the family. Many times a year Richards’s family would get together for holidays and Birthdays as well as a German dinner to honor Grandma Tena Ziesenis gathering 4 generations of Ziesenis family members making Richard the proudest father, grandfather, and great grandfather ever.
Survivors include his children, Richard “Rick” Ziesenis, Lawrence, Randy (Patty Carpenter) Ziesenis, Baldwin, Rachelle (Cliff True) Eudora, Angela Harris, Bashor, Waylon (Darcie) Ziesenis, Eudora; sister, Aileen Cherry, San Diego, CA; 13 grandchildren, Jamie, Stacy, Christena, Nicole, Jon, Marisa, Cion, Kniya, Jekai, Jazreya, Josh, Jacob Z., Sydney; 16 great-grandchildren, Madelynn, Gabriel, Amelia, Atticus, Christian, Sophia, Jacob H., Creighton, Scarlett, Meranda, Leah, Brock, Dominic, Camden, Kaylyn, Raymie. He was preceded in death by his Father Fred John Ziesenis and Christena (Neustifter) Ziesenis.
Mass of Christian burial for Richard Louis Ziesenis, 88, Eudora will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 2, 2018 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Eudora. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery. Richard passed away Saturday, October 27, 2018 the VA Hospital in Kansas City, MO.
A visitation will be from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary – Eudora Chapel.
Memorial Contributions may be made in his name to Holy Family Catholic Church or the VA in Kansas City, Missouri and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.