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Richard Allen "Dick" Hovelsrud died peacefully in sleep after a brief illness on Feb. 21, 2020 at the age of 90 in hospice care at his home in Hacienda Heights CA . Just a few hours earlier, sitting at the round table in the family room, Richard enjoyed a jovial light dinner with his wife Shirley, his daughter Lisa, long-time friend Maurice, and Richard's caretaker Carmen--a final parting not then recognized. And at his recent 90th Birthday Luncheon for which his nephew Jeff and Mona Hovelsrud flew in from Minneapolis, Richard was an animated participant who enjoyed his food and wine and conversation.
The youngest of three sons, Richard was born to Oscar and Bertha (Rasmussen) Hovelsrud on February, 3, 1930 in Minneapolis where he spent his youth, attended public schools, and spent many summers at the lake house with his parents, brothers Stu and Jim, and their friends. Richard attended the University of Minnesota earning a bachelors in Business Education in 1952 and a masters in Business & Distribution Education in 1958.
Richard married his high school sweetheart Shirley Ann Arnold on April 6 1953. He then served in the U.S. Army for two years in Korea, an experience he often spoke of with joy and humor. While in the service, Richard awoke to find himself unable to get out of bed. He was diagnosed with inflammitory arthritic Aukylosing Spondylitis (also known as Bechterew disease) for which there is no cure and which--unless actively confronted with exercises--produces increasing forward curvature of the spine. From then on Richard coped daily with the pain and crippling. He maintained a vigorous daily routine of exercises early each morning to slow the spinal curvature and stiffness. He was a faithful regular for daily workouts and sauna and jacuzzi at his fitness gym. In frequent pain, Richard distained the side-effects of most medications and simply used aspirin sparingly.
Despite this physical challenge, Richard's disposition was positive and pleasant and his humor a constant. He was a strong, gentle, much-loved and much-admired person who took great care of his personal appearance, always looking sharp and well turned out. Richard's career began teaching Business Ed at his alma mater, South High in Minneapolis. Richard and Shirley moved to Whittier CA where he began teaching business courses at Pioneer High in the Whittier Union High School District. They lived in Whittier until moving to Hacienda Heights in 1967.
After completing a masters in library science at USC in 1960, Richard became the Head of Library Services at Rio Hondo College in Whittier. After employment there for several years, Richard was invited back to Whittier UHSD to become the District Librarian. When he retired August 1, 1990 Richard received many tributes and certificates of thanks from public officials in LA County and the City of Whittier.
Richard was active in the California Teachers Association and on the Education Committee of the Whittier Chamber of Commerce. He also was an Evening Reference Librarian at Cypress College in Orange County and an Adjunct Business Professor at Rio Hondo College. After retiring from WUHSD Richard became for many years a familiar face as a Reference Librarian at the Whittier City Library.
Richard appreciated the beauty of his home furnishings and artwork, enjoyed good food and drink, and fixed an excellent Manhattan. His special loves were his wife Shirley, son David, and daughter Lisa, and their family vacations to Minnesota and an ocean front house in Laguna Beach. Both children were adopted as infants--son David Paul was born 6/8/1961 and daughter Lisa Tricia was born 8/5/1968. Together Richard and Shirley nurtured them through childhood, their teens, and to adult maturity.
Richard supported son David's passion for board surfing for many years with frequent drives down to the Pacific at Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. While attending Cal State Long Beach and later while employed, David resided at home with Richard and Shirley. What was thought to be David's very serious case of the flu requiring a 9-1-1 call was in fact acute Meningitis. David died suddenly during the ambulance ride to the hospital in October of 1998 at the age of 37. Richard's time with Lisa often involved his accompanying his young daughter to the movies for a film that she just had to see.
Richard liked to read. He was fond of theatre, classical music, and opera. Richard and Shirley had many subscription series and attended numerous performances. Summer picnics with food and wine at the Hollywood Bowl were special adventures. With three other couples, Richard and Shirley shared several vacation travels and cruises. Richard always looked forward to his trips down to a vacation house in Mexico with friend Jim Johnson and other teachers for a week of card playing, serious drinking, salty language, and excellent food.
Richard is survived by Shirley, his wife of over 68 years, his daughter Lisa of Perris CA, his brother Stuart (Dolores) of Oceanside CA, his brother James (Patricia) of Minneapolis, and several nephews and nieces, and his caretaker for nine years, Carmen Ibarra, whose tender, competent, loving care for nine years enabled Richard and Shirley to remain together in their beautiful home.
Richard was predeceased by his grandparents and parents, by his son David, by his brother-in-law Douglas Arnold, and by his sisters-in-law Myrtle Arnold, Laverne Arnold, and Joyce Lind (predeceased by her husband Donald Goodland, and by second husband Harold Lind).
Richard had requested that there be no funeral or memorial service. His cremated remains were transferred to Minneapolis for later inurnment in the spring at Fort Snelling National Cemetery where there will be a grave site gathering of family and friends.
Please call (909) 938-7100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be notified of the time and place of Richard's Celebration of Life on Saturday. March 28, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, a gift in Richard's memory may be made to Whittier Regional Symphony Endowment, PO Box 495, Whittier CA 90608 or to the charity of your choice.
Expressions of sympathy and condolences may be sent to:
Shirley Hovelsrud and Lisa Hovelsrud, 14442 Autumn Moon Drive, Hacienda Heights CA 91745
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