Richard William Nebel, age 87, lifelong resident of Munising, died December 29, 2018. He was born on September 22, 1931 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended Munising Public Schools where he played football on the undefeated 1949 team and earned many track and field medals running the high and low hurdles and on the relay teams. In his senior year, his track team won the U.P. State Class C Championship with only six athletes. Richard was elected class president of the Class of 1950. He was involved with the Boy Scouts of America and earned the rank of Eagle Scout and Member of the Order of the Arrow. In March of 1960, Richard married Lynn Davis from Toledo, Ohio and raised a family of three, Kelly Judith, Lauri, and Mark.
In the fall of 1950, he started his college career. He attended Albion College earning letters in track and field and a B.A. degree. He was an active member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Richard furthered his education by attending the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and Northern Michigan University.
Upon graduation from Albion, Richard entered the U.S. Army where he served at Fort Sill, OK during the Korean War and earned the rank of Specialist Fourth Class. Recently, he was greatly moved by a visit to Washington, D.C. as part of the U.P. Honor Flight. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, he began his professional career. Richard returned to Munising and obtained a general insurance license and became an agent at the Peoples State Insurance Agency. The majority of his life’s work was at the Peoples State Bank where he became its President and CEO. Richard retired from that position and was elected director emeritus and held a position as President of the Peoples State Bankcorp, Inc., the bank’s holding company. Richard was the Treasurer and board member of Hiawatha Communications, Inc. Richard was also President of a local real estate company, Munising Lands, Inc. Richard joined the Rotary Club upon his return from the Army and had thirty-seven years of perfect attendance until health problems caused him to miss meetings. He was a Rotary President, Board Member, and a Paul Harris Fellow. Richard was a member of the American Legion Roderick Prato Post #131, the Moose Lodge, a Master Mason, Past Master of the Grand Island Lodge #422, Francis Moore Consistory (having received the meritorious service award), and the Ahmed Temple Shrine, where he served as Potentate in 1980.
He was civic minded and appointed to City/County Economic Development Commission, the Munising Downtown Development Authority, a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Alger Regional Community Foundation, and other civic projects. Richard was also a proud and strong supporter of the Munising Mustang athletic programs and was recently honored as a Mustang SuperFan by the Munising Booster Club. Richard exuded incredible kindness and warmth. He always gave his full attention to those around him – small children, friends, coworkers and family all were the recipients of his genuine concern for their wellbeing. He fiercely loved his entire extended family - always celebrating their accomplishments with great pride. Richard stood as an example of compassion, forgiveness, honesty, generosity, and humility. He loved the outdoors where he hunted deer, enjoyed skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, and in his later years, found joy watching the brilliant colors of the sun setting over the bay, watching the ducks waddle onto the shore and watching his beloved companion, Clare Williams, pick blueberries in the Jack Pine stands. In the face of tremendous physical adversity, his upbeat determination and ability to live a full joyful life, was an inspiration. He had a wonderful sense of humor – bestowing nicknames liberally and coining phrases that will live on in our collective memories. He spent an unselfish life helping people and making his community a better place. The void left by Richard's passing can never be filled, but the memories of Richard are enough to fill volumes.
He is survived by two daughters – Colonel Kelly Judith Nebel, assigned to the Great Lakes Training Division, 1st Brigade in Nashville, TN and Lauri (Dr. Joseph) Cullen of Green Bay, WI; a son – Mark (Kelly Jo) Nebel of Sarasota, FL; 5 grandchildren – Dr. Marguerite (Joel) Weinert, Mark Cullen, Cole Nebel, Isabella Nebel, and Ava Nebel; - his siblings – Nancy Palmer of Grand Rapids, MI, Mary Sue Hansen of Big Rapids, MI, and Charles E. Nebel of Munising and their spouses whom he loved as brothers and sister – Philip Palmer, Richard Hansen and Mary Alice Nebel. He shared a close bond with all his nephews and nieces – Charles C. (Denise) Nebel, Karl (Michelle) Hansen, Philip Hansen, Richard Wallace (Jamie) Nebel, William (Anna) Palmer, Camie (Christopher) Conklin, and Mary (James) Flanigan. Further, he found great joy in his great nieces and nephews – Kyle Christian, Cameron Nebel, Keegan Nebel, Chase Nebel, Kane Nebel, Sarita Hansen, Sabine Hansen, Sophie Hansen, Isabelle Nebel, Larson Nebel, Brian Palmer, Owen Palmer, Quinn Palmer, Lucy Jo Palmer, Emma Conklin, Jack Conklin, Eleanor Flanigan, James Flanigan, and Richard Flanigan. His parents, Judge Richard Westfield Nebel and Alene Davis Nebel and a sister, Judith Nebel, preceded Richard in death.
To allow for family and friends to attend, events celebrating Richard’s life will be held at the end of January with interment to occur in the summer. Friends and family may call at the Bowerman Funeral Home, 302 E Superior Street in Munising on Friday, January 25, 2019 for a time of visiting from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A Masonic service conducted at 4:00 p.m. by the Grand Island Masonic Lodge # 422 will begin the visitation. Military honors conducted by the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard will conclude the visitation with the military service beginning at 8:00 p.m. Richard’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, Reverend Sandra J Kolder, officiant, 312 Lynn Street in Munising. A reception will immediately follow the service at the American Legion Post #131, 610 Munising Ave in Munising.
Interment will be on July 13, 2019 at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising at 1:00 p.m. with military honors preformed by the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard followed by committal prayers by Pastor Sandra Kolder.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent (or will be directed) to the Shriners Childrens Hospitals or the Richard William Nebel Fund at the Alger Regional Community Foundation (Alger Regional Community Foundation Inc. P.O. Box 39, Munising, Michigan 49862 - Please specify the Richard William Nebel Fund). Richard established this community fund over a decade ago to support efforts to beautify the community to assist economic development. An example of current grants from this fund include the flowers planted at the triangle of M-28/H-58 and, while giving full credit to the efforts of Claudia and Pepper VanLandshoot, Richard took special pride in his role in this project and hoped the fund will continue to support projects such as these for decades to come in his beloved Munising.
Alger Regional Community Foundation - Richard Wm. Nebel Fund
P.O. Box 39, Munising MI 49862
Shriners Hospitals for Children
c/o Grand Island Lodge #422, 228 West Onota Street, Munising MI 49862
There's still time to send flowers to the Graveside Service at the Maple Grove Cemetery at 1:00 PM on July 13, 2019.
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