E. Richard Heyl was born on Aug. 15, 1935 in Hays Kansas to Edgar Heyl and Marion Richards Heyl. He graduated from Wallace County High School with the Class of 1953. He joined the Marines in Aug of 1953 and was married to Edna Herl on Oct. 2 1954 and 3 children were born to this union. Richard participated in basic training in North Carolina, and was stationed at El Toro Marine Base in Santa Ana California. He and Edna made Santa Ana their home, and welcomed their two sons Leland Dwight on Oct. 31, 1955 and Richard Lewellyn on Oct. 1, 1957. He was honorably discharged from the Marines in Nov. of 1958, and they moved back to Sharon Springs where their daughter Christine Annette joined their family on July23, 1960.
Richard was in business with his father Edgar and was operator of Heyls Phillips 66 station and later a car dealer with Heyl Motor Company all in Sharon Springs. In the early 70's he purchased B & B Gas Company from Bailey Atkinson. He was in partnership with John and Nettie Lock for a few years and renamed his gas company L & H Gas. He dissolved this business relationship but was a lifelong friend to John and Nettie. He made amazing friends and customers over the years of delivering propane, and retired in 2007 selling his business to Henry Dinkel.
He was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Sharon Springs, and he participated in many bible studies over the years. He was a faithful man of God and his faith never wavered even in his times of suffering. He loved his kids and was their support throughout life. He supported them in all activities that he could, if he was not working. When he became a grandpa he was overjoyed and was the best grandpa anyone could ask for. The grandkids called him gramps most of the time and they definitely had the run of his house. They would eat him out of house and home and he never complained about them eating all of his cereal. He was a man of amazing patience and love, and his grandkids learned so much from him. The rides in the propane truck, the time they went on trips with him and their grandmother. There are too many blessing to even count. When the great grandkids started coming, it was fast and furious. When he would ask their names and who they belong to, he would ask the spelling of their names. Some he was a little unsure of so he would smile and say ok.
As his health failed in the last few years, he faced a lot of challenges. He never complained and eventually he moved in with this daughter at her home. It was a big change after living in the same home for 47 years, but he made the changes and seemed at home. He faced every obstacle with a positive attitude and never was bitter or resentful. He was a friend to all that knew him and he never met a stranger. He had a smile and a handshake for everyone he had the pleasure of meeting. In his last few years of independence, he and Al Ryan had a lot of good times drinking coffee with the people at the 27/40 store and eating breakfast at Penny's Diner and Stephens Restaurant. They were quite a pair and had a lot of good times together. Marsha Johnson was a classmate and a great friend to Richard, and as his health declined she was an amazing part of his life. She visited him at his home and his daughter’s home and called him regularly to keep him updated on her latest escapades. Richard was very ill the last 2 weeks and was blessed to have his brother Guy and wife Kathy close to help support him and his daughter. He went to his Heavenly home on Feb. 2, 2018 at 5:20 am. He will be missed dearly by all that knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents Edgar and Marion Richards Heyl, wife Edna, sons, Leland and Richie, grandson-in-law Brett Spresser, great grandson Ezra Welsh, and sister Mary Kay Brown.
He is survived by his daughter Christine Heyl Welsh, daughter-in-law Lois Heyl, brother Guy Heyl and wife Kathy of Littleton, CO; grandchildren Amie Gibbs and husband Patrick, Marc Welsh and wife Kristen, Keara Richardson and husband Kenny, Brian Welsh and wife Lacey, Andrew Heyl and wife Lexi, Brock Heyl and wife Chanell, Kevin Heyl and wife Audrey, Mitchell Welsh and wife Audrielle, Matthew Welsh and wife Kelli, Nikki Chubb and husband Bradley, Aarika Welsh and husband Jesse; thirty eight great grandchildren, 3 step great grandchildren, two cousins David Woodrow and wife Nancy, and Kim Woodrow and wife Debbie, five nephews Nolan, Jon, Jay, Matthew and Nicholas, four nieces Paula, Katie, Marie and Melissa, and a host of amazing friends who he loved dearly. He will live forever in our hearts and we will hold his memories close.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM MT at the United Methodist Church in Sharon Springs with Pastors Galen Crippen and Guy Rendoff officiating. Inurnment will follow with Military Honors in the Sharon Springs Cemetery, Sharon Springs, Kansas.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard Heyl Memorial Fund and may be left at the services or mailed to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland, KS 67735.
Online condolences may be left at www.koonsrussellfuneralhome.com.
Service arrangements are entrusted to Koons-Russell Funeral Home in Sharon Springs, KS.
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