Remembering Dick Spady

March 17, 2014

Dick Spady passed away February 28, 2014. He was a beloved and respected leader at Mary Lanning Healthcare, chairing the Board of Trustees for 12 of the 22 years he served. He helped establish the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation and was the landscape architect for the Mary Lanning campus. Perhaps his most lasting legacy is his vision and work for rural health.

Leota Rolls spoke at his memorial service, Thursday, March 6, at the Hastings City Auditorium. Throughout her 47 years at Mary Lanning Healthcare, Leota worked with Dick and other hospital leaders. The following excerpt is taken from her remarks.

"Almost 100 years ago William and Alice Lanning chose to honor the memory of their daughter Mary, by establishing the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital. In his notes Mr. Lanning wrote that he wanted the work of the Hospital Board to be a labor of love.

Who better to carry on that vision than Dick Spady? Dick was a man of caring and he exemplified that vision in all he did. As I was preparing to write this tribute to Dick I asked many people who had known and worked with him to tell me their most vivid memory and they all spoke first of his love for people. They spoke of his kind and gentle manner, of his desire to make the world a better place for all those he met. They spoke of his love for family and the hospital and the Hastings Community. And of course, they spoke of his beautification efforts.

Dick Spady amassed a list of accomplishments spanning varied fields of interest including agriculture, community improvement, business development, safety and health care to name a few.

There are thousands of images that we will continue to cherish throughout the years but we will always remember Dick for his deep love for the Hospital and the region. Without a doubt with the passing of Dick Spady, the Mary Lanning organization and the people of south central Nebraska say goodbye to a wonderful friend."

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