Richard “Dick” Billings, 90, of Chatfield, MN passed away peacefully Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at Season’s Hospice in Rochester, MN.
Dick was born in Rochester, MN on February 11, 1931 to John and Sophie (Kapp) Billings. He grew up in the Racine and High Forest area where he attended rural schools through the eighth grade. He enlisted in the Navy in 1946 at a very young age. After completing basic training and serving for six months under the V-6 Program, he was honorably discharged when the military decided they did not need any more men. Dick remained in the US Navy Reserve through 1950. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army 1952-1954, stationed in Germany at the Berlin Wall.
In July 1959 he married Leona Deyo. They made their home in rural Chatfield where they raised beef cattle, horses and miniature mules. He also worked on construction in Rochester and did maintenance at Northbrook Shopping Center for 25 years.
Dick was a longtime horseman and drove percheron draft horses and a six-hitch of miniature mules in parades, horse shows and county fairs. In the winter months he drove his percherons on the sled to feed the cattle along with “Ruben” his german shepherd who never missed a chance to ride along on the sled with him. In the summer, he especially enjoyed riding through the pastures, creeks and woods to check on the cattle. He also did a lot of riding and camping with
Leona and his horse friends in and around the area and several western states.
Dick was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Chatfield where he once served as Trustee. He was a longtime member of the Chatfield Saddle Club, SEMSCA and WSCA. He was a life member and past commander of Giese-Kelsey VFW Post 6913 of Chatfield and past Sergeant of Arms for the post color guard and a life member of the American Legion Post 164 of Stewartville and member of their color guard.
He is survived by Leona and several nieces and nephews. His parents, two brothers and two sisters preceded him in death.
The family asks that anyone wishing to leave a memorial to donate to their own favorite organization or charity.
The funeral service will be Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chatfield with Rev. Peter J. Haugen officiating. Burial will follow at the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery. Military rites performed by Chatfield Giese-Kelsey VFW Post 6913. Visitation will be Monday, August 16 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield and at the church one hour before the funeral on Tuesday.
Online condolences are welcome at rileyfuneralhomes.com