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Francis J. Wiepen
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Lawrence Richard Fuchs

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BELDEN — Lawrence Richard Fuchs, 90, Belden, died Dec. 24, 2017, at the Clarkson Tower in Omaha.

Visitation was Dec. 28 at Union Presbyterian Church, Belden, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home, Randolph.

Funeral services were Dec. 29 at Union Presbyterian Church, Belden, with Rev.Robert W. Burdett officiating.

Interment was in the Belden Cemetery.

Military Rites were provided by Alderson Unit American Legion Post #149, Belden; the U.S. Navy Honor Guard and American Legion Riders.

Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers were Lawrence’s grandchildren, Dustin Fuchs, Tony Day, Joshua Fuchs, Chris Fuchs, Derric Fuchs, Trista Hughes, Gideon Fuchs, Logan Fuchs, Ian Fuchs, Katelin Fuchs, Garrett Fuchs, Julianna Schulte, Christina Schulte, Rachael Schulte, Dale Schulte and Daniel Schulte.

Lawrence Richard Fuchs was born Feb. 7, 1927, on a Stanton County farm, to John Benedict Fuchs and Clara Bisping, who had emigrated from Germany and made a living farming and raising livestock. German was spoken in the home growing up and Lawrence’s speech was dotted with the words he remembered. He was the youngest of the 13 children and grew up with some of his nephews and nieces, his eldest sister being 25 years older than him. Born during the Depression years, he knew about hard work, family, faith and helping your neighbor; values he carried with him his whole life. Working and playing in the outdoors as a child shaped his love and knowledge of nature which he also nurtured his entire life.

After graduating from Stanton High School, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the Battleship Mississippi in WWII. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he met Julia E. Bell, also a student. They were married June 14, 1953, in Chester, after both had graduated. In his early career, Lawrence worked for Farmers Home Administration while they lived in Hartington. Later, they bought a home and farm land in Belden, where he was cashier and then Vice President of the First National Bank, Belden, for 39 years, part of which he served as Director. Belden is where he and Julie raised their five children, Philip, Roger, Ted, Dave and Patty.

Lawrence enjoyed sharing his outdoor knowledge and skills in many ways. Raising his boys, he was the Scoutmaster of Troop 163 for 16 years, enjoying many camping trips, fishing, hunting and archery with them. All four boys earned their Eagle Scout and he received the Boy Scout’s highest honor, The Silver Beaver Award, for his years of service. Lawrence was also a member of Bluebirds Across Nebraska. He had an active trail of 50 boxes and in recent years enjoyed the kids and grandkids taking him to check his boxes. He served as the County Coordinator for Cedar and Dixon counties. He set up trails in Niobrara State Park, Ponca State Park and Chadron State Park. He was honored as Bluebirder of the year in 1993.

Another love of nature led to his involvement with the Northeast Arboretum. He received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. He was a Past President of and an active member since its start in 1989; teaching tree grafting workshops for several years and helping with flower beds, planting and weeding, at the University of Nebraska Haskell Center, which is the home of the Northeast Arboretum. He loved planting and nurturing the nut trees, orchards, vegetable and flower gardens on his own property and around Belden. Planting and operating a Christmas Tree Farm in Belden was another extension of his nature knowledge and became a family venture for many years.

Serving his community was accomplished in many areas of his life. He served on the Belden Cemetery Board for 40 years as Secretary-Treasurer. He was active in the Masons and the Legion. Keeping the Belden Library open and accessible was one of his priorities. He opened it every Saturday morning, planted trees and flowers and tended them as well, doing general maintenance for the building.

He made many friends during his years, volunteering for the Belden Fire Dept. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the Rural Fire District and he served as Fire Chief for 23 years, retiring at age 69. Through his work in the Belden Community Club, he organized a fund drive to display the old Belden Fire Bell. He was also a member of Lueshen Birders in Norfolk. They were active members of the Union Presbyterian Church of Belden. He was church treasurer for 20 years until his loss of sight caused him to retire. As his vision and mobility decreased he was able to stay in his own home due to the loving devotion of his wife, Julie, having celebrated 64 years of marriage. He kept the family laughing with his nutty sense of humor and by striking up a conversation with anyone he met.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Julia Bell Fuchs; his children, Phil (Marsha) Fuchs, Ainsworth: Ted (Shelly) Fuchs, Ellis, Kan.; David (Pam) Fuchs, St. Louis, Mo.; Patricia (Rich) Schulte, Belden; daughter-in-law, Terri Fuchs, Elkhorn; 16 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his son, Roger Fuchs; and all his siblings, Barbara Bristol, Katherine Tutin, Louise Hansen, Helen Werkmeister, John Henry Fuchs, Hattie Brauer, Margaret Meyer, Esther Barjenbruch, Carl Alexander “Alex” Fuchs, Dorothy Burtwistle, Betty Raabe and Warren Fuchs.

In Lieu of flowers please direct memorials to Lawrence Fuchs Memorial Fund.