Obituary – Richard “Rich” Lee Vavra: 1947-2019 |

Obituary – Richard “Rich” Lee Vavra: 1947-2019

Richard “Rich” Lee Vavra, age 72, of Nisland, SD passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, June 23, 2019. A private family memorial service was held on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the home place.

Richard Lee was delivered by midwife in Presho, SD on January 28, 1947 to Bedrick “Fred” and Marie Vavra. The tenth of eleven children, he grew up learning the value of hard work and perseverance. When Rich was in the 8th grade, his father became ill and was unable to take care of the place and Rich took over the responsibility, never looking back. Rich worked for Leo Brodrecht and various farmers and ranchers around the Presho area before going to work for the Milwaukee Railroad. Shortly thereafter he married the love of his life, Linda Anderson in Kennebec and they were married for 49 years in January. To this union were born two sons, Quinton and Brent. When the Railroad shut down, Rich and Linda operated the bar in Interior for a couple of years. Realizing that it was no place to raise two active boys, they moved to Colony, Wyoming and went to work for Walt Crago for a short time. In 1979 Rich purchased four head of Gelbvieh Cattle and moved to Nisland, SD. RLV Gelbvieh was establish just north of Nisland and they worked to build their herd and have had a bull sale every year for 39 years. As a family they went to many cattle shows and brought home multiple trophies. Rich loved to talk about cows and always loved to visit with everyone who knew him. He was fiercely proud of his sons and any of their ventures, he was tough but fair and always had a lesson to teach. Rich was blessed with four granddaughters and never missed an event, from basketball games to dance recitals. He indulged their every whim, with a smile on his face. He was also a great grandfather to three, and was always happy to have his family together.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; sons, Quinton and wife, Felicia of Gillette, WY, Brent and wife, Eve of Yantis, TX; granddaughters, Nicole Hamilton and husband, Christopher of Gillette, WY and their children, Dawson and Brynlee, Katelynd Jacquot and husband, David of Belle Fourche, SD and their son, Thaddeus, Taylor Vavra and Carlee Vavra of Yantis, TX; five sisters, two brothers and numerous nieces and nephews.

Rich was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.

Memorials can be made to Belle Fourche Fireworks display.

An online guest book is available at

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