Frederick Richard (Dick) Mai, aged 80, passed away at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. He was born January 28, 1939 in WaKeeney, KS to the union of Fred J. and Christina Mai, the eighth of 13 siblings, and the fourth son in a family of five sons and eight daughters. He graduated from Trego County High School in 1957 and was very proud of his career in football as a Trego Eagle, earning all-state, honorable mention status. After graduation, he attended Fort Hays State with a desire to continue his football career, however, his 167 lb. stature was not much of a challenge for those 200+ lb. linemen, and his college days were soon over.
He worked briefly as part of a seismograph crew in Kansas and then went to work for A.L. Duckwall Stores. He had a career with that company for 21 years, starting as fountain help behind the counter at a Duckwall five-and-dime store, being promoted to assistant manager in retail for Duckwall’s, and was transferred to various cities throughout Kansas in that capacity. He was eventually transferred to Commerce City, Colorado and spent the remainder of his career in Colorado. He worked his way up to store manager, managed several stores in the Denver area and was then offered a store in Colorado Springs, relocating there in 1968. In order to promote himself, Dick applied for a position in Duckwall’s newly established discount stores, Alco. He was store manager in the Alco store in Fort Morgan, Colorado, beginning in 1973, and eventually retired from the Duckwall Company in 1978.
After retirement, Dick became owner/operator of the Vogue and Model dry cleaning facilities in Fort Morgan for several years. He also worked for the Goodyear and Firestone tire companies and the Fort Morgan Co-Op, and ended his working days doing handyman work until he was no longer able to do so. He loved working and had to keep busy during his lifetime. He was active in the Jaycees in Kansas and a member of the Optimists in Colorado, including the Evening Optimist Club in Fort Morgan, which he was involved in for many years and was a past president.
It was during his time in Commerce City that he met his future wife, Barbara Baker of Golden, Colorado. They were married on October 18, 1963 at Holy Shepard Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Colorado and were blessed to have four children. Dick is survived by his wife, Barbara, his four children, Cynthia Fischer and husband Brian of Loveland, Colorado; Richard (Rick) Mai of Fort Morgan, Colorado; Beth Semp and husband Tony of Brighton, Colorado; and Steven Mai and wife Danielle of Firestone, Colorado; his eight grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother, Kenneth Mai and wife Georgeann of Kansas City, Kansas and four sisters, Marie Kroeger and husband Curt of Florence, Oregon; Betty Stone of San Diego, California; Evelyn Clark of Morland, Kansas; and Sharon Bell of Centennial, Colorado, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and four sisters, five brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law, three nephews and three nieces.
Dick deeply loved his family and liked nothing more than spending time with them, at family reunions, at sports activities for both his children and grandchildren, or at social events. He also liked fishing, hunting and camping and had many stories to tell about some of those ventures. He liked golf and coached little league football and baseball. Before moving to Colorado, Dick loved auto racing and won several trophies racing his Volvo, which he was very proud of, at various race tracks throughout Kansas. Most people remember Dick as being very social, with an outgoing personality, and as a man who never met a stranger. If you didn’t know him, you soon did. He always had a joke or a story to tell, sometimes many times over, and he kept his grandchildren laughing most of the time. He is and will be deeply missed by many.
Funeral services will be at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Fort Morgan, Colorado at 11 A.M. on Saturday, May 25, 2019, followed by a luncheon at the church.