Richard L. Arbuck

Richard L. Arbuck

Richard L. Arbuck

May 24, 1941 – Sept. 3, 2019

Richard Lee Arbuck, lovingly known as “Dick,” was born on the farm near Fairmont on May 24, 1941, and he continued to live there his whole life. He was the youngest of two children born to Lillian (Zeleny) and Carl H. Arbuck. He passed away Sept. 3, 2019, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the age of 78 years, 3 months and 10 days.

Dick went to country school and later to Fairmont Public School. As a young boy, Dick discovered his lifelong love of farming—farming alongside his father. He continued farming actively until the 1990s. As a boy, Dick was always fixing up and working on or tinkering with things on the farm and continued to do so—even inventing useful things to use on the farm. He was always experimenting with and taking things apart to see how they worked. He became a “jack-of-all trades” doing most of his own mechanics, electrical, plumbing and building work.

In 1958 he started dating his partner for life, Deanna (Schallenberg) Arbuck. They were married June 30, 1963, and began their adventures of life together. In 1965, Dick joined the Army Reserves. His unit was called to active duty in 1968 and deployed to Vietnam. There he became good buddies with many of them and continued to visit them and their families throughout his life. They recently had their 50th reunion. Dick returned home from Vietnam in July 1969 and returned to farming. In addition to crop farming, he also raised hogs and feeder cattle with Carl and later operated a cow-calf herd.

Besides farming, Dick started working at Styskal Irrigation in the 1980s. In 1995, he became a partner in ownership of Styskal Irrigation alongside three partners, retiring in 2012. In the late 1990s, Dick began to crop share the farm to Don Bristol; however, he stayed active in decisions with their endeavor.

Dick and Deanna loved to travel throughout their early married years and traveled extensively in the later years of their married life. They traveled to all 50 states and six continents and have countless photos and memories. Many of the trips were made with great friends. While traveling to Antarctica, Dick met Roksana Majewska who became another special person to Dick. They were fortunate to have been able to travel together. Dick’s favorite place to travel was Alaska, which they were fortunate to have visited several times. 

Dick was a wonderful man; he was loving, understanding and a patient husband and friend. He had a sense of humor and contagious laugh that was unmistakable, and he typically had a joke or story to tell. He had many interests, including a profound love of all animals, fishing, hunting, playing cards with friends and square dancing. He found interests in everything and everyone around him. He was blessed with many life-long and special friends whom he always enjoyed surprise visits from to have a cup of coffee or a beer and conversation. He took great pride being able to help them in any way if they needed. 

Despite some health hurdles, Dick lived his life well and never knew a stranger. He embraced life as a gift and an adventure with his own style of humor and humility and with no regrets. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Lill; grandparents; father and mother-in-law, Lewis and Margaret; brothers-in-law, Jerry Schallenberg and Bill Jacobsen; nephew, Lewis Lee Schallenberg; and many other relatives and friends. 

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Deanna; sister, Jean Jacobsen; special niece, Cindy (Jack) Slocum and family; niece, Susan (Randy) Jensen and family; Goddaughter, Tammy Styskal and her husband Jeremy; Goddaughter Donell “Nelly” King-Smith and wife Heather and their son Jakob Guerra. Tammy and Donell were the children he and Deanna never had. He is also survived by Chris McAllister and his family; Chris was also like a son to Dick. Also surviving are lifelong friends Duane and Donna Smith; special friends Mark, Julie and Susan Manning, Jim, Forrest and Jennifer Bergin, and a host of other special friends and their families. He will be missed by many but will remain in all our hearts.

A funeral service for Dick was held Sept. 9, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at the Fairmont Community Church in Fairmont. The Rev. Seungli You was the officiant for the service. Shirley Milton provided the prelude and postlude music and also accompanied the congregation in the singing of “In The Garden.” The recorded selections “What a Wonderful World,” “Thank You Lord,” “September Song,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” were played during the service. Pallbearers for the service included Matt Slocum, Dan Slocum, Jeremy Styskal, Jason Arbuck, Shane Bristol and Don Bristol. Honorary pallbearers included Roger Smith, Duane Smith, Jerry Frazier, Jerry Chapman, Stuart Luttich, Bernard Arbuck, Larry Rhoades, Larry Schepers, Elton Flodman, Robert Fuelberth and Robert Milton. Military interment was in the Fairmont Cemetery, with military rites performed by the Fairmont American Legion Lt. Forbes Post 21 and the Nebraska Military Honor Guard.

Memorials are suggested to the Fairmont American Legion, Fairmont Rescue Squad and the Mayo Clinic-Nephrology Research in c/o Richard Arbuck, Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. Condolences can be left at

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