Obit: Qualley, Richard W. (1909 - 1990)

Contact: Marianne Walker


----Source: Tribune-Record-Gleaner (Clark County, Wis.) 02/14/1990

Qualley, Richard W. (1909 - 1990)

Richard Qualley, 81, Granton, died at his home, Feb. 7, 1990, at 9:00 p.m. Memorial services were held Sunday, Feb. 11, 1990, at Gilbertson Funeral Home, Granton. Rev. Wendall Springer officiated. Cremation rites have been accorded.

Richard Qualley was born Jan. 14, 1909, in Madison to Herman and Gena (Rusten) Qualley) He was educated at the Sleepy Hollow School in the Town of Washburn. After his education he farmed with his father. He married Alyce Ferguson on May 30, 1937, in Granton. They purchased his father s farm and continued to farm until his retirement in 1970. He was a trapper in the La Crosse area for many years, and he built a saw mill on the home farm and did custom milling. He was a member of Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church, Marshfield, and Bird Aircraft Association.

Survivors include his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Jerry (Carole) Post, Granton one sister, Mrs. Charles (Lou) Neff, Neillsville and two grandchildren.

His parents and one sister preceded him in death.

Gesche Funeral Home, Inc., handled the arrangements.



The Story of Richard W. Qualley


RIchard W. Qualley was born January 14, 1909 in Madison, Wisconsin. When Richard was two years old, the family moved to a wilderness 160 acre farm in Clark County, where he spent the rest of his life.  He received his schooling at the Sleepy Hollow School where his wife-to-be was a student.  After his education he farmed with his father and eventually purchased the home farm.  He continued to farm until his retirement in 1970.


On May 30, 1937 he was married to Alyce Ferguson and for 53 years resided on the home place south of Granton.  To this union was born one daughter, Carole, besides having 22 precious foster sons and 22 foster daughters.


Richard was a member of the Bethel Seventh-Day Adventist church of Aprin.  In earlier years he served as clerk and caretaker of the Seventh-Day Adventist at Granton.  He had a close daily walk with his Lord, and gave generously to charity, foreign and home missions, and helped worthy students to have a Christian education.


Before his marriage he was a member of the National Guards.  Later he became a member of the Bird Airplane Club.  He restored and owned his own 1920 open cock-pit Kinner Bird bi-plane and loved to fly.  He also had a great love for motorcycles.  During his courting days he and Alyce spend many happy hours on his 1927 big twin Harley Davidson.  He was a master at restoration.  He restored two 1919 Model Ts Ford cars, two Bird bi-planes, two Piper Cubs, a 1927 H. D. motorcycle, a 1928 Harley with a World War I side-car which now sits in a Phoenix, AZ museum, and several other cycles which had been completely dismantled.  Richard built his own saw mill on the home farm and did custom sawing.  The mill was powered by his 1914 Minneapolis Moline steam engine, which sits in his yard.


Richard enjoyed Nature and wilderness solitude.  On one of our visits to the Qualleys he and Alyce took us through the woods and showed us a "LITTLE THREE BEARS CABIN" which he made for his daughter Carole and her friends, and the trails he constructed through the white birches and maples with his bull dozer.  He loved to study little things such as a bird nest and appreciated ho God provided for His creatures.  He took much time on family walks to show his daughter a beautiful flower or a hidden secret of Nature.  Richard loved the beautiful sun rises and sunsets.  He loved to read deep things, especially astronomy and study about the wonders of the stars, and planets.  Being an out-doors man and observing how beavers built their dams, he decided to build a lake.  Spirit Lake is a memorial to him.  On this lake he constructed a mill house with a water wheel that powered his 1776 grist mill, which ground rye, corn, wheat, and barley grains.  The mill house was used many years as a recreation site for boys and girls, and many friends.  Baptisms were held at this lake.


The last memorable event in Richard's life was on a warm beautiful day last October when Steve Short and his father Glenn flew to Richard's farm in their Piper Cub and Bird airplanes which Richard had helped to restore.  They steamed up the old Minneapolis Moline and got out the old Model T's.  Many friends gathered around Alyce's flower garden, which Richard had built for her, and had a picnic dinner together.  Steve hooked on the wagon to the old steamer and guests piled on the wagon.  Richard and Steve gave steam engine rides through the meadow of their farm, while Glenn followed with a Video camera taking pictures.


Next they took a spin with Model T's and gave rides to the guests.  After this, Glenn took Richard in his arms and tenderly and lovingly placed him in the open-cock-pt of his Old Bird plane and flew him over the farm and country side, where Richard in his earlier years had flown many times.  As Glenn and Steve carried Richard from the plane the sparkle had returned to his eyes as he  exclaimed, "That was Beautiful!"


Richard passed quietly to his rest at his home on February 7,1990.  He is survived by his wife, Alyce, his daughter Carole Post and two grandsons, Jon and Richard Jr. of Granton, a sister, Mrs. Lou Neff of Neillsville, also many nieces and nephews which he loved dearly.  His parents and one sister preceded his death.


Pastor Wendell Springer of Arpin conducted the memorial service at the Gilbertson Funeral home in Granton on February 11.   Two of Richard's favorite sons were sung as a duet accompanied by guitars:  "A Wonderful Savior Is Jesus My Lord" and "Some Golden Daybreak Jesus Will Come."  A very special and close friend, Barbara Waters of Milwaukee closed the service singing "How Great Thou Art".


Such a large crowd of friends and neighbors gathered for the service, there wasn't standing room and many had to return to their homes.  The Bethel S. D. A. church ladies served a lunch after the service at the Granton Sportsman Club house.




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