Richard Harold Blacker
SEWARD, Neb. - Before there were Navy Seals or Special Forces, during the dark days of World War II there were United States Marines Recon Companies. On Christmas Eve, 2011, Corporal Richard H. Blacker, First Scout of the First Platoon of the Second Recon Unit of the Second Marine Division passed away peacefully at the age of 87 after a short but valiant battle with lung cancer.
Richard Harold Blacker
Richard was born Dec. 2, 1924 in Seward, Neb., the son of Clyde and Marie (Manke) Blacker. The family moved to Beaver Crossing, Neb. in 1930, where he graduated high school in 1943. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps serving in the South Pacific in World War II. He participated in the battle of Saipan and the occupation of Japan.
After the war, he received training for air conditioning and heating, and subsequently taught air conditioning and heating at Boys Town, Neb. for 19 years from 1947 to 1966. After finishing his bachelor's degree from Omaha University, he completed his master's degree in vocational education from Colorado State in 1966 and accepted the position of director of vocational education for the newly formed Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville. He became president of that institution in 1971 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1993.
On June 11, 1950, he was married to Rozella May Widows of Glenwood. They lived in Ralston, Neb., and Estherville where they raised two sons and a daughter: Alan, Jeffery and Rebecca. After Rozella's death in 1994, Richard was reunited with his childhood friend from Seward, Jo Ann (Smiley) Jones of Bakersfield, Calif. in 1996.
He was in Bakersfield, Calif. at the time of his death. He is survived by two sons, Alan Blacker of Dallas, Texas and Jeff Blacker of Teec Nos Pos, Ariz.; daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Randy Skube, of Minnetonka, Minn.; four grandchildren, Dain Blacker, Danny Blacker, Dylan Blacker and Nichols Skube; sister, Margaret Ann Miiller from Seward; sister and brother-in-law, Janet June and Robert Smith of Overland Park, Kan.; and longtime friend, Jo Ann (Smiley) Jones. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rozella; parents, Clyde and Marie; his brother, Victor; and sisters Harriet and Velma.
Richard was an active member of the Elks Club, the Lions Club and the Marine Corps League.
Services will take place in Seward, Neb. Saturday afternoon Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Zabka Funeral Home, 410 Jackson Ave, Seward, Neb., 68434, 402-643-2924.