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July 23, 1926 ~ October 30, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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Richard Lee Shorten, age 97, of Nevada passed away on Monday, October 30, 2023 at Nevada Regional Medical Center. Richard was born in Ft. Scott, KS to John Richard Shorten and Blanche E. McBride Shorten on July 23, 1926. He was an only child. Richard was married for 68 years to the love of his life, Helen Marie Voss Shorten. They married on January 25, 1952. They had two children, Pamela Randolph and her husband, John of Palm Bay, Florida, and John Shorten and his wife, Donna, of Nevada; and their children, Jevan Shorten (Brittney), Kayla Shrewsbury (Eric), and Kyle Cushard (Kalyn) all of Nevada, MO. Also surviving are 7 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Helen preceded Richard in death on December 12, 2020.
As a young child, Richard and his parents moved to Nevada, MO, where he attended Benton grade school and Nevada High School. He graduated from Nevada High School in 1945. Richard started playing drums in the 8th grade and later was in a jazz band with friends called the “Swingsters”. Richard recalled at age 12 having one of the first hamburgers at the White Grill before they opened as his father owned the gas station located next door to the Grill. He additionally had recalled having a white mouse that he was playing with when it ran up his father’s leg. This created quite a problem with his father.
After high school, Richard attended Mortuary College in St. Louis. He used to talk about calling home to his parents in Nevada and telling his dad that every time he turned around he needed money. Richard’s dad told him to “quit turning around so much”.
Richard was drafted into the Army on September 27, 1950, after Mortuary College. He was stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky where he was assigned as a Clerk typist as at that time he was the only soldier who could type. This is where he met and later married Helen. He recalls that besides being a typist, he would be required to play drums for cadence to the new recruits to help them learn to march. Richard commented once that the “only good thing about the Army was Helen and his drum sticks.” He additionally recalled having a 1926 Silver Dollar which he carried in his pocket with him his entire life.
Richard was a member of the First Christian Church of Nevada throughout the years, and was at times, a member of the Elks, Masons, Lions Club, and a long-time member of the 9 o’clock Coffee Club. He was also involved in numerous activities such as the Shriner Band, two terms as Public Administrator, and other civic and social activities. From 1953-1968, Richard owned Shorten Funeral Home but later sold and went into farming fulltime until his retirement.
A graveside committal service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023, at Newton Burial Park, with Pastor Bill Platt officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada. Those who wish may contribute in Richard’s memory to On My Own or the Neal Center in c/o Ferry Funeral Home.