Cover photo for Richard Hearden's Obituary
Richard Hearden Profile Photo
1929 Richard 2023

Richard Hearden

March 12, 1929 — February 22, 2023

Richard Patrick “Dick” Hearden joined his beautiful bride Patricia Margaret in the arms of Our Lord on February 22, 2023, in Allouez, WI. A teacher and coach to so many, Dick’s life was defined by his faith, his family, and his dedication to love. But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13) was the map for Dick’s beautiful journey and those who were blessed to know him were inspired to choose love.


Dick was born in Green Bay, WI, on March 12, 1929, to Lester and Marie (Christman) Hearden. He was a precocious boy who loved his family and football, growing up in the era when the Green Bay Packers, whom his father Lester played for, were becoming a pillar in our community. He attended Whitney School in the primary grades, St. Patrick’s School (where he met some lifelong friends), and then Central Catholic. He was quite the poet and boxer in those early days, but football was his passion and led him to St. Norbert College, where he played for his Uncle Thomas “Red” Hearden for two years.


He took a break from college and football to serve in the Air Force. He then transferred to the Army and was accepted into Officer Candidates School. OCS was a defining experience for Richard, helping him realize his gifts as a leader, coach, and teacher. He used those strengths during his service in Korea, leading his infantry platoon on the front lines, playing a mean game of ping pong when away from the front lines, and earning the Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and a Combat Infantry Man’s Badge. Dick separated from the Army as a 1st Lieutenant. He then enrolled in Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire to realize his calling as a teacher and coach. The somewhat circuitous experiences of his early adulthood, the game of football, his loving family, and his faith laid a strong foundation for the man we loved.

Dick began his career as a high school social studies teacher and basketball, football, track, and golf coach - honing his skills and sharing his gifts in several small towns in Wisconsin and Ohio. His teaching and coaching journey led him to the love of his life, Patricia (Pat) Bouche, in Marinette, WI. Richard and Patricia dedicated their lives to each other on June 11, 1960. Together they built a beautiful home and family based on the foundation of faith, love, and charity. With Pat by his side for 59 years, Dick modeled for his six children, sixteen grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and countless other “adopted’ children how to dedicate our hearts to God through prayer, how to use our gifts to serve others, and how to choose love above all.


Dick and Pat made Green Bay their forever home in 1967 when Dick took a “temporary” position as a social studies teacher at the Green Bay Correctional Institute, known as The Reformatory at the time. Dick affectionately called it “The Joint,” and found that he could live his purpose as a teacher and offer hope to the inmates who were lucky enough to be his students, and so he finished his career helping his students earn their high school diplomas. One of his greatest moments was when he received a letter from a former student who had been released from prison after taking all of Dick’s classes and earning his high school diploma. He thanked Dick for helping him gain the hope and skills to build a new life. Dick did not earn many accolades as a high school teacher in a prison but his dedication to his students in “The Joint” exemplifies Dick’s dedication to love and serve.

Being full of the Blarney, Dick had the gift of gab and would hold court with any willing party. He and Pat enjoyed traveling. In addition to driving thousands of miles to be with friends and family, they loved their trips abroad to Ireland, England, Scotland, and Italy. Of course, Ireland was our leprechaun’s favorite destination, and so he returned to the Emerald Island several times. He was an avid sports fan, with the Packers and his children’s and grandchildren’s sports teams being his favorite teams to cheer on, and of course, analyze. The game of golf kept him young and agile; he made his final hole-in-one at 89. Dick also aspired to be our very own Bing Crosby. He particularly loved serenading his Patricia Margaret. Most importantly, there was never a doubt about Dick’s priorities. He put God and his family at the center of his life. He and Pat were dedicated members of Nativity of our Lord and St. Matthew’s Parish, and nothing made Dick more proud than his family. He beamed as he shared in his children’s, grandchildren’s, and great children’s lives. Dick spent his final years, weeks, and days, knowing that his greatest legacy is the love he instilled in his family.


Richard is survived by his six children: Laura (Harold, Jr.) Samorian, Richard, Jr. (Sandipa), Mary (Tim) Gantz, Cara (Rob) Fowler, Kerri (David) Graham, Sean (AiMee), and his “Number Five” Andrea Hearden; sixteen grandchildren: James (Jennifer) Samorian, Dave Samorian, and Therese (Matt) Babiash; Elise (Kevin) Melendez, Ricky Hearden, and Tommy (Megan) Hearden; Spencer (Katie) Gantz, Gretchen (Tyler) Gantz, and Heidi (Mike) Mouser; Trey (Amanda) Fowler, Kylie (Thad) Ott, and Tate Fowler; Davis and Ellis Graham; Connor and Owen Hearden; and eleven great grandchildren: Wesley, Ava, and Lincoln Samorian; Marius Babiash; Amara Melendez; Ethan, Isaac, Asher, and Zoe Gantz; Rowe and Reid Fowler. He is also survived by many cherished nieces and nephews and countless “adopted” children.


Richard is greeted in Heaven by his beautiful bride Patricia Margaret; his parents, Lester and Marie Hearden; his seven siblings: Carol Amenson, Jeanette Hearden, Baby Lester, Jack Hearden, Baby Marilyn Hearden, Sally Katzbahn, and Larry Hearden.


Visitation is Monday, February 27, 2023, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm with a prayer service at 7:00 pm at Cotter Funeral Home (860 N. Webster Avenue DePere, WI). Visitation continues Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 9:00 am - 10:15 am followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am at St. Matthew Parish (130 St. Matthew St. Green Bay).

The family wishes to thank the caring staff at McCormick Home and St. Paul Elder Care, who lovingly cared for Dad in his final days, and St. Matthew Parish, who wrapped Dad and his family in love and prayers.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Matthew Parish or the Alzheimer’s Association, in honor of the love of his life.

Richard/Dick/Grandpa/Papa/Great Grandpa/Great Papa: We are so grateful you are holding hands with your beautiful bride in our Lord’s arms. We know you both are cheering us on from above, and we promise to honor and share your legacy of love.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Hearden, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

9:00 - 10:15 am (Eastern time)

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Mass

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

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