Richard J. Stehno passed away peacefully at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT surrounded by his loving family after a courageously fought 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer and a pulmonary embolism.
Rich was born in Omaha, NE to Frank E. and Patricia A. (Wais) Stehno. While attending Westside High School, Omaha NE, his passion for woodworking was ignited by a wood working class.
In 1970 he started a 4-year electrical apprenticeship at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, NE leading to another life-long passion for all things electronic. Upon completion of the electrical apprenticeship, he continued to work for Union Pacific. His 43-year railroad career led him from Omaha, NE to Salt Lake City, UT and then to North Platte, NE where he retired in 2013. His love of electronics allowed for continuing education and life-long learning as electronics changed with the advent of electronic and computer technology. He successfully bridged the transition of trouble shooting on locomotives as electronics changed from paper schematics to carrying a laptop for diagnostic work while loving every minute of it.
Rich leaves behind a devoted family he adored and a legacy to survive him. His love for his family was evidenced by involvement in activities such as marathon movie watching and working on wood and electrical projects while utilizing his skills and ideas, demonstrating a strong work ethic, and setting a great example for his sons. Even as he was fighting the cancer, phone calls and Zoom sessions provided a medium to assist in troubleshooting projects with his sons when they would call for advice. With his wood working, electrical, and mechanical skillset, there was no project he could not fix or take on.
One of the last wood projects Rich undertook after his cancer diagnosis in 2019 was the rebuilding of the steps from the garage to the house. He could not wait to dismantle the builder-grade steps and install wider steps with the correct rise, run, slope, and a landing at the top to accommodate his beloved wife Rose and her walking issues. Rich was always up for yard landscaping projects, including establishing the Utah yard and planting the 93 perennials his wife brought from Nebraska in the fall of 2016, as well as continued landscaping projects that Rose had ideas for.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Patricia Stehno. He is survived by the love of his life of 47 years, Rose, and their sons Matthew and Andrew (Melissa) of Salt Lake City, UT and Thomas (Kelly) of Denver, CO, brother Frank of Herriman, UT, sister Virginia of Loveland, CO, sister Suzie and brother Joe of Omaha, NE, in addition to many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
Special thanks and gratitude to the Huntsman Cancer Clinic staff for all the medical attention and care through his cancer journey and to the Huntsman Hospital Intensive Care staff for the kindness and tenderness you showed him in his final days. Your extraordinary care will never be forgotten.
Cremation was chosen and Mass and internment for Rich will take place at a later date when family and friends can safely gather in 2021. Please share your condolences, memories, and photos with the family at www.starksfuneral.com.
Rich, we are proud of the man you were and for loving and providing for our family. We were truly fortunate to have had such a wonderful presence in our lives for the time that we had together on this earth. We miss you!