Richard Allan Vaaler, Sr. died peacefully on July 28, 2018 at Spring Arbor of Leesburg, surrounded by his loved ones.
He was born on August 5, 1931, in Lacrosse, WI, to the late Olaus Edwin Vaaler and Gina Maria Vaaler. He was a graduate of Ohio State University and a earned a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. Dick started his career in 1958 and retired in 1985 from the Department of Defense. While serving in the U.S. Air Force, he met and married his wife, Joan Smith. He earned the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife, Joan, for 61 years until her passing in 2015. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and treasured his children and grandchildren dearly. His life was full and he felt blessed. He was a man of deep faith and love of family, proud of his military service, and his Norwegian heritage, loved his Del Tura Florida home, a friend of all libraries, enjoyed reading, fishing, boating, golfing, and singing with his siblings. He was a long-time member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, faithful in his tithing to the church and generous to help anyone in need, rarely missed his weekly men’s Bible study meetings and made many lifelong friends in that group. He was an Eagle Scout, Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 1853 for several years, and enjoyed camping, hiking and mentoring Boy Scouts.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Robert Zumberge, sister Lois Zumberge, brother John Vaaler, sister Helen Molzahn, brother in law Douglas Molzahn and brother in law Roger Murnane.
He will be sadly missed by his loving children, Richard A. Vaaler, Jr. (Gayle) of Stuart, FL, and Nancy Wyatt (Gene) of Leesburg, VA; grandchildren Sarah Vaaler (San Diego, CA), Mollie Hughes (Dalton) (Leesburg, VA), Niels Vaaler (Leesburg, VA), Rachel Michael (Colin) (Springfield, VA); step-grandchildren Heather Lamb, James Lamb (Stuart, FL); step-great grandchildren, Bella Romer and Aidyn Walsh, (Stuart, FL); and siblings Nancy Murnane, Thomas Vaaler (Juanita), Linda Rudrud (Charles), Charles Vaaler (Cathi), sister in law Mary Ann Vaaler, dear cousins Robert and Billie Bower, best friend William Bennet (and family) and many other dear cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Visitation at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home on Friday, Aug. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. 9900 Braddock Road Fairfax, VA 22032. Phone: 703-323-5202.
Funeral service will be at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, 8304 Old Keene Mill Rd, Springfield, VA 22152with a reception/luncheon immediately after the service.
Burial will be on Monday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m.at Culpeper National Cemetery, 305 US Ave, Culpeper, VA 22701in the new section.