John Richard Shapland, 87 years of age, of Holdrege, Nebraska

Funeral Services for Reverend J. Richard Shapland will be conducted from the First United Methodist Church at Holdrege, Nebraska on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. with Reverend Dale Lambert officiating. Interment will be in the Prairie Home Cemetery with military honors provided by the Martin-Horn American Legion Post #66 in conjunction with the United States Navy Military Honors Team.

John Richard Shapland, 87 years of age, of Holdrege, passed away on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Christian Homes Care Community in Holdrege. Richard was born April 14, 1925 on the family farm north of Gresham, Nebraska, the eldest of three children born to Asahel and Ruth (Gudgel) Shapland. He received his primary education at York County District #43, southwest of Benedict, Nebraska and graduated from the McCool Junction High School with the class of 1943. Following graduation, Richard enlisted in the United States Navy, serving his country during WWII. After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1946, Richard enrolled at the York College. There he met the love of his life, Dorothy Snell. The couple was united in marriage on December 28, 1947 in Muscatine, Iowa and they made their home in Rock Island, Illinois, where he worked as a welder for the John Deere Harvester Company. They returned to York College in 1949, where their son, David was born.

Richard received his license to preach from the United Brethren in Christ Church, Nebraska Conference in 1950. While completing college, he was called to the Gresham Presbyterian Church and the Martland-Strang Parish of the Nebraska United Brethren Conference. The family then moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Richard entered into seminary, studying during the days and working for the National Cash Register Company at night. While in Dayton, the family welcomed their second son, Donald. Richard graduated from the United Seminary in 1955.

Richard was Ordained in 1955 at the annual conference at Aurora, Nebraska of the Evangelical United Brethren Conference and was assigned to the church at West Point, Nebraska. He continued to serve as pastor for the Nebraska Conference until retiring in 1992 at the June Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He served churches of the conference at: West Point, Nebraska, St. Francis, Kansas, Taylor-Rose-Sybrant Parish, Burwell-Taylor Parish, Atkinson-Almelia Parish, and the Clay County Parish churches of Sutton-Saronville-Clay Center Emmanuel.

Upon retiring, they moved to Holdrege to be close to their son, David in the Bethphage program and Richard served as part-time Chaplain at the Methodist Memorial Homes.

Richard was a life time member of the American Legion Post #298 of Burwell, Nebraska. He was one of the organizers of the Mental Retardation Association of Nebraska and served as its president for six years.

His hobby, when not serving the Lord in the pulpit was an interest in Mechanics.

Besides his parents, Richard was preceded in death by one son, Donald, who passed away at Pearl Harbor while serving in the Navy in October 1971; and one sister, Anne Claussen.

To hold sacred his memory, he is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Shapland of Holdrege; son, David Shapland of Holdrege; one sister, Hila Wesphal of West Fork, Arkansas; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A memorial has been established in Richard's honor and kindly suggested to the First United Methodist Church in Holdrege or the Alzheimer's Association.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of arrangements.

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