Richard Lee Delano was born on the Fourth of July, 1953 to Richard C. (Dick) and Audry (nee Walter) Delano in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was baptized at North Heights Lutheran Church in Roseville and later confirmed at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview.
Rich graduated from Mounds View High School in 1971, where he had competed on the gymnastics team. He went to Valparaiso University in Indiana, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. While in high school and college he worked in various areas of the country, taking photos of "For Sale" houses to go in MLS books printed by his dad's company, International Graphics. After graduation in 1975 he went to work for that company (then a part of Moore Business Forms) in the Data Processing area. He continued in that field, becoming the DP Manager of their newly opened plant in San Diego, CA in 1977, and later working at different companies in San Diego and Los Angeles.
While at Valpo he met his future wife, Betty. They were married on February 25, 1978 in La Crosse, WI. Betty then joined him in San Diego. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Jennifer Leigh and Daniel Richard.
Rich continued working in the IT field, taking classes through the University of Southern California, earning a degree of Master of Science, Systems Management. The family moved back to Minnesota in 1995 where he worked for various companies over the years, often as a contractor doing short-term projects. While he could never master a foreign language (except maybe a little Klingon!), he easily learned many computer languages. Rich was the one everyone in the family turned to for "computer help". We have missed his expertise.
Rich was an avid science fiction fan, especially Star Wars and Star Trek. He loved all things "space". He witnessed the launch of Apollo 8 on a family trip to Florida as a child, and a Space Shuttle launch as an adult. He loved building and launching rockets. He shared his love of space with his family, even attending NASA Space Camp twice, once taking son, Dan.
He enjoyed bowling, often on leagues with Dan or with friends. He last bowled with his mom, Audry, in early July of this year.
Rich loved spending time with family, at Disneyland (teaching Jen to scream on Big Thunder Mountain), at the State Fair, on river rides, or just at home. He was a proud, doting "Grandpa" to Elias and Oliver. Although he was a quiet man, he was loving and loved.
On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, Rich's long journey with Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease came to an end as the Lord called him to his heavenly home and set him free. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family. Though he was devastated when he received his diagnosis in 2016, he wanted to be a help to others and help find a cure for this disease. He participated in a research study at the University of California San Francisco, and, following his wishes and directives, his brain was donated to their research center upon his death.
Those mourning his passing, while rejoicing in his newfound health and joy in Christ's presence, include his wife, Betty (nee Pangier); daughter Jennifer (Phil) Crawford; son Dan (Joy); grandchildren Elias and Oliver Crawford; mother, Audry Nordwall; sister, Carol (Rod) Quick; step-mother Sandy Delano. He was preceded in death by his father, Dick; and step-father, Thor Nordwall.
A service celebrating Rich's life and heavenly coronation will be held Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, 2848 County Rd. H2, Mounds View, MN 55112. Visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to the Alzheimer's Association. Consider joining a "Walk to End Alzheimer's" (the Twin Cities Walk is on Sat. Sept. 30). May we one day live in a world without Alzheimer's or other dementias.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26