Richard (Rich) J. Gans
July 13, 1940 - December 31, 2020
Richard (Rich) J. Gans, 80, of Brainard, passed away with family by his side on Dec. 31, 2020, after a short battle with cancer. He was born on July 13, 1940, in David City, Nebraska, to James and Emma (Selzer) Gans.
A private graveside service will be held at the St. Mary's and St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery in Bellwood, Nebraska. An open house celebration honoring Rich's life will be held at a later date.
Rich spent his childhood in David City and graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1958. After high school, he joined his father in operating the Gans' DX station, and then worked alongside his friend Jim at Wrede Distributing until 1979. Rich met Jolene (Jody) Belsan in 1976 and they wed on July 28, 1978. In 1979, Rich and Jody bought and renovated the old Brainard Fire Hall, where they have owned and operated Husker Bar II together, made many wonderful friends over the past 41 years, and he became known by the nickname "Papa Rich." Rich and Jody were inseparable from the day they met and lived life to the fullest.
Rich enjoyed Nebraska athletics, particularly Husker football; Jimmy Buffett concerts; trips to the ocean, Lake of the Ozarks, and Las Vegas; and spending time with his family and cat, Sally. Rich especially cherished and prioritized his children Lisa, Patrick, and Cindy, having had fun adventures, genuine conversation, and celebrated their many achievements. Rich and Jody lived in Omaha for the last difficult, yet, loving and caring month of Rich's life, in order to receive comprehensive in-home care provided by his daughter Cindy and son-in-law David as his final wish. Rich taught those he loved to live life in the moment and to listen generously.
Rich leaves behind his wife Jody (Belsan) Gans of Brainard; children, Lisa (Bill) Buntgen of David City, Patrick (Jen) Gans of Lincoln, and Cindy (David) Kennedy of Omaha; grandchildren, Rebecca (Adam) Gilligan, Nicole Buntgen, and Lorenzo and Luca Gans; great-grandson, Derek Gilligan; and a host of friends from their Husker Bar II. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Emma Gans; sisters, Gwendolyn Gans, LaVina (Doug) Trowbridge, and Dona (Robert) Meysenburg; and grandchildren, Melinda and Derek Buntgen.
Arrangements by Chermok Funeral Home of David City.
Memorials and cards can be mailed to Jody Gans at PO Box 69, Brainard, NE 68626.