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Obituary - Richard Franklin Kearney

Richard (Dick) Kearney, 83, died Monday, December 7.

He was born November 7, 1932 in Clarke County, Iowa, the son of the late Gilbert Ross Kearney and Edna Bernice Williams Kearney. On May 6, 1956 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa he married Nancy Lou Welsh, who survives.

Recipient of the National Defense Service Medal while serving in the Army, Kearney was a well-respected trainer of breeder of champion American Saddlebreds.

He began his Saddle Horse career in his home state of Iowa during his high school Years. He experienced much success with Dr. E. L. Robinson in Lee's Summit, Missouri as head trainer. Most noteworthy was his winning of the Jr. Stake in Lexington, Kentucky with Superior Odds in 1969. He was awarded "Horseman of the Year" by the United Professional Horsemen's Association Chapter 13 on January 10, 1992, as well "Trainer of the Year" by American Saddlebred Horse Association of Ohio in 2002. 

He moved to Washington in October 1971 to pursue another training opportunity with Lakeview Farms. During the coming years, Mr. Kearney would ride Superior Odds to two Five-Gaited Stallion Reserve World’s Championships and the 1977 World’s Champion Five-Gaited Stallion title.

Kearney, with wife Nancy Kearney, began Kearney Farm and Stables in 1977 in Prosperity. It was here that he raised Catalyst, a light chestnut with flaxen mane and tail. This beautiful stallion had the Kearney stamp all over him as he was sired by Manhattan Supreme, whom Kearney had trained and shown and his dam was Lakeview’s Captured Angel, a daughter of Kearney’s former World’s Champion Five-Gaited Stallion CH Superior Odds. Catalyst sired many world’s and regional champions, including Catalyst’s Work Of Art, Cataclysmic, CH Catalyst Commander, CH A Magic Spell, Magic Fire Music, CH Heads Will Turn, CH Cat’s My Daddy, CH Last Cat Standing, Lady Bella, Long-Vue’s Sophisticat, Catalytic, CH Town Cat, and Cat’s Don’t Dance, among others.

Residing in Prosperity, Dick and Nancy enjoyed many happy years with their family and were members of the Upper Ten Mile Presbyterian Church in their hometown of Prosperity. 

In addition to his longtime bride, survivors include two sons, Richard (Cheryl) Kearney of Amity, Roger Kearney of Prosperity; a daughter, Deborah (John) Songer of Cullman, AL; three sisters, Alice (Melvin) Davis of Murray, Iowa, Colleen Roush of Indiana, Iowa, Dowell Kearny of Portland, OR; seven grandchildren, Megan (Chas) Ruszczyk, Jacqueline (James) Porter, Amy Songer, Scott (Maggie) Songer, Ross Kearney, Sam Kearney and Kaylyn Kearney; two great grandchildren, Michael and Ella Porter. 

Deceased are a brother, Roger Kearney; three sisters, Lorrine Jensen, Lorna Jones, Marion Nesbitt. 

Friends will be received Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday, December 11, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the time of service at William G. Neal Funeral Homes, 925 Allison Ave, Washington. Burial will be held Monday, December 14, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Military Honors will be accorded by American Legion Edwin Scott Linton Post 175.


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