Richard Dwayne Needles passed away after suffering cardiac arrest during diagnostic tests at Sparks Regional Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas on Monday evening, August 22, 2016. He was 68 years old.
Richard was born at Collins Memorial Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa at 1:00 AM on March 13, 1948. He was the only son and second child of Erma Marjorie Albert and Darrel Dwayne Needles.
He attended rural Fee School through 6th grade, enrolling at Nell McGowan Junior High School as a 7th grader graduating from Knoxville High School in 1966. At KHS Richard played trombone in band, was active in Thespians and played varsity football and baseball. He was a Boy Scout, raised honeybees as a member of White Breast Beavers 4-H club, exhibiting yearly at the Iowa State Fair and serving as Marion County representative on the Iowa State 4-H Council. As a youth he was an active member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Knoxville.
Following high school Richard attended Simpson College in Indianola where he played tight end for the Simpson football team and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He graduated with his class in 1970.
After a few years in business management Richard became a licensed real estate appraiser and spent the remainder of his career as an independent contractor right-of-way buyer retiring in 2013. Due to his career he was able to enjoy life and relationships in many different locales but especially treasured long-time high school friendships and was looking forward to his 50th class reunion in September.
Richard never married and was preceded in death by his parents, Erma and Darrel Needles, and step-father George Cunningham. He is survived by his sisters Madelyn (Phillip) Mayberry of Marshalltown and Cynthia (Lehman) Needles Fletcher of Ames, step-sisters Brenda (Larry) Williams of Gainesville, Florida and Ginger (David) Smith of Holts Summit, Missouri, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins.
Private graveside services will be held at a later date with inurnment alongside his parents in rural Cochran Cemetery near Lacona in Warren County, Iowa. Memorials may be sent in Richard's name to Scholarship Fund - KHS Class of 1966 and sent to Iowa State Savings Bank, 222 East Robinson, Knoxville, Iowa, Attn: Pennie Sommar.
Special thanks to close friends Kelly Buck, Kathy Williams, Burt Stover and all caregivers at Highland Health Care and Sparks Regional Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas for their care and concern. Richard's family was cared for by Lewis-Roberts Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith
Published on August 30, 2016