Richard Denno’s life began on December 28, 1938, the son of Robert and Mary Denno. Rich attended Newton schools and was the class treasurer for the Newton High School Class of 1957. He married Pat Stauth in Dodge City on August 7, 1960 and they had two sons, Alan and Neal. Rich graduated from Emporia State Teacher’s College in 1965 and began teaching and coaching at Isabel High School the following fall. Later, at Fairfield High School, he taught social studies, coached basketball and was the USD 310 sports coordinator. The majority of Rich’s professional career was in the banking, most recently as the vice-president at First Bank in Newton.
Following Neal’s death from cancer, Rich chose to rededicate his life to Christ and was baptized on his confession of faith on February 27, 2011.
Rich inspired young people in the community through his involvement with the 4H program and the Harvey County Fair and Extension Boards. Many children have pictures with Rich in his role as “Santa’s helper” at the bank and in the schools. Rich and Pat often served as a host family for Bethel College student athletes. He coached numerous boys’ basketball teams and was proud of the time he spent coaching his own sons and grandson. Rich was involved with the Newton Chamber of Commerce, Respite Care Board, National Association of Belt Buckle Collectors, Harvey County Habitat for Humanity and the Kansas Heart Association.
Survivors include his wife Pat; son Alan Denno and his wife Kerri, daughter-in-law, Denetta; grandchildren Jordan Orr, Aubrey Denno, Trey Denno, Cameron Denno, Kaven Denno, Chloe Denno; brother Keith and his wife Pam, and two nieces. Richard was preceded in death by his parents and son, Neal Denno.
Family and friends will gather to celebrate Rich’s life at 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 11 at First Mennonite Church in Newton. Cremation has taken place. Visitation with the family present will take place on Friday, February 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the family receiving friends 6:00-8:00 pm at Petersen Funeral Home, Newton. A memorial in Rich’s honor has been established for First Mennonite Church of Newton.