Retired Sgt. 1st Class Richard Gale “Ben” Longberg, 91 died peacefully March 3. He was born Sept. 9, 1926 on the family farm in Soldier, KS, and graduated from Sabetha High School in 1944. He married Shirley Leta Fiske on Jan. 14, 1950. They raised their children in Sabetha, KS and later moved to Wichita to be closer to their Family.
He was a man of few words and used his “dad look” to express his reactions. He liked to tease and make his girls laugh, and was particularly proud to be “Papa Ben” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ben worked as a truck driver hauling cattle, gas, and Ford cars. He later worked as a mechanic for Keim Trucking in Sabetha and retired from the Kansas National Guard. He enjoyed bowling and Golf. After retiring, he spent time going to auctions, buying and selling tools, refurbishing computers, and findings things that his children collected. He served in WWII and was stationed in Hawaii in 1944. He later joined the Army Reserves, serving in Korea in the Military Police. He was a member of the Masons, the American Legion, the VFW Post 7285, and the Shriners for over 50 years.
Preceded in death by parents Lena Belle and Clinton Arthur, infant son Melvin Lee, brothers Glenn “Bud”, Harry “Dutch”, Ray “Pat”, Floyd “Mike”, sisters Milly, Dort, Della, and sons-in-law Joe Schlotterbeck and John Sewell. Survived by wife Shirley, daughters Colleen Souders (Tim), Carol Landen (Randy), Sheila Schlotterbeck, Edna Sewell (Todd Phillips), Valerie Dahlke (Kerry), Mary Abraham (Mark), sons Fred (Margaret), Harold (Traci), Richard (Jackie), sister, Gladys Mary Renyer, 16 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
Services are Friday, March 9 at 3:00 pm at the Southwest Community Church, 3214 S Edwards Ave, Wichita. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 5 – 7 pm at Baker Funeral Home, 6100 E. Central, Suite 203, Wichita. In lieu of flowers, donations to Southwest Community Church are welcome.