Richard P. Garden

July 29, 2018

Memorial services have been planned for a longtime Madison County judge who retired in 2000.

Services for Richard P. Garden of Norfolk will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, at the First United Methodist Church in Norfolk. Pastor Raponzil Drake will officiate.

He died Thursday, July 26, 2018, at the age of 83.

Brockhaus-Howser-Fillmer Funeral Home in Norfolk is in charge of arrangements.

Richard Paul Garden was born in Norfolk, Neb., on April 2, 1935, to Paul and Lois Garden. He had one sister, Janet Bridge, and two brothers, Kenneth and Wendell.

Richard graduated from Norfolk High School in 1953 and attended the University of Nebraska until enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1954. He served on the 3rd Marine Division rifle team while in Japan and became a rifle instructor before his discharge in 1957. Richard loved the Marine Corps.

On September 4, 1955, Richard married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn “Mary” Hutton. They lived in Oceanside and San Diego, Calif., until moving to Lincoln to attend the University of Nebraska.

Richard enrolled in the UNL College of Engineering and later transferred to the College of Law. While attending law school, he worked in the Law Library, the Nebraska Men’s Reformatory and the Lancaster County Department of Public Welfare.

Dick was president of his legal fraternity, Delta Theta Phi, and graduated in 1963 with an LLB.

In 1963, Richard and Mary moved to Norfolk and he was an associate with the Hutton and Hutton law firm. He became a partner with his brother-in-law, Lynn Hutton, Jr., on July 1, 1965, to form Hutton and Garden, PC. While in practice, he received the “A” rating by his peers in Martindale Hubble directory of lawyers.

Richard was exalted ruler of Norfolk Elks Lodge No. 653, Norfolk Lions Club president in 1972, a member of Methodist Church board of trustees, president of the Ninth Judicial Bar Association as well as the Madison County Bar Association. He sat on the YMCA board for many years, serving as its president in 1971.

Richard was elected a 1994 fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. He also served as an attorney for the Norfolk Methodist Church.

Richard belonged to North Star 227 Masonic Lodge, Sesostris Shrine Club and Norfolk Odd Fellows Lodge #46. As president of the Norfolk Lions Club in 1971, he drove his family to Mexico City for the Lions International Convention. Dick was honored with the Melvin Jones Award by the Lions Club and served as grand marshal of the 2000 LaVitsef parade sponsored by the Lions Club. He was also an admiral in the Navy of the Great State of Nebraska.

In 1979, Gov. Charles Thone appointed Richard as the district judge of the Ninth Judicial District, later to become the Seventh Judicial District. He served for 21 years until retiring in 2000.

Richard enjoyed flying, becoming a licensed pilot in 1976. His favorite sport was target shooting and reloading ammunition. A group of men, including Richard, took over the Izaak Walton League gun club and eventually built up the prestigious Northeast Nebraska Shooting Association located north of Pierce. Richard was secretary/treasurer of the association for many years.

He also loved animals, especially his German Shepherd, Max, and his dachshunds, Dutch and Jonni.

Richard and Mary enjoyed traveling. They went to England and Scotland with Lynn, Jr. and Cay Hutton; numerous trips to Hawaii; and Italy and Switzerland. The highlight was a trip to France, Belgium, and Normandy with Dick, Jr., and Donna and standing on Omaha beach on the 69th anniversary of D-Day, June 6.

Richard felt closest to God when he attended the Walk to Emmaus at Camp Thicket, Weslico, Texas in 2003.

Richard is survived by his wife, Marilyn “Mary,” children, Richard Jr. (Donna) Garden, MarySue, and Julie (Tim) Hurley; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister, Janet Bridge; nieces, Janey Timm-Dawes, Wendi Kath and Laura Morgan; and nephews Jim, John, and Joe Garden.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

Memorials may be directed to Northeast Nebraska Shooting Association, American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

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