For 23 years, Lieutenant Colonel Richard W.“Dick” Spurgeon of Meno served the United States of America in the Air Force.
He started his career in the military as a private and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel First Radar Mechanic, then pilot. He was fond of saying that when he joined, the Air Force was still trying to figure airplanes out.
During his career he flew fighters, bombers and transports; over 50 aircraft types, and was chosen to instruct on nearly every one of them.
In 1973 Spurgeon retired as the T-37 Training Squadron Commander at Vance Air Force Base. Following his retirement he took a job delivering aircrafts all over the world for Cessna.
Lt. Col. Spurgeon made 40 solo crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, often times in a single engine airplane, with little more than a map and compass.
When he decided to retire from flying, Lt. Col. Spurgeon turned his attention from protecting the nation to feeding it, as he began growing wheat on his property northeast of Meno.
Lt. Col. Spurgeon and wife, Verna, were married for 33 years until his passing in July 2017.
Lt. Col. Spurgeon grew up in Perry, Iowa and ended up in northwest Oklahoma through his service in the Air Force.
While in Enid, Lt. Col. Spurgeon was introduced to Verna through a mutual friend.
The couple made their home on a 160 acres tract of land south of Goltry, that Verna’s grandfather from Sweden settled during the Land Run.
As Richard’s health began failing in recent years, the Meno Fire Department and first responders answered several calls for assistance to the residence.
Verna stated, “The fire department and first responders were always here to help out, especially Chief Ryan Greb.”
Respecting Richard’s wishes and wanting to help those who gave of their time to help them in their times of need, Verna presented a donation in the amount of $1,000 to the Meno Fire Department June 15.
Meno Fire Chief Ryan Greb stated, “The department is very grateful and humbled by this donation. This donation will go a long way towards needed equipment and repairs.”
Verna added her husband always made it a point to give back his entire life, whether it was serving his country, caring for his adopted daughter and two step-daughters and even after death with the donation to aid the Meno Fire Department so they can continue to respond and help other citizens in need.
Along with the donation, Verna also presented a framed letter from President Donald Trump to Meno Fire Department. The letter reads:
The United States of America honors the memory of Richard Wayne Spurgeon.