SIKESTON - Richard Lionel "Rich" Wrather, 55, died at 3:45 p.m. Aug. 14, 2004, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.
Born Oct. 30, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, son of Sue Burnett Wrather Sharp of Catron and the late Earlin "Dude" Wrather, he was a 1966 graduate of Matthews High School. He attended Southeast Missouri State University at Cape Girardeau, where he pursued a degree in business and advertising.
In 1968, he joined the Sikeston Jaycees, for which he served on many committees and projects and also held several offices. Also active with the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, Wrather organized the first stage crew for entertainment for the 1976 event. He was elected president of the Sikeston Jaycees in 1981. A recipient of the Sikeston Jaycees Distinguished Service Award, he also served on the Rodeo Board of Directors and had worked for many years with the advertising, publicity and public relations on the Annual Rodeo Committee. He received the Art Saunders Founder's Award in 1995.
Wrather, who served on the Kenny Rogers Children's Center Board of Directors, was instrumental in the planning and execution of the Kenny Rogers and Dottie West benefit concerts in 1978 and 1979, which helped build the center. He also assisted with other concerts and events, which led to the center becoming a reality.
A member of the Sikeston Rotary Club, Wrather worked on the Rotary Auction for many years and was named Rotarian of the Year for 2003. As a Rotarian, he was also A Paul Harris Fellow recipient. He was also a member and past-president of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce for which he worked on several committees. During his term as Chamber president, he was instrumental in changing the name of the Chamber banquet to "Citizen of the Year" Banquet. Wrather was also responsible for several video productions each year at the Chamber banquet, which honored the persons chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Wrather served as president of the Scott County Young Democrats and was also involved in the Missouri Young Democrats for many years. He was president of MediaConsultants Inc. in Sikeston and was a partner in Garden Lane Nursery, also in Sikeston. He worked on many political advertising campaigns and his agency was one of only 10 in the nation that worked for the General Motors Corporation to promote automobiles.
A member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, he served as the first president of "Parents, Teachers and Friends" for St. Francis School.
On Feb. 8, 1972, in Sikeston, he married Joanie M. Wibbenmeyer who survives of the home.
Survivors in addition to his wife and mother include: two sons and one daughter-in-law, Rick and Amie Wrather of Catron and Ben Wrather of Sikeston; and four grandchildren, Abbi Wrather, Jenni Wrather, Laine Wrather and Blake Wrather, all of Catron.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Bobby Wrather; and his stepfather, Norman Sharp.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. The Rev. John Harth, pastor of Guardian Angel Catholic Church in Oran, will officiate.
Burial will follow in Garden of Memories Cemetery in Sikeston.
Pallbearers will be: Field Jones, Tom Nunnelee, Mike Mills, Mike Marshall, Mike Smith, Randy Porter, Steve Forbis and Don Culbertson.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Terry Schmitt, Steve Taylor, Dennis Ziegenhorn, Scott Matthews, Richard Bedell, Jim Glanville, Barney Webster, David Friedman, Dave Christy and Dr. Sam Hunter.
may be sent to the
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 343
Sikeston, MO 63801
St. Francis Xavier School
106 N. Stoddard St.
Sikeston, MO. 63801
St. Jude Children's
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105-1942
1465 S. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63104-1095