Richard Stendel
Richard Stendel
Richard Stendel
Richard Stendel
Richard Stendel

Obituary of Richard Lee Stendel


Richard Lee Stendel, age 75, originally from the State of Iowa, and later greater Austin, TX area but most recently Minneapolis, MN metro area, passed away peacefully on January 24, 2024, at home. 

Richard was born May 24, 1948, in Elkader, IA to Father Realto Dwain Stendel and Mother Gwendolyn Haverland. He had one sister, Pat Sweet, who was 5 years older that settled in Kansas passing just last year.  He grew up in Alpha and eventually graduated from West Union High School before venturing onto college at the University of Northern Iowa where he continued his studies leading him down the path of music education where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1970 later followed by Master of Arts degree in 1980. During this time Rick married Jacquelyn Ann Staebell from West Union and was also in the field of education, in June of 1971 until her passing in February of 2000. During the couple's early years, they welcomed into the world a firstborn Son Elliot in 1977 and 5 years later Daughter Penelope, both of whom currently reside in the Minneapolis Metro area.  

Richard began his career, and some would say legacy of education, guidance, influence, and mentoring of the minds and talents of countless students, individuals and fellow colleagues all through the power of music which span a multitude of endeavors of creating, teaching and sharing through both instrumental and vocal aspects. Music as a universal language of emotional expression has the power to bring any number of individuals together far beyond its constituent parts with the conductor at the helm, a role that suited Richard well.   Such interactions involving such shared experiences are a legacy unto themselves that many hold dear to their heart. Through the years Richard taught at over 7 communities in Iowa having received several awards and recognitions in his career and served as chancel choir director and other music aspects for various churches all of which cast a vast net to those individuals within in his orbit.    

2001 marked the beginning of a new chapter with a move to Texas where he took on the role as the Coordinator of Fine Arts at Temple ISD for 3 years before returning to teaching at a more leisurely pace as a Music Specialist at Spring Hill Elementary in Pflugerville, TX until he retired. A green thumb with a yearning for gardening was certainly an on-going side hobby that traveled with him through the years just as was his love for all historical things with a particular interest in ancient civilizations.  An appreciation for the simple things like being a bit of a social butterfly that enjoyed a classic vodka cran with a splash of soda certainly deserves a toast. 

2020 began a challenging year with a difficult covid case that tested his mortality to the extreme, but which Richard ultimately survived however easily aging 10 years in the process. During his recovery Richard decided to move to the Minneapolis area to be closer to his two children where he resided until his passing. 

A private cremation ceremony is planned to be held during the week of Feb. 5, 2024. 

Any condolences, cherished stories or memories, gratitude, last words or the like in honor of Richard may be sent to the following: 

Cremation Society of Minnesota C/O Elliot and Penelope Stendel 

7110 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435 

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