Richard J. Ames
1929 - 2019
BORN
1929
DIED
2019
Richard J. Ames

Scottsdale - May 4, 1929 - January 30, 2019

Richard J. (Dick) Ames, born May 4, 1929, passed away on January 30, 2019, leaving an enduring impact that will echo for generations through his family, business, and community. As founder of Ames Construction, Dick was a driving force to a multitude of successful construction projects in the commercial, energy, transportation, mining, rail and water & wastewater industry sectors.

Dick grew up in Farmington, Minnesota, the eldest of eight children born to Chester and Ruby (Reisinger) Ames. He and his siblings worked the family farm, where they learned the value of hard work, honesty, and a commitment to "family first" that would carry through a lifetime.

Dick loved sports and excelled as a competitive athlete, playing football, basketball and track in high school. With an ambition to become a coach, Dick sought a teaching degree—the prerequisite for coaching—and enrolled at Mankato State Teachers College after his high school graduation. However, Dick left school the following year to farm with his grandfather in Farmington. At the age of 22, Dick was married with two sons and his father encouraged him to find stable work outside of the family farm. Starting as a day laborer for a local highway construction company, Dick dedicated himself to the company and quickly advanced to become the owner's right-hand man.

In 1962, Dick founded Ames Construction, and he considered his thirteen-year-old son Larry—who lent an extra pair of hands after school and on weekends—to be his first employee. Within months, Dick's brother, Butch, became a partner in the business, and over the next several years, their brothers John, Tom and Ron, along with their nephew Mark Brennan, joined the company. Together they built Ames Construction into one of the premiere heavy civil and industrial general contracting companies in the nation. A proud and dedicated industry advocate, Dick received many industry honors over the years, including the AGC of Minnesota Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Dick married twice and had five children. It was with his second wife, Georgeanne "Lollie" Ames, whom he married in 1968, that he pursued an interest in Arabian horses, founding their Cedar Ridge Farms, in Jordan, MN, in the early 1970s. They have been prolific breeders, principally of Arabian English Pleasure and halter horses, and have shown extensively in most divisions, with Dick excelling at amateur driving. In the late 1970s, he was one of the founders of the Minnesota Medallion Futurity, and later, as he enjoyed competing in reining, he became one of three founders of the Arabian Reining Futurity. A former recipient of the APHA Amateur Showman of the Year, Dick is also a nominee for the 2018 APHA Show Ring Accomplishments. Along with his wife, Lollie, Dick is being recognized as a 2018 leading breeder in the Arabian industry.

In the late 1980s, Dick renewed a relationship with raising and showing championship Percheron draft horses—a tradition deeply rooted in the Ames family history. Today the Ames Percheron Farm is located adjacent to Cedar Ridge Farms. As symbols of strength, a strong work ethic and teamwork, the Ames Percherons have served as official ambassadors of Ames Construction since 1993, appearing at countless community events. The stately 4-, 6-, and 8-horse hitch teams deliver award-winning performances in competitions and exhibitions throughout the United States and Canada.

Perhaps the only thing that overshadowed Dick's big personality was his big heart. Dick and the company have given monetary support, countless hours of volunteer time, and pro bono construction work to worthwhile causes in the communities in which it works. In addition to "giving back" through the company, Dick's genuine desire to lend a helping hand led him to invest in local businesses, schools and churches, donating his time and attention to help his community thrive. He brought a world-class draft horse competition to the Scott County Fair in his hometown of Jordan, which rivals some of the best national competitions. He led the revival of the charm and nostalgia of the OK Corral restaurant, which was renamed the Jordan Supper Club. He joined others to bring a locally based business back from the brink of failure, saving countless jobs in the community. Thanks to the loyalty and dedication of its employees who were determined to make it succeed, that company is now a thriving business.

Dick valued loyalty and was dedicated to his faith, family, friends—and football. Perhaps imagining himself as the coach he once aspired to be, he was one of the University of Minnesota's biggest cheerleaders and faithful supporters of the Golden Gophers football team. Dick became the first Director's Award recipient, presented by the University's Athletics Department to honor a lifetime of support for Gopher Athletics.

Dick was as comfortable in the boardroom as he was on his Green Isle crop farm, where he loved working the land, watching things grow, and maintaining a friendly rivalry with his brother, Butch, to see which of them would bring in the bigger crop each year.

Dick stayed physically active until he was hospitalized in early January for a backache and remained sharp as a tack until the day before he passed away from pneumonia. "I've lived a fairytale life," he observed just a few days before. "I've surrounded myself with remarkable people and lived a very full life. In fact, I can't even believe this isn't a dream."

For all of his accomplishments, Dick was known for simply being Dick—larger than life, well-meaning, fearless in saying what he believed, and supporting causes he cared about with a legendary reputation for his generosity. Dick had a quick smile, infectious laugh, and always extended a warm handshake to everyone he met. We celebrate Dick Ames—an unforgettable character who lived every day of his life to the fullest.

Preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Ruby, and his son Bruce, Dick is survived by his wife, Lollie, brothers Butch, Tom, John and Ron, sisters Audrey, Peggy and Mary, sons Larry and Alan, daughters Marilyn and Lara, stepsons Dave and Richard Thomas, and stepdaughter Toni Walsh, 16 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to: Mayo Clinic Pulmonary Research, Attn: Department of Development, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905; specify: "in honor of Dick Ames"

Visitation: Thursday, February 7, 2019, 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Mount Olivet Church, 5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Service: Friday, February 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m. Visitation, 11:00 a.m. Service, Mount Olivet Church, 5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Celebration of Life: Following the service, join us at the University of Minnesota Athlete's Village, Bierman Field Athletic Building, 516 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Interment: Private burial will be at the Farmington Cemetery

Arizona Celebration of Life: A Celebration of Life to honor Dick will also be held on February 12 at the Midwest Training Centre, 9707 E Cactus Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260, starting at 4 p.m.




Published by The Arizona Republic from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3, 2019.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Feb
7
Visitation
3:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Mount Olivet Church
5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Feb
8
Visitation
11:00a.m.
Mount Olivet Church
5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, CO
Feb
8
Service
10:00a.m.
Mount Olivet Church
5025 Knox Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Feb
8
Celebration of Life
4:00p.m.
Midwest Training Centre
9707 E Cactus Road, Scottsdale, AZ
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32 Entries
Dick was a great guy! I got to know him in 1963, the year I got out of the Army Dental Corp and I started my dental practice in Burnsville, MN. He was one of my first patients and he was a patient when I retired.
Two friends of mine, Bill Dolan and Micky McDonald and I decided to buy the
Connelly farm and develop it into 119 residential lots, called Ville du Park.
We hired Dick Ames to make the streets and grade it. His second job. I got to know him even better. We both helped out the Burnsville Rotary Club and attended some meetings together. We continued our friendship over all the years. The last time I saw him was 2 summers ago when we had lunch together at the Legends. Dick was a great friend. Dick was a great guy!
DR Clark LaChapelle
Friend
January 27, 2020
On behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union 428, Arizona
Our sincere condolences to the Ames Family

Mike Lee
Business Manager
International Union of Operating Engineers
Local 428, Arizona
February 12, 2019
We didnt know Dick but we knew his brother John...Helping us with FFA and Arabian Horse Show sponsoring Paint A Pony. John often spoke of Dick and having a great brother. We feel so honored to have known such a prestige family. Sending prayers for the Family.Sincerely Rose Offerman and Family of Paint A Pony.
Rose Offerman
February 11, 2019
a loved one
February 8, 2019
I feel so proud and blessed to have had Dick and his brother John as a customer with horse bedding for so many years. The amount of love and respect I have for the both of them is more than they even know. Dick was truly amazing and my heart goes out to his whole family and friends because I know we will all miss him dearly. May he rest in peace and my all of you find comfort with his memories he left behind.
God Bless,
Rhonda Carder
Rhonda Carder
February 8, 2019
I have heard about Dick Ames over the years since my dad was his neighbor/friend in Lakeville, Minnesota. I think Dick was a couple years older than my dad but I believe they went to school together and probably played football together. My dad Ralph Nelson died 5 years ago but I remember him talking about Dick over the years and how Dick became a successful business man. My dad (who lived on a farm) would tell me that they were neighbors but the farm houses were so spread apart we used to laugh about that. Funny....reading the Obituary of Dick reminded me a little of my dad and brought back some memories that is certain. I am Ralph's daughter Shelly and just wanted to say that I am sorry about Dick's passing! The Obituary that was written was so nice!
Shelly Landherr
Friend
February 7, 2019
James Stachowski
February 7, 2019
My sincere condolences to Lolly and the family.
In 1963 I just got out of the Service and set up my dental practice in Burnsville. Dick was one of my first patients. Bill Dolan, Micky McDonald and I bought the Connely farm and developed Ville Du Park on Kennelly Road. We hired Dick, his second job, to make the roads. He did a great job.
I have known Dick for 63 years and saw him on many occasions. He was a patient from 1963 until I retired. Always a very nice guy and fun to be with.
DR Clark LaChapelle, DDS
Dr Clark LaChapelle
February 6, 2019
Dr Clark LaChapelle
February 6, 2019
Heaven has truly gained an ELITE angel. Blessed to have known such a wonderful friend. Row The Boat.. Ski U Mah ... you will be missed.
Buckentines
February 6, 2019
Nancy Miller
February 6, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
D. Romans 15:33 Andrews
February 5, 2019
a loved one
February 5, 2019
Annie Meyers
February 5, 2019
Brent Wilber
February 5, 2019
Stanley Stevens
February 5, 2019
So sorry to learn of Dick's death. So many good memories of the times we had with Dick and Lollie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jim and Mari Swanson
February 5, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May the loving God of all comfort and promised hope strengthen you during this difficult time. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 (JW)
Alex G
February 4, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
my deep condolences to the family and friends for the loss of your love one please find comfort in gods loving hands. Isiah 41.10
marjorie
February 4, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
a loved one
February 4, 2019
Condolences to the family. During our times of grief we can always turn to the God of underserved loving kindness, who comforts and soothes us. Psalms 94:19
February 4, 2019
Offering Deepest Sympathy to Family & Friends for your loss. May your Fond & Treasured Memories of your Loved One & Friend who lived his life well shine through your sorrow. ...Ps 90:10; John 6:40 & Ps 37:29
February 4, 2019
I'm very sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace to bring comfort face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold on to. May God continue to comfort your family.
JF
February 4, 2019
My condolences are extended as you mourn the loss of your dear loved one. May you find comfort and strength to cope during this trying time. Psalms 90:10
February 3, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. May you receive strength and comfort from God. "He will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly ground you." - 1Peter 5:10
February 2, 2019
Please accept my sincere condolences dear family and friends. May prayers strengthen you and memories comfort you. And may you find hope and comfort in God our Father, who loves us, comfort your hearts and "make you firm". (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).
February 2, 2019
Hey Dick,
Just letting you know you will be missed. You kindness and friendship ment a lot to Russ and I. All the t rips you made to Elko and reached out to the families of your employees will be remembered for a very long time. I am not very good at telling stories so I will just say old friend (family member) you will be missed. God has you now. With love Helen
Helen Harvey
Friend
February 2, 2019
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