Richard Hobart Spalding

Richard Hobart Spalding

Richard Hobart Spalding ('Dick' or 'Buzz') died at age 87 at the Billings Clinic on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. A memorial party will be held in August 2021.

Above all else Dick loved his wife, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren with all his heart. Those who had the privilege of knowing Dick understand why his loss is felt so deeply among those who loved him most.

Dick was born April 11, 1933, in Fargo, ND, during the height of the Depression. A lady who saw him in his baby buggy said, 'How can you bring a child into the world at a time like this?' Dorothy, his 7-year-old sister, called him 'Buzz' from the beginning, and the name stuck.

Dick's family moved to Billings when he was six, where he attended Billings schools and graduated from Billings High School in 1951. He had a happy childhood, wandering up on the Rims and growing up in a neighborhood full of kids.

From 1951-55 he attended University of Montana, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), graduating in 1955 with a degree in business administration.

From 1955-58, he served in the U.S. Army as a payroll clerk in Fort Riley, KS with the 1st Infantry Division. In 1958, Dick attended graduate school at New York University, returning to Billings in 1959.

He began his banking career at Midland National Bank as a trainee, eventually moving to the trust department as a Trust Officer. He also worked at First National Bank and Montana Bank. In 1976 he started his career at Merrill Lynch when the Billings office opened and retired in 1999. He took a personal interest in his clients, their lives and their families, sometimes serving several generations of a family.

In 1960, while working for Midland National Bank, he met the love of his life, Marcia Redmond. They married in 1961. Their family expanded with the birth of their three daughters – Alison in 1964, Paige in 1967 and Leslie in 1969.

Humble, kind and compassionate, he was the best of men - the best husband, father and grandfather to his family. He embodied the finest values of his generation including a strong work ethic, care and compassion for others, honesty and humility, love of community and charity. He was quick with a sincere compliment or a weird witty remark, respecting all others regardless of their position in society. He was a big reader and had many talents and interests.

Second only to his love of his family, he loved Montana. He also loved Billings (where he volunteered for the Chamber of Commerce, recommending famous and obscure sites and attractions depending on the interests of the visitors). He was very involved with Yellowstone River Parks Association and Billings TrailNet; he was always a big booster of trail and river access for all and recreation in and enjoyment of the local natural landscape. He was a lifelong outdoorsman – hiking annually 'over the top' (from Cooke City to East Rosebud Lake) in the Beartooths with an ever-evolving and -expanding group of family and friends (an estimated 34 times!). He floated the Smith River 9 or 10 times with friends and his girls. He skied in Red Lodge when he was young and canoed and boated the Yellowstone River for many years. Yellowstone Park was a favorite place, having worked there for three summers, fighting forest fires; he knew every creek ('crick'), stream, lake, campground and many geysers and secret hot pot locations. He was a big fan of Lewis and Clark (his favorite book was 'The Journals of Lewis & Clark' edited by Bernard DeVoto). He taught his daughters and grandsons, as well as many others, to love nature, the outdoors and the West.

He had a love of adventure and was fearless; he traveled the world with his wife, Marcia, visiting 55 countries in total; some of those trips with the whole family, including his grandsons. He traveled the US and the world, including Thailand, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Scandinavia, South America, and South Africa. He and his wife spent 25 years visiting Hawaii every year. He loved spending time with friends, microbrews (especially Billings-made), working in the yard, cutting Christmas trees in the Little Snowies, and above all, spending time with his family.

Dick is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marcia Spalding; three daughters, Alison Spalding Evans (Mark) of Denver, CO; Paige Spalding (Jim Hummel) of Billings; and Leslie Spalding (Larry Simon) of San Diego, CA; two grandsons, Matthew Spalding Evans (Kristen Laws) of Richmond, IN; and Andrew Redmond Evans of Denver, CO; his niece Tracey Kerr Alaniz (Pete); nephews Brad Kerr (Mina); and Matthew Kerr (Laurel); brother- and sister-in law Jim Redmond (Diana) of Polson, MT; and many other family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Yellowstone River Parks Association (yrpa.org) which supports access and use along the Yellowstone River by improving parks and trails. Dick was involved with and was a supporter of YRPA since 1996.

In remembrance of Dick, please taken an extra moment to live in the moment, to have a local beer with a friend, to do something for others, and above all, to appreciate beautiful sunsets and to enjoy the beauty of his beloved Montana.


To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Billings Gazette on Jan. 13, 2021.
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10 Entries
You have my sympathy on the passing of a remarkable man, Paige and family. Having been raised in Billings and having lived there we'll into the early 90s, the Spalding family was familiar to us. I don't recall actually ever meeting Dick; I wish I had.
Tom Mellor
January 22, 2021
Thank you all so much for your commences and memory sharing on behalf of our entire family!! We have great peace knowing Dick soaked up everything good on his life journey and is now at peace!! We know we were incredibly blessed to share in his end of life journey and will do our best to live out his mission in life he so loved in our own ways and this wonderful community!!!! Peace to you all!!
Paige Spalding
January 21, 2021
What a beautiful obituary- we all will miss Buzzy!
Tracey and Pete
January 17, 2021
I work at Great Harvest Bakery, where Dick was one of our treasured regulars. He was such a kind and humorous soul! I loved hearing his stories and his wit every week. A great man who will be missed greatly!
Elena
January 16, 2021
Dick and Marcia were kind and caring neighbors during the time they and my parents lived next door to one another. They always offered a smile and a kind greeting during my visits and expressed genuine concern when my parent´s health failed. I know Dick will be missed by so many and I offer Marcia and the family my sincere condolences.
David Williams
January 15, 2021
I am very saddened for Marcia and the family to have learned of Dick's passing. He was a great person to have known and, along with my wife, I enjoyed being Dick's and Marcia's guest for a wonderful dinner and conversation a few years back. Dick will be sorely missed by all who knew him. May his memory be a blessing.
URI BARNEA
Acquaintance
January 14, 2021
I always thought Dick was such a gentleman during our few years working out in class at Rocky, until COVID mandated classes to cease. After class I enjoyed discussing our kids' golf careers and my earlier association with Marcia while directing the bell choir. When our workout class resumes I will miss him.
Alicia Lee
January 13, 2021
Dick was also loved and cherished by his Billings Senior High School classmates. It was always a joy to see him at the reunions. He will be missed by the few of us left. We will all be together again soon. Party on, Dick!
Avis Schwab Buck
January 13, 2021
Ah, I am so sorry to read that Dick passed away. Please accept my condolences. He was one neat gentlemen. I so enjoyed our conversations. May he rest in peace.
LloydMickelson
January 13, 2021
I ran into Dick several times in the past few years while attending events at the Billings Chamber of Commerce, where he donated his time and great energy. Dick was a true gentleman. He was always upbeat and happy. I will miss getting to see him again.
Scott Brown
January 13, 2021