MADISON - Richard Alton Erney, 88, passed away Friday, Sept. 11, 2013, at home in the arms of his wife, surrounded by loving family.

Dick was born in Stryker, Ohio, the son of Arthur F. and Opal M. (Bowman) Erney, on Dec 15, 1924. A member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Dick graduated from Denison University in 1947 and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1957. Dick enjoyed a distinguished career at the State Historical Society, serving as Executive Director of the society from 1977 until his retirement in 1986.

In retirement, Dick filled his years with traveling, fly-fishing, chip carving, attending events at the Overture Center, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Memorial Union and Historical Society, all the while creating wonderful memories with his wife of 25 years, Frances (Levenick, Rieser). Dick appreciated the friends he met through life, Fran's children whom he treated as his own, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for whom he always had a gentle smile and a willingness to spend time.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Alice (Craig) Erney; and younger sister, Phyllis (Erney) Domeck.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Fran; stepdaughters, Sue (Rick) O'Mahony, Patty (Robbie) Wochinski and Kathy (Mike) Evert; stepson, Bob (Sue) Rieser; grandchildren, Amy, Mick, Pat, Aly, Heidi, Sarah, Rob and Audrey; and great grandchildren, Megan, Ben, Dayna, Max, Payson, Callen and Avery.

The funeral service is at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 326 S. Segoe Rd., Madison.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick's name may be made to the State Historical Society or the Salvation Army.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

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