Richard L. Slepicka, 71
Richard Lee Slepicka, 71, retired newspaper editor, died at 6:05 a.m. Friday, July 27, 2012, at his home in Hillsboro. He had been under the care of his wife, Nancy, and Memorial Home Care hospice.
Cause of death was metastatic colorectal cancer. Cremation is being arranged by Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home of Nokomis.
The public is invited to visit with the family from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at the Church Street Pub on S. Broad St., in Hillsboro.
Born April 15, 1941, in Sterling, IL, to Lumir and Marie (Koehn) Slepicka, he was reared in Geneva, NE, and graduated in 1959 from Geneva High School. After two years at the University of Nebraska, he enlisted and served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1964.
He graduated in 1969 from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and Russian language/literature. In 1991 he obtained a Master's degree in linguistics and teaching English as a second language from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
After their marriage on March 23, 1970, in Woodside, CA, Richard and Nancy moved to Hillsboro in 1971 to join her parents, the late Bob and Pat Bliss, in the family business, The Montgomery County News. They owned and operated the newspaper until it joined forces in August 2004 with The Hillsboro Journal to form The Journal-News. The couple continued as senior editors of The Journal-News until their retirement on Dec. 31, 2007.
The couple also owned and operated the former So Many Books book store, located in The Montgomery County News building.
In addition to his 36 years as a community journalist, editorial writer and columnist ("From the Cannon's Mouth"), Mr. Slepicka taught college level classes in composition, literature and humanities for Roosevelt University at Graham Correctional Center, did substitute teaching at Hillsboro High School, and more recently taught an American literature class for Lincoln Land Community College. He taught in Harvard University's Institute for English Language Programs in the summer of 1990.
Until his health declined, Mr. Slepicka was involved in conservation activities at Bremer Sanctuary, Hillsboro, and Shoal Creek Conservation Area, Litchfield. He was a member of Natural Area Guardians (NAGs), Shoal Creek Volunteers and Prairie State Orchid Society. He created and maintained websites for each of those organizations.
He was a member of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and a former board member of FAYCO Enterprises, Inc., Vandalia. He was a registered Democrat and enjoyed travel, books, music, Star Trek and apple pie.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Ekaterina "Kate" Slepicka of Brooklyn, NY, and a son, Pavel (wife Amanda) and grandson, Quinn Hunt of Hillsboro.
He also leaves his mother, Marie Slepicka, a resident of Montgomery Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Taylor Springs; two sisters, Carole (husband Jay) Garcia of Apache Junction, AZ, and Kathryn (husband David) Dobrinic of Hillsboro; sister-in-law, Betsy Bliss of San Francisco, CA; two nieces and three nephews. His father is deceased.
Memorials are directed to the FAYCO Foundation, 1313 Sunset Dr., Vandalia, IL 62471, and Hickory Hills Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society, PO Box 395, Hillsboro, IL 62049.
Source: The Journal-News