Loss of Dick Spady Impacts Hastings Community

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Mary Lanning Healthcare and Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation officials extend their condolences to the family and the entire community at the loss of Richard J. “Dick” Spady.

“Throughout his lifetime, Dick Spady focused his attention on improving healthcare for patients in the Hastings area,” said Eric Barber, MLH President & CEO. “Our hearts go out to the Spady family as they
mourn the loss of this wonderful man who contributed so much to our organization.”

Spady served as secretary/treasurer of the Mary Lanning Hospital Trust, chairman of the hospital Board of Trustees and a member of the Mary Lanning Healthcare Board of Directors. For nearly 40 years, he served on local, regional and state committees, addressing issues related to health and safety, and healthcare education. He was an active participant in many initiatives for rural health. In addition, he developed and oversaw the Mary Lanning Healthcare campus landscape design.

When his father, John Spady, died in 1975, Dick Spady succeeded him on the hospital Board of Trustees and, together with the rest of the Spady family, provided for the landscaping of the entire hospital grounds as a living memorial. By 1975, Dutch Elm disease killed the trees surrounding the hospital and Spady developed a landscape plan. This loving tribute to his parents incorporated their shared philosophy that nature is important for the healing of body and mind. The plan introduced
more than 200 species or varieties of plant materials. Since then, more than 6,000 trees, shrubs and perennial plants have been added in Mary Lanning’s ongoing project including the Medical Services Building, the Home Away From Home, the Morrison Cancer Center and the Perkins-Spady Recuperative Gardens. For four decades, Dick Spady served as the artistic designer who filled the Mary Lanning landscape with beautiful living things, reflecting the Mary Lanning philosophy that
recognizes this important aspect of the healing process.

Spady was honored with the Friend to Medicine Award by the Nebraska Medical Association in 1998 for shaping solutions to healthcare and rural health changes.

Spady was one of the first recipients of the William H. and Alice T. Lanning Award in 2010. The award is presented by the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors to honor those whose
support of and commitment to Mary Lanning’s mission exemplifies the vision of William and Alice Lanning.

“Mr. Spady was a strong force in guiding the organization though changes in healthcare,” Barber said. “He was a true friend to the Mary Lanning family and we will miss him.”