Richard J. Fiala
Richard J. Fiala Richard J. (Dick) Fiala, 78, passed away on Monday, November 13, 2006, at Hope Hospice, Fort Myers, FL, with his wife Dolores at his side. Dick was born on September 12, 1928, in Crete, North Dakota, the son of Ernest and Gladys ...
Richard J. Fiala Richard J. (Dick) Fiala, 78, passed away on Monday, November 13, 2006, at Hope Hospice, Fort Myers, FL, with his wife Dolores at his side.
Dick was born on September 12, 1928, in Crete, North Dakota, the son of Ernest and Gladys Fiala. He was raised by Gladys and stepfather, Art Best, in Sargent and Dickey Counties, and graduated from Oakes high school. He then attended the University of North Dakota where he was a proud member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1952. On May 10, 1950, Dick was united in marriage to Dolores Woods in Grand Forks. He began his engineering career in 1952 with Lium and Burdick Consulting Engineers in Grand Forks, then served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954 as an Engineering Officer. Following his time in the military, he returned to Grand Forks and continued his engineering profession with K.B. MacKichan & Associates, Inc. (KBM), where he worked from 1954 until his retirement in 1991. He was a registered Professional Engineer in eight states, and a registered Land Surveyor in North Dakota. During his career, he was instrumental in bringing rural water to many areas in the upper Midwest. Upon retirement, Dick and Dolores moved to Fort Myers, Florida, where they enjoyed golfing and attending the Ft. Myers Miracles (farm team for the Minnesota Twins) baseball games. Dick took great pleasure in being actively involved in both career and community activities, and served in numerous offices, including Director of the North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers, President of the North Dakota Consulting Engineers Council, President of the North Dakota Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, President of the Grand Forks Rotary Club (awarded Rotarian of the Year in 1989), and President of the Grand Forks Country Club, among many others. He was actively involved in a variety of areas within the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, including President of the Chamber in 1985 and serving on the Board of Directors in 1986. He was the recipient of the Henry Havig Award for excellence in community service for the city of Grand Forks in 1988. A strong supporter of UND athletics, he and Dolores rarely missed a football, basketball, or hockey game. He was dedicated to family, and enjoyed a life-long love of the game of golf, traveling, and getting together with friends and singing those old "piano bar' songs. His smile and infectious nature will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Dolores, Ft. Myers; daughters Connie (Mitch) Lies, and Nancy (Steve) Ingerson, both of Salem, OR; sons Jim (Anne), Grand Forks, ND, and Michael, Colorado Springs, CO; brother Darryl Best, West Fargo, ND; 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Larry Best, and sister Cleone Martin. A memorial service will be held in Ft. Myers, Florida on Tuesday, November 21 at Hope Hospice.