Orville Richard Millsap, 94, of Manhattan, Kansas, died September 6, 2019, at the Via Christi Village in Manhattan.
Richard was the fourth child born to Dova Johnson Millsap and Peter Simon Millsap. He was born June 18, 1925. The couple’s first two children died at birth and at six months of age. Older brother, Dewey Elton, four years older than Richard, has passed away, as has Harry Lee Millsap, younger brother. Norma Helen Crask, sister, survives and lives in Springfield, MO. Peter Millsap had six children with his first wife, all of whom were older than Dova when they married.
Richard spent the first sixteen years of his life as a country farm boy in Alton, MO, in southeastern Missouri. He graduated high school at sixteen, and headed for Kansas City, Kansas where he lived with his grandmother on Splitlog Avenue. There he met at age sixteen, Doris Jean Whitmer, age 14. They spent the rest of their lives in a very loving relationship, and were married 68 years before her death in 2014.
Richard was in the Navy Air Corp, and one of the youngest of the “greatest generation”. He did not serve more than a year before WWII ended. He used the GI Bill to go to college, and got his undergraduate degree and law degree in four years. He often told the story of how his daughter, Sandy, gave him the mumps, and he was allowed to take his law exams at home bed ridden. He became a partner in the largest law firm in eastern Kansas—a firm that produced two federal judges and a President of the Missouri Bar Association. His specialty at the firm was trial practice, with emphasis in federal and state courts. He later became Director of Education of the Missouri Bar, living in Jefferson City, MO. He practiced law in Springfield, MO and Kimberling City, MO, as he neared the end of his career. Richard and Doris traveled a great deal across the US with their children and as a couple, and enjoyed several cruises and a 30 day trip through Europe. He was a lifelong Republican and actively interested in current affairs, local, state and national politics. He was an avid reader and an accomplished historian, with special interest in American history from the founding of the country through the Civil War. He was a Master Gardener. Richard lived a very full life for a farm boy from southern Missouri.
Richard was a man of strong opinions, and intelligent mind, full of responsibility and well meaning. He always said he loved his family very much.
Richard and Doris moved to Manhattan in 2007 in order to be near their two daughters, as they grew older. They enjoyed getting together with their family.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, his half siblings, and two brothers. He is survived by his sister Norma Helen Crask; his daughter, Sandra Pottorff and son-in-law Charly Pottorff of Manhattan, daughter, Nancy Whitney of Manhattan; son Richard Mark Millsap and wife, Casie, of Springfield, MO; three grandchildren, Kristin Brighton and husband Ben Ward of Manhattan; Michael Brighton and wife Heather White-Brighton of Manhattan; and Monica Millsap, Milwaukee, WI; Charly’s daughter, Rebecca Pottorff of Manhattan; and four great grandchildren: Ryan, Katharine, Mary and Andrew, all of Manhattan.
The family would like to acknowledge the loving care and support Richard received during his final days at Via Christ, and from Hospice Care.
A grave side inurnment service, with military honors, will be held at 3:00 pm, Thursday, September 19, 2019, at the Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery near Manhattan, where he will be placed to rest aside his beloved Doris.