Richard Stanley Kassberg, born January 11, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, died June 22, 2020, in Reno, Nevada, at age 94.
For seven happy years, Richard lived at Snug Harbor in Belvedere with his true love and wife of 62 years, Mai Ingeborg Kassberg (Johansson), before moving to Reno to be close to their children, Thomas Richard Kassberg and Maria Cecilia Kassberg Regan, and their families.
Richard was the only child of Erik Rikard Kassberg and Engla Charlotta Mathilda Holmbom, both born and raised in northern Sweden, emigrating to the U.S. in the early 1920s.
Richard is survived by Mai, Tom, Maria, daughter-in-law Fran Livingston Kassberg and son-in-law Mark Joseph Regan, as well as three beloved grandsons, Conor Richard Regan (27), Erik Stig Regan (24) and Will Torsten Kassberg (14).
Although Richard’s life began in Minneapolis, he and his parents relocated to the small town of Bispgården, Sweden, in 1939 to be closer to Mathilda’s family. Later, he moved to Gothenburg, where he studied at the University of Gothenburg School of Business and met Mai, who was training to be a nurse at Sahlgrenska Hospital. In 1955, lacking dating apps, people met in person at dances. One evening at Liseberg amusement park, Richard spied Mai in a navy and white polka-dot dress across the dance floor and smiled. She smiled back. They dated, but neither was quite ready to settle down. And Richard had his sights set on chasing the American Dream.
He returned to Minneapolis and landed a job with General Mills, where he worked for 25 years. Busy traveling around the U.S. as an auditor, Richard often thought of Mai and wrote her long, elegantly composed love letters, which she still has. In 1958, Mai left Sweden to marry Richard in Minneapolis on August 30.
His career with General Mills brought Richard and family, now including Tom and Maria, to Brussels, London, Puerto Rico and New York. In 1982, Richard parted ways with General Mills to work at Seatoman, a company that connects apparel brands with manufacturing facilities around the world. They also developed their own clothing line, together with a new and relatively unknown designer by the name of Tommy Hilfiger.
While living in Puerto Rico, Richard taught himself to sail, and the family made many fun voyages to the Virgin Islands on their Cape Dory 34, Vinga. Tom has carried on that sailing tradition, racing actively as a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club and competing in numerous offshore races. In England, Richard took up golf, which he loved and played until he was 85.
Richard loved history and was an excellent storyteller, right up until his death. Whether conveying stories from his youth or Scandinavian history, sharing a joke, or telling his grandsons tales he invented about mystical woodland creatures in northern Sweden, Richard knew how to tell a story. His was a life beautifully lived, and he will be dearly missed.
Donations in Richard’s honor can be made to Food Bank of Northern Nevada at fbnn.org/give-now.