SALINA - Richard “Dick” Renfro passed away on November 10, 2021 at the age of 87. Dick was born on October 6, 1934 in Spearville, Kansas the son of Eugene and Bernice (Sams) Renfro.
He lived in Offerle, KS until 1943, then moved with his parents to Hutchinson, KS. Dick graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1952.
After high school, he graduated from Kansas State University in 1956 with a BA degree in business. He was a pitcher and letterman on the K-State baseball team, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was also a 1974 graduate of The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.
Upon graduation from Kansas State, Dick worked in the Finance Department at The Boeing Company in Wichita. It was during his tenure at Boeing that he met his bride, Toni, who became his wonderful wife of 62 years, on a blind date set up by mutual friends on Halloween 1958.
In 1963, Dick joined the IBM Corporation as a marketing representative. During his tenure with IBM he achieved five 100% Sales Clubs. He and his family moved to Salina in 1967 to open a new IBM sales office to cover North Central and Northwest Kansas.
In 1971 Dick joined the National Bank of America as a vice-president. In 1978 he was elected to the NBA Board of Directors, and in 1979 was promoted to Executive Vice President. In 1986 he was elected to the position of President and CEO.
In 1993 UMB Financial Corporation purchased NBA and five other central Kansas banks and in 1994 those banks were merged into the National Bank of America (UMB-NBA) with Salina as its headquarters. Renfro was named President and CEO of the merged bank UMB-NBA. He retired from his active duties in 2001, but remained as a member of the UMB-NBA Board of Directors.
Dick led a balanced life, and he was very active in community affairs and organizations. He knew the value of community and humbly accepted volunteer leadership roles that have helped shape Salina and the region in many different levels and areas. Among his activities were: First Presbyterian Church— where he served as Elder, Deacon and Trustee, as well as devoted member of the choir. K-State Alumni Association where he proudly served as the National President, and on the Board of Directors. K-State Athletics, Intercollegiate Athletic Council serving as Alumni Representative for 6 years. Salina Area Chamber of Commerce serving as Chairman, and two terms on the Board of Directors. Salina Airport Authority where he served as Chairman and on the Board of Directors. Salina Country Club, where he served as President, and three terms on the Board of Directors. Farmers State Bank (McPherson) Board of Directors. Rolling Hills Zoo Board of Directors. Downtown Lions Club, served as President, and on the Board of Directors. Salina Baseball Enterprises serving on the Board of Directors for 17 years. Member of the Kansas Bankers Association, served on the Governing Council. And finally, Member of the Salina Gridiron Club.
Dick was Co-chair of a 1990 task force to promote the funding of the merger of Kansas College of Technology and Kansas State University (now K-State Salina). Project passed by a 2-1 margin and at the time generated $5.3 million to assist in the merger.
In 1983, at the request of Jack Hartman, K-State basketball coach, Dick successfully organized an exhibition game between the USA Pan-American team (Hartman was coach) that included Michael Jordan and a group of NBA players. Nearly 7,000 fans attended on a hot July evening at the Bi-Centennial Center (aka Tony’s Pizza Event Center).
But most of all Dick was known for his welcoming nature and kind heart. He never met a stranger, and genuinely had an interest in others and graciously lent support whenever he had the opportunity. He was a loyal and active supporter of Kansas State University and all things K-State. He was a dedicated Wildcat season ticket holder and attended most games despite his boundless commitments. Dick also enjoyed the competitiveness and fellowship of playing tennis regularly, as well as partaking in good natured card games with family and friends.
Dick was a dedicated family man, filled with love who always was there to guide, mentor and nurture. He was very proud of his family and all their accomplishments. He was proud of Toni in her role in together raising their 3 sons, and her success as a financial advisor and community leader. He enjoyed coaching and watching his sons Craig, Cary and Clark in their early years and watching them succeed professionally in their adult lives and respective careers. He adored his bond with his favorite daughter in law Amber and her devotion to the family.
Dick and Toni waited patiently into their marriage to become grandparents, and they were blessed with the birth of their triplet granddaughters, Addison, Mallory and Claire in 2006. He was affectionately known as “Papa” to his granddaughters and their friends. He radiated with love and affection when doting about them to anyone that he met. Papa could be found in the front row of all their events, recognitions, and recitals with a beaming smile. Addison, Mallory and Claire have brought so much joy to him and Toni. He took great pride in seeing them grow into beautiful, talented and active young ladies. And lastly, grand-dogs Rafa and Seve’ have been such an integral and enjoyable part of the family.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Eugene and Bernice (Sams) Renfro, and his sisters Virginia Woodside and Delores Frost.
Survivors include wife, Toni, sons Craig of Salina, KS, Cary of Topeka, KS and Clark (Amber) of Salina, KS, granddaughters Addison, Mallory and Claire, grand-dogs Rafa and Seve’, nephew Larry Frost, nieces Lannie Kern, Sharon Hill and Jackie Tullous.
The Renfro family wishes to give special thanks to Kindred Hospice and staff for their compassionate care and service.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at Ryan Mortuary, Salina.
A Funeral Service and Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 17th at the First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Eighth. Private family burial will be at Gypsum Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are suggested for the Salina Net Generation (public-private Salina tennis court project), via Greater Salina Community Foundation, P.O Box 2876, Salina KS 67401-2876; First Presbyterian Church of Salina; K-State Ahearn Fund.