Charles R. “Dick” Webb, 70, of Pittsburg, Kansas, died, Monday, March 23, 2009, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas surrounded by his family. He was the founder and chairman of Watco Companies, Inc., a rail service provider in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Starting from his kitchen table in 1983 with eight employees, Dick worked with members of the Watco Team to grow the business while keeping his focus on meeting the needs of the folks who paid the bills, the Customers. At the time of his death he had led the company to operate 3,900 miles of track, 20 short line rail roads, 22 switching locations, 14 mechanical shops, 18 mobile mechanical repair locations, and eleven transload and intermodal locations. Watco is a privately held company that operates in 26 states and has a team of 2,000 people.
He was born on December 10, 1938, in Independence, Kansas to Jesse and Grace Lewis Webb. They both preceded him in death.
He attended Horace Mann Elementary School, Lakeside Junior High and graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1956. He graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg (now Pittsburg State University) in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He was a member of the Kansas Army National Guard from 1956-1965, where he achieved the rank of First Sergeant.
He received many awards and recognitions in his life. He was named Distinguished Alumni from Pittsburg High School in 2003, and received the Meritorious Achievement Award from Pittsburg State University in May 2006. He also received many awards and recognitions from his contributions and work on behalf of many communities across the United States.
On behalf of Watco, he received the Governors Award of Excellence for a Kansas Business, from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, in 2005. It is the highest honor Kansas bestows on a Kansas business.
Dickmarried Kaye Lynne Johnson in Miami, Oklahoma on April 6, 1957. She survives of the home. They have two children Susan K. Lundy and Richard B. Webb, both of Pittsburg. Other survivors include his son-in-law, Gary Lundy of Pittsburg; his daughter-in-law, Stacey Webb, of Pittsburg; and six grandchildren: Kaleigh Ann Lundy, of Los Angeles, CA; Afton Leigh Lundy, Fallyne Marie Lundy, Cameron Richard Webb “Bubba” Lundy, Megan Lynne Webb, and Jacob Bruce Webb all of Pittsburg.
He was preceded in death by two brothers Jack Lewis Webb and James Robert Webb.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 27 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and will be con-celebrated by Fr. Robert McElwee and Fr. Thomas Stroot. Burial will follow in the Highland Park Cemetery. Friends may call at the Brenner Mortuary from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and after 5:30 p.m. at the church on Thursday. The parish rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, where the family will receive friends following the rosary until 8:00 p.m. There will then be a celebration of life for Dick afterwards at the Watco building, located at 315 W. Third St., beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday. Friends may also sign the register book and leave condolences online at http://www.brennermortuary.com . Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas c/o Dick Webb Memorial Fund. All proceeds will be shared to support the two main medical facilities that made it possible for Dick to enjoy 9 extra years of life: The Lung Transplant Program at Baylor Regional Transplant Institute in Dallas, TX where Dick underwent a lung transplant in 2000, and the Mt. Carmel Foundation at Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center in Pittsburg, KS where Dick received post-transplant rehabilitation and care. All donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to:
Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas
c/o Dick Webb Memorial Fund
100 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762