Longtime Neligh resident and 1946 graduate Richard Sanne was surprised Saturday night by being named the 2016 Outstanding Neligh-Oakdale Alum.
Sanne, 88, has lived in Neligh since 1945 when his family moved from Tilden. Although he attended Neligh-Oakdale for two years, he was recognized for his "being a committed member of the Neligh community" during the last 71 years.
"This is certainly an honor," Sanne said when receiving the award. "I spent 10 1/2 year in Tilden, so it was a shock to me to come to this town and meet a whole new bunch of guys and girls. We had a wonderful, wonderful class."
Following graduation, Sanne served in World War II with the U.S. Army. In 1949, he married Norma Paul, a 1947 Neligh-Oakdale graduate. They have four children, all of whom graduated from Neligh or Neligh-Oakdale. Rich (1968), Denise Reikofski (1970), Lance (1972) and Diana Coup (1981). Sanne was nominated for the award by is son, Lance.
For 20 years, Sanne volunteered as a Scout Master with the Boy Scouts and both of his sons became Eagle Scouts. In1979, he was given the Silver Beaver Award for his distinguished service to youth and the Order of the Arrow Award in 1977. He has held many positions with the American Legion Post 172. Sanne has dedicated many years to other community service organizations as well.
Sanne survived cancer in 2002 and remains active in the community.
Among his passions is weather. Sanne has served as Neligh's National Weather Observer since 1996.