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When the orb was given to the fair, it was “in extreme disrepair,” Schuette said.
She said that fair officials looking into restoring it, which would have involved sandblasting and repainting all of the steel and replacing the fiberglass at a cost of $116,000.
“Being it was too costly to repair, we stored it in our [Department of Transportation] building on the fairgrounds from 1983 to 2000,” Schuette added. “ In 2000, we tore down the DOT building and asked the bank if they wanted the Weatherball back. Some bank marketing execs came out to the fairgrounds and decided they didn’t want it. Then, it went to sheet metal recycling, hazardous waste, etc.”
Stoller believes her father was unaware of the Weatherball’s destruction. “I’m glad he never knew that,” she said.
Richard H. Stebbins was born in Minneapolis in 1918 and graduated from Southwest High School. He enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., in 1937, put his education on hold to serve in the Navy and returned to marry Mildred Malmin in 1945 and graduate in 1946. He majored in speech at Gustavus, was Senate and Class president his senior year, and competed as a swimmer and gymnast.
Stebbins started his own financial ad agency after working at Northwestern National Bank. In 1980, the Stebbinses moved to Casper, Wyo., where continued his advertising career for Wells Fargo and then the Casper Star Tribune.
Dick and Mickey Stebbins moved back to the Twin Cities, and he started a career in real estate at age 81. After his wife died, Dick Stebbins moved in 2005 into the Lake Minnetonka Shores Presbyterian Home in Spring Park, where he logged thousands of volunteer hours, even past his 94th birthday.
“He was volunteering up till close to a year ago,” son Rich Stebbins said. “They knew him well there.”
Along with his wife, Stebbins also was preceded in death by his sister, Fran, and son Joel. Along with son Rich and daughter Cathryn, Stebbins is also survived by sons Jerry and Jeff. Funeral services are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Lake Minnetonka Shores Presbyterian Home, 4515 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park, with visitation starting one hour before.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482