Rick Zaiss spent more than 20 years at ENCOR, the Eastern Nebraska Community Office of Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

“He was very concerned about all of the consumers,” said his wife, Tracy Wiseman Zaiss. He respected them, she said, and they loved him.

“Rick was an extraordinary man,” his wife said. “He was kind and he was a good listener. He was nonjudgmental. He had a great sense of humor but never at anyone's expense.”

Richard Joseph Zaiss died July 30 at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was 62 and had been treated for cancer for 12 years, his wife said.

Rick Zaiss was a stay-at-home parent for seven years, working part time for ENCOR. He later transitioned to full-time work and stayed with ENCOR 23 years.

Zaiss grew up in Omaha, graduating from Westside High School. He received a bachelor's degree at Hastings (Neb.) College and a master's degree in English literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Besides his wife of 39 years, other survivors include his son, Zachary Sam Zaiss of Seattle; and mother, Virginia DeForest Zaiss of Sun Lakes, Ariz.

Family and friends celebrated Rick Zaiss' life Monday at First Central Congregational Church.

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