Richard Jaehning graduated from Morton High School.
For Jaehning, Morton was always home.
According to his daughter Judith Jaehning, her grandfather, and Richard’s dad, Grover Jaehning was a resident of the City of Morton for more than 70 years and served as the local pharmacist and owned the community’s drug store.
As a high-school student Richard Jaehning was a member of the band and played on the basketball team. After graduation, Jaehning made several return trips to his hometown in order to visit his parents and to reconnect with his classmates during high-school class reunions.
According to Judith Jaehning, “Dad and Mom spent their summers at a family lake cottage on Island Lake in Crow Wing County, and many of the other residents there were also from the Morton and Red-wood area.”
Following graduation from high school, Jaehning served as a Naval Air Corps cadet, as well as a Merchant Marines Corps cadet, sailing around the world on supply ships during the Second World War.
Following his time of service to his country, Jaehning came back to Minnesota and attended St. Cloud Teachers College as well as the University of Minnesota where he earned a degree in business administration in 1948.
That same year Jaehning got married, and he and his wife, Lois, moved to Yakima, Wash. where he started his career at Seattle First National Bank (Seafirst) as a collections agent. Jaehning moved up the ranks, and in 1966 he got involved in Seafirst’s credit card operations – one of the earliest in the United States.
That expertise led to his involvement as a founder of MasterCard. The idea was to create a credit card with would be competitive, offer a reasonable rate and would be available to a broader range of consumers. He served as vice-chair for the company, and in 1972 became its chairman.
Through this job he was able to travel across the United States and around the world negotiating with banks. In 1981 he became president of Seafirst Bank overseeing the entities 6,000 employees.
After retiring, Jaehning served as a volunteer with the International Executive Service Corps helping banks in developing countries. In that time he lived and worked in Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Brazil.
Later Jaehning and Lois lived on the big island in Hawaii and then Mesa, Ariz. Jaehning passed away in 2013, and spent the final years of his life back in Washington to be close to his family. Richard and Lois Jaehning had four children.
According to daughter Judith Jaehning, her dad was an avid golfer, loved to go fishing and had an extensive garden.
One can tell Jaehning’s family is very proud of him, and his most recent recognition as an inductee into the Redwood Area School Hall of Fame.