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Neal Reicks

neal reicks
Neal John Reicks, age 89, of Lawler, died Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehab Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Lawler, with Rev. Nick March celebrating the Mass. Concelebrants include Revs. Peter Bodensteiner, Marvin Salz, J.David Pepper and Donald Hertges. The pall will be placed by Neal’s eight children. Lectors will be granddaughters Jennessa Einwalter and Abigail Reicks. Offertory gifts will be presented by granddaughters Rian Dallenbach, Kelly Dallenbach, Annalee Reicks and Alison Thompson. Interment will be in Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Lawler, with his grandsons Jeremy, Nathan, and Casey Scheidel, Chris Dallenbach, and Joel, Joshua, Benjamin, and Zachary Reicks serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Neal’s godchildren: Robert Reicks, Paul Kruse, Duane Reicks, Richard Reicks, Henry Reicks, Lanette Reicks, and Eugene Lensing. Friends may greet the family from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Lawler, where there will be a 4:00 p.m. rosary and a 6:00 p.m. scripture service. Visitation will continue an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Wednesday. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hugeback & Chenoweth Funeral Home, Lawler. Neal was born on August 19, 1921, on the family farm one and one-half miles south of St. Lucas, Iowa, the son of Victor and Mary (Heying) Reicks. He received his education at St. Luke’s Catholic School in St. Lucas. As a young man, he worked on the family farm. He also operated a cream route, first with a team of horses and then later with a Ford truck. He loved sharing stories of the trials and tribulations that he encountered while on his route. He enjoyed going to dances and playing baseball with his brothers, cousins, and neighbors. On June 3, 1947, he was united in marriage to Alice Huinker in DeSales Catholic Church, Ossian. To this union, seven children were born. The couple farmed three miles north of Lawler, raising crops and livestock. Alice died on February 11, 1957 at the age of 33. With the assistance of several area child care providers as well as help from friends, neighbors, and the Huinker and Reicks families, Neal continued to farm and raise his seven children after his beloved wife’s death. On July 20, 1965, Neal married Vernice (Eldridge) Nutt at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dougherty, IA, with his brother Msgr. Leander Reicks officiating. Joining the family was Vernice’s daughter Nancy. Neal and Vernice continued raising their family and growing and expanding their farming operation. Neal was the co-owner and operator of a small tiling business. He was one of the first employees of Croell Redi-Mix in Lawler driving truck during the day and doing mechanical work in the evening. Neal also did custom harvesting of oats, corn, and soybeans for farmers and was the owner of one of the first self-propelled grain combines in the area. In 1976 the couple moved to their new home in Lawler. Neal continued to farm until his retirement in the mid-1980s. Neal and Vernice enjoyed their retirement years traveling to Europe, the Panama Canal, and throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. They spent over twenty years enjoying the winters as “snowbirds” in McAllen, TX. They liked playing cards, dancing, and gardening especially growing the unique black tomatoes. Neal and Vernice loved spending time with their family and especially watching their grandchildren participate in various sports and activities. Vernice died on December 25, 2006 at the age of 92. Neal had a great sense of humor, loved gadgets and practical jokes. Neal was an excellent mechanic and enjoyed working with engines and repairing things. He was an avid baseball fan and enjoyed following his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a seventy-year member of both the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Catholic Foresters, and a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church for 64 years. He also served on the Lawler Creamery Board of Directors. Those left to cherish his memory and the many life-lessons he taught are his eight children: Lois (Lance) Thorkelson of Rochester, MN, Elaine Reicks of Fayette, Nancy (Tom) Dallenbach of Waterloo, Carol Reicks of Phoenix, AZ, Jane (Tim) Scheidel of Lawler, Jim (Shari) Reicks of Lawler, Mark (Karen) Reicks of Osakis, MN, and John (Lynnie) Reicks of Lawler, 18 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Neal is also survived by eight brothers, Norbert (Virginia), Alex, Francis (Lucille), and Ardwin (Edna), all of Lawler, Eugene (Grace) of New Hampton, Don of Fort Atkinson, Harry (Barb) of St. Lucas, and Roy (Carolyn) of Missouri Valley; and two sisters, Marion (Norbert) Retterath, and Elsie (Dan) Swelha, both of Spillville. Preceding him in death were his wives, Alice and Vernice; his parents; a granddaughter Jill Reicks; great-grandson Angel Scheidel; his three brothers Msgr. Leander (2007), Jerome (1964), infant Joseph (1931) and his sister Lucille Kruse 1987.

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  1. Our deepest sympathy to all of the loved family of Neal. Your father was a great man and a favorite client of ours for years. We always enjoyed his visits to the office. May God comfort you in this time of sorrow.


  3. So sorry to hear of your dads passing. I enjoyed the obituary very much and did not realize he was involved in so many undertakings in his life. He was a remarkable hard working person. Elaine, you resemble your dad very much. Cherish the memories.

  4. Lois/Lance and family, you have my deepest condolences on the passing of your father. Treasure your memories, many of which I am sure there were with the size of your family, my prayers are with you all. ——————————————————————————–

  5. To the family of Neal Reicks- Being from Lawler, one never forgets any of the Reicks families. Jane, Jim, Mark, and John were in my generation and I remember all of you, like stair steps, following your Dad into the Lawler church for Mass. Neal lived a full and long life and has raised a large family with the caring, love and support that only a man who is a true belever in God can do. My sincere sympathy to you all.

  6. Carol and Family, We are very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  7. Jane and family, You have our deepest condolences for the loss of your father. He enjoyed a wonderful life with his family and you have many memories to treasure forever. May God’s love be a comfort to you as your father will now be with Him in his kingdom! Joe and Sharon Haskovec

  8. Dear Lois and family, Please accept our condolences on the passing of your dad. It’s hard to loose someone as special as he was. Your memories of him and the time you had with him will stay in your heart forever and help you as time goes on. Your friends, Revelee and Steve

  9. John, Lynnie and family, Our sympathies to you and your family. Treasure your memories, our prayers are with you.

  10. Our condolensces to you John and Lynnie, and the rest of the Reicks family. Reading the obituary, your dad was truly an amazing, dedicated, hard working father. Cherish all your memories. Your family was blessed to have such a loving & faithful father and grandfather. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  11. Our deepest sympathy to your family. Neal was an incredible man, we will always have so many wonderful memories of our Uncle Neal. His contagious belly laugh and his sense of humor will be foremost in our memories of this truly wonderful man. What a good father Neal was to his children, you were all truly blessed.

  12. To the family of Neil, My sincerest condolences go out to the entire Reicks family. May he rest in peace now and my prayers go out to you all.

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