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Richard Natvig

richard natvig
Julian Richard Natvig, retired businessman, husband, father, and long-time circus model builder, passed away October 3 rd 2023, at the age of 96. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 6, 2023, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton with MaryAnn Diesburg officiating. Inurnment will be held at the New Hampton City Cemetery. Friends may greet the family from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. prior to the Memorial Service at the funeral home on Friday. Known to most as Richard, J R Natvig was born at home in Saude, Iowa, on March 10 th 1927 to Ruth and Julian G Natvig. As a boy, he moved with his parents to New Hampton, where he attended public schools and graduated high school. At age 14, he began working at a local men’s clothing store. Later as an adult, he became the proprietor of that business, renamed The Hub Clothiers, which he operated with a partner until his retirement. His employment there was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and served state-side for three years. In his later years, he was proud and honored to attend an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2010, and he cherished a handmade quilt given to him then for his military service. Richard is best-known for his love of all things circus. Upon his return home from military service, he began carving circus figurines and animals, building model circus wagons, and even sewing true-to-scale circus tents, a hobby that he continued into his 90’s. He meticulously built, carved, and painted models at 1/16 th scale that were replicas of actual circus wagons of that period. In 1953, Richard was one of the founding members of the Karl King Ring Circus Modeling group and began meeting regularly with other model builders, forming friendships that lasted decades. His New Hampton Main Street circus parade works are on display at the town’s Carnegie Cultural Center. After retirement, he volunteered for seven annual Milwaukee Circus Parades, and especially enjoyed working with the animal trainers. Richard married Marjorie Howard on May 6 th 1951, and they remained sweethearts these past 72 years, residing in New Hampton and, recently, Elma. They have three children, Pamela (James) Leib, Julia Natvig, John (Lucinda) Natvig, two grandsons Nathan (Heidi) Leib and Zachary (Zhavanya) Leib, and three great grandchildren, Zaydn, Zalo, and Zahbeeyahna, all from South Dakota. As a family, the Natvigs enjoyed weekends and vacations camping, bicycling, canoeing, and cross-country skiing. After retirement, Rich and Marge continued to travel, camp, and bicycle. They also enjoyed Elder Hostel trips across the U.S. A tour of the Scandinavian counties and the Shriners was a travel highlight as Richard was proud of his Norwegian ancestry.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Our deepest sympathy for Marge and his family. Always enjoyed our conversations whenever we ran into Rich and Marge. Always a fun story or two to share. He was one of the best that worked at the Hub on Main Street.

  2. Deepest sympathy to Marge and family. New Hampton lost a staple to the town. Richard was so much fun to visit with. He will be missed.💔🙏🙏

  3. Sympathies to Marge and the Family. I always looked forward to our conversations and his witty sense of humor. The CWC won’t be the same without his visits!

  4. Sympathy to all of Richard’s family! A pillar of the community from his days at Hub Clothing store to his miniature circus displays R.I.P. Richard!

  5. So sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. I loved seeing him at the Carnegie. Always had wonderful stories and full of laughter.

  6. My deepest sympathy to Marge and the family. So glad I was able to spend a little time with Richard on Friday. We prayed and said the Lord’s Prayer and now he is in God’s hands. May he be at peace. MaryAnn Onken Diesburg

  7. My deepest sympathy to Marge and the entire Natvig family. Rich was one of a kind. Always had wonderful stories. Prayers to all.

  8. Such a great guy; always amazed me that he remembered names like he did. Loved his stories and conversation. Rest In Peace, Richard.🙏🏻🙏🏻

  9. Marge, sympathy to all of you. Richard always had good stories to tell when he stopped out to NHHS or when I saw him at the Carnegie Culture Center when we were both volunteering.

  10. I fondly remember Richard from church and as neighbors to my grandma Moetsch. He invited me to see the circus in his home many times. My sympathies to the Natvig family.
    Leslie Anderson Raymond

  11. Sympathy to his family and all that knew him. He was a great person and New Hampton Community was very important to him always.

  12. New Hampton lost another great man. After getting married, we were neighbors to the Natvigs for about a year. Such a great couple. Rich was funny and so talented. Sending condolences to Marge and the whole family.

  13. Deepest sympathy to Richard’s family. I was enjoyed him and Marge stopping in at the bank and visiting. I also enjoyed him at the HUB when I was younger.

  14. Our deepest sympathy to his family and Marge. He was a great neighbor for many years. Sending love and prayers.

  15. So sorry to hear new Hampton has lost another legend. Natvig family you have my sympathy. Richard would always tell me to get on home. May you rest in peace.

  16. Sympathies to the Natvig family. I worked for Richard at the Hub. He was kind and fun to work for. He shared local stories and local history, his enjoyment of his circus hobby and was a good customer service mentor which I used in my advertising and judicial court years. Bless you.

  17. I will never forget all the camping trips we took together. My deepest condolences to you all. Barb Riley Kotz

  18. My sincere sympathy to Richard’s family. I have great memories of him at the Hub and at the Congregational church. He was a great man.

  19. Deepest sympathy to Marg and family. Richard was always a delight to talk to. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all 🙏

  20. My sincerest sympathy to you Marge and family. I worked with Richard at the Hub mens clothing store for a few years. He thought me many things about the clothing busy. I don’t believe Rich never spoke a harsh word to me. I won’t be able to attend his service but will e thinking of your family

  21. My deepest sympathies to the family. Richard was a delightful person, always had a twinkle in his eye. We loved being neighbors with him and Marge.

  22. Sorry to hear about Richard passing. He will be missed.knew him most of my life. Will say a prayer.

  23. Rich was a great man. I remember going to the clothing store as a kid and always a good visit whenever I would see him my whole life. May he Rest in Peace!

  24. We met Rich & Marge through Jay Mills at Baraboo, WI at several Circus Model Builders Shows over the years. He was always willing to help with any questions my husband had about modeling. He was a delight to be around and will be missed. This is the last group picture taken in 2016 of us together.
    Wayne & Delores Todd
    Circus Model Builders

  25. Dear Pam and Julie – I remember playing at your house and remember seeing your father’s circus collections. We had some fun playtimes way back when, in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s? So sorry for your loss. Yvonne (Ohm) Durr, Omaha NE

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