Raymond Bernard Schwickerath, age 93 of New Hampton, IA, died Friday, September 14, 2018, at New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 21, 2018 at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass. Interment will be held at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton with John Schwickerath, Jonas Schwickerath, Jacob Kuennen, Joshua Kuennen, Matthew Kearney, David Kearney and Joseph Schwickerath serving as pallbearers.
Friends may greet the family from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton where there will be a 8:00 p.m. parish scripture service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Friday at Church.
Raymond Bernard Schwickerath was born January 12, 1925, in New Hampton, IA the son of Herman and Katherine (Dockendorf) Schwickerath. He attended school in North Washington until the 4th grade and then in Lawler. After finishing the 8th grade, he began to help his family on the farm.
In 1941 Ray met Virginia at a house party and it was love at first sight. He told his brother the next morning that he had met the woman he would marry. He left for the service in 1943 and Virginia wrote to him every day and their love story continued through his years in World War II. He served in the 161st Infantry Regiment of the “Tropic Lightning” 25th Infantry Division from December 1943 to March 1946. He was injured in the Luzon Island, Philippines Campaign in March 1945. During his service he was awarded The Bronze Star, The Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal and Occupation of Japan Medal. He was honorably discharged in March 1946 and the couple was married a month later on April 25, 1946, at the former St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Jerico, Iowa. Ray and Virginia were blessed with 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Shortly after marriage, Ray began working at Bieber Auto Parts and then Dorfman Auto Supply in New Hampton. Ray drove truck for a short while, before starting his own business, New Hampton Freight. In 1968, it transitioned to New Hampton Transfer and Storage as it operates today. Ray also was co-owner of Chip’s Ballroom in Lawler from 1975 – 2000. In 1980, Ray’s son Chip bought New Hampton Transfer and Storage, and although Ray technically retired, he enjoyed continuing to work with his son, and grandson, helping where he could. In 2015 he officially retired at 90.
Ray adored spending time with his children and grandchildren. Family was everything to him and he was a very proud grandpa. He loved traveling to Las Vegas to play slots and also looked forward to attending the Indianapolis 500 every year. He and Virginia enjoyed traveling to Arizona where they enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren. He had a passion for the outdoors, especially turtle hooking and spending quality time with his family fishing at their home near Fredericksburg
Ray was a member of the Lawler American Legion Post #279 and a former member of the New Hampton Volunteer Fire Department for many years. He was a life long member of Holy Family Parish in New Hampton and his faith was very important to him.
Ray’s smile and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
Ray is survived by three sons, Dave (Jennifer) Schwickerath of Kennesaw, GA, William “Chip” (Darlene) Schwickerath of New Hampton, IA, Brian (Carol) Schwickerath of Waterloo, IA; three daughters, Susan Kearney of West Des Moines, IA, Bridget (Ken) Kuennen of Denver, IA, Anita (Andy) Petersen of Chandler, AZ; fourteen grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Patsy Stricke of Rochester, MN, Sister Lucia Schwickerath of St. Paul, MN; one brother-in-law, James (Sharon) Weigel of Charles City, IA; three sisters-in-law, Marlene Weigel of New Hampton, IA, Doris Weigel of Cedar Falls, IA; Theresa Schwickerath of New Hampton, IA; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Virginia on July 16, 2005; two brothers, Virgil and Mark Schwickerath; two sisters, Florence Throndson & Margie Martin and great-grandson Noah Haskovec
The family plans to make a donation to the Lawler American Legion Post #279 in his memory.