Richard J. Mennenga, age 89, of Clarksville, Iowa, was born on February 4, 1924, in rural Butler County, near Shell Rock, Iowa, the son of Jerry and Ella (Ooster) Mennenga. He attended school in Shell Rock through the 8th Grade and later completed his education.
Richard enlisted in the United States Army on December 8, 1944, and was a recipient of the World War II Victory Medal and American Theater Medal. He was honorably discharged on January 6, 1946. Following his time in the service, Richard began working for International Harvester in Waverly and then went to Farmer’s Supply in Shell Rock where he developed his love of John Deere equipment.
Richard was united in marriage with Peggy Bengen on January 5, 1948, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Richard and Peggy began farming east of Shell Rock in 1950. Peggy died on May 19, 1969. On March 10, 1973, Richard was united in marriage with Darlys Ulrichs at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Clarksville.
Richard and Darlys farmed together for 17 years, south of Clarksville before remodeling their home in town and moving from the farm. In July of 2011 they sold their home on Ilgenfritz Street and moved to their present home.
Richard was a member of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Clarksville and was formerly a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Shell Rock where he served for 21 years as the board secretary. Richard was very active and dedicated to his community as a member of the Lion’s Club, President of Clarksville Improvement Corporation, Commander for over 20 years of the Clarksville AMVET’s, organized the rural Fire Department and served as Chairman, served 12 years on the Clarksville City Council, was Butler Township Trustee for many years, served on the Planning and Zoning Board and the Election Board.
Richard was very instrumental in the planning, fundraising and completion of both the AMVET’s building in Clarksville along with the Veteran’s Memorial at Lynwood Cemetery. Richard also enjoyed assisting at Redman-Schwartz Funeral Home for a number of years. He enjoyed visiting with familiar faces and helping families out during their time of need.
Although he kept very busy with farming, his civic organizations and the AMVET’s, his family still came first. Richard enjoyed spending time with Darlys and was rarely seen without her by his side. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought much joy into his life.
Richard died on Sunday, February 10, 2013, at his home, of natural causes. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Peggy Mennenga; his parents; three sons in infancy; one daughter in infancy; two sisters, Elizabeth Bales and Hinderene Van Raden.
Richard is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Darlys; two daughters, Deanne (Robert) Miller of West Bloomfield, Michigan and Jacqueline Barnes of Littleton, Colorado; one son, Steve (Christine) Ulrichs of Clarksville, Iowa; four grandchildren, Scott (Erika) Ulrichs, Stephanie (Ian) Cunningham, Nathan Miller and Wyatt Barnes; two great-grandchildren, Miranda Ulrichs and Bayla Cunningham; one brother, Bud (Marlene) Mennenga of Clarksville, Iowa; three sisters, Jean Folkerts of Allison, Iowa, Marie (Harold) Heeren of Greene, Iowa and Paulene Meyer of Allison, Iowa.
Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 15, 2013, at Immanuel United Church of Christ with burial in Lynwood Cemetery, both in Clarksville.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday at Redman-Schwartz Funeral Home in Clarksville, (319)278-4245 and will continue for one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.
Memorials may be directed to the American Cancer Society – Butler County Relay for Life or Cedar Valley Hospice.