Agnes Riha

Monday, January 9, 2017 6:11 pm

Agnes Riha, 89, of Decorah, died Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at her home. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phillip Gibbs officiating. Lector was Brenda Meuterithies. Organist was Mary Beth Bouska. Cantor was Cindy Schissel. Hymns were “Here I am Lord,” “Peace is Flowing Like a River,” “On Eagle’s Wings” and “How Great Thou Art.” Offertory gift bearers were Jodene Riha and Jennifer Melbye. Eucharistic minister was Barb Jirak. Casket bearers were Erik Riha, Jason Hackman, Brad Riha, Melissa Milbrath, Darik Muhlenbruck and John Foreman, Jr. Interment was at St. Benedict’s Catholic Cemetery in Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.

Agnes Ann (Holthaus) Riha was born Dec. 31, 1927, the daughter of Felix and Agnes (Schmitt) Holthaus on the family farm near Festina. Agnes attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Festina. Agnes was united in marriage to Edward Riha May 5, 1947, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Festina. Together they farmed for a few years near New Hampton and then moved to Ridgeway, where they farmed for 45 years, retiring and moving to Decorah in 1994. Agnes was a member of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, and enjoyed helping with the funeral dinner committee. She was extremely talented. She had a passion for sewing clothes for her children as well as her daughters’ dolls. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting and embroidering towels. She fashioned many quilts, afghans and embroidered towels for her children and grandchildren. She loved attending antique shows and auctions, and developed a talent for refinishing furniture. Agnes was wonderful cook and baker. She was always insistent that she feed everyone who visited and no one ever left hungry. Aside from her creative talents, Agnes loved to play cards and was a devoted Chicago Cubs fan. She was elated when they finally won the World Series.

Agnes is survived by her two sons, Frank Riha and wife Jo, Decorah and Gene Riha, Ridgeway; five daughters: Rosemary Hackman and husband Ronald, Cedar Rapids; Carol Spalla and husband Alois, Fountain, Minn.; Betty Foreman and husband John, St. Lucas; Connie Muhlenbruck and husband Alan, Mediapolis and Lori and husband Wade Fisher, Rochester, Minn.; 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Lillian Holthaus, Decorah and Caroline Schildmeyer, Ossian; sisters-in-law: Dorothy Holthaus, Cresco; Verena Croatt, West Union; Barbara (James) Jirak, Fort Atkinson; Shirley Riha, Waucoma; and Mary Riha, Cresco; brothers-in-law, Leonard Riha, Madison, Wis.; Francis (Regina) Riha, Waucoma; along with many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Agnes was preceded in death by her parents, Felix and Agnes (Schmitt) Holthaus;  her husband, Edward Riha, Dec. 10, 2001;  grandson, Steven Hackman; sister, Rosemary Holthaus. Brothers: Severin Holthaus, Augustine (Ethel) Holthaus, Ralph (Olivia) Holthaus, Francis (Luella) Holthaus, Rudy (Germaine) Holthaus; sisters-in-law: Loretta (Alex) Rausch, Angeline (William) Brannon and Mildred Riha; brothers-in-law: James Croatt, Daniel Riha, Mathias Riha and Joe Schildmeyer.

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