James Eugene Reicks

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:52 pm

James Eugene Reicks, 63, of Decorah, formerly of Lawler, went to be with our Lord March 26, 2017, with his family by his side, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn. His death was due to complications from a rare form of lung cancer, which had metastasized to his bones by the time of diagnosis. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 31, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler, with Fr. Kyle Digmann, Fr. Nick March, Fr. Phillip Gibbs and Deacon Jim Zajicek officiating. Lectors were John Reicks and Zac Reicks. Organist and cantor was Bob Huinker. Hymns were “Be Not Afraid,” “One Bread, One Body,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Here I Am, Lord” and “On Eagles Wings.” Mass servers were Mari and Logan Delaney. Offertory gift bearers were Jim’s grandchildren. Eucharistic ministers were Nancy Cuvelier, Susan Keune and Henry Reicks. Casket bearers were Pete Reicks, Mike Reicks, Joe Lensing, Dewey Reicks, Gary Huber, Jeremy Scheidel, Tyler Sommer and Chad Kelly. Interment was at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Lawer. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.

James Eugene Reicks was born July 3, 1953, in New Hampton, the oldest son of Neal and Alice (Huinker) Reicks. Jim attended OLMC through eighth grade and graduated from Turkey Valley High School in 1971. Jim graduated with honors from Iowa State University with a degree in agricultural science. He was the leader of several champion hog judging teams while at Iowa State University. He was wed to Jennifer Kuennen in 1975, and they had four children. They later divorced. He started farming east of Fredericksburg and in 1982 moved his young family to a farm north of Lawler. He raised hogs and crops and was an active member of the Iowa Pork Producers. He also served as a Chickasaw County soil conversation commissioner. In 2003, Jim married Shari Oesterle. In 2014 they relocated to a new home they built east of Decorah. Jim began raising cattle and this brought him great enjoyment in the later years of his life. During his lifetime, Jim was very active in the Iowa Right to Life movement. He was an active parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Lawler and later at St. Benedict in Decorah. Jim was a lector and also taught CCD for many years. His steadfast faith in the Lord was vibrant and a guiding hope in his life. Jim was known for his wonderful sense of humor and wit and his ability to make everyone feel known and loved. This was continued even in his conversations and connections made with hospital staff in his last months. A jack of all trades, he never met a project he couldn’t tackle. He loved to travel, sing, and dance, as well as play softball with the Midnight Flyers, and follow Iowa State Cyclone sports. He was both hard-working and fun-loving, and filled his days with farm chores and spending time with his family. “Grandpa Farmer” loved being surrounded by his grandchildren, reading stories, giving tractor and combine rides, and playing pranks. His example of unconditional love will be greatly missed.

Jim is survived by his adoring wife, Shari (Oesterle) Reicks, Decorah; his children: Joel (Sarah) Reicks, Dubuque, Josh (Brielle) Reicks, Maquoketa, Jennessa (Eric) Einwalter, Solon, Matt (Rebekah) Johnson, Iowa City and Maria (Michael) Anderson, West Des Moines; 14 grandchildren: J.C., Bozena and another Reicks baby due in August 2017; Jake, Amelia and Garrett Reicks; Owen, Simon, Ella and Miles Einwalter; Micah, Mathias and Maxwell Johnson; Abigail and Tayten Anderson. He is also survived by five sisters: Lois (Lance) Thorkelson, Rochester, Minn., Elaine Reicks, Fayette, Carol Reicks, Sun City West, Ariz., Jane (Tim) Scheidel, Lawler and Nancy (Tom) Dallenbach, Waterloo; two brothers, Mark (Karen) Reicks, Osakis, Minn. and John (Lynnie) Reicks, Lawler; father and mother in-law, Eugene and Darlene Osterle; brothers and sisters in-law: Lana (Keith) Grady, Terry (Diane) Oesterle and Teresa (Joel) Sommer, all of Waukon.

Jim was preceded in death by his daughter Jill, in infancy, in 1982; and his parents, Neal and Alice (Huinker) Reicks and stepmother, Vernice Reicks.

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