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Donald Leo Schwickerath, 87

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Donald Leo Schwickerath, age 87 of New Hampton, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Holy Family Catholic Church in New Hampton with the Rev. Jim Goerend officiating.

Military interment honors will be in Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton with Mitchell Clemens, Blake Wiegmann, Seth Wiegmann, Brent Sands, Shawn Schwickerath and Mike Schmitt serving as pallbearers.

Friends greeted the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2024, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory in New Hampton. Further visitation was held one hour prior to the service Saturday at the church.

Donald was born on May 10, 1936, in Colo, the fourth child of Leo and Catherine (Coleman) Schwickerath.

Donald’s upbringing in North Washington, surrounded by his five siblings, laid the foundation for a life filled with adventure, service and love.

After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in North Washington in 1954, Donald embarked on a new journey by joining the United States Army. Stationed at Fort Polk and Camp Chaffee, he cherished the camaraderie he built with fellow soldiers and the exciting adventures they experienced together. Donald’s time in the army became a cherished chapter in his life.

Following his military service, Donald encountered the love of his life, Donna Schmitt, at Holly’s Restaurant in New Hampton. The two were united in marriage on May 9, 1962, at IC Catholic Church in Charles City. Their union brought forth three children — Regina, Roberta and Randy — and their home in New Hampton became a hub of love, laughter and cherished memories.

Donald was a man of diverse talents and interests. He started his career at Zips Auto Body before taking the entrepreneurial leap to establish New Hampton Auto Body, a business he successfully ran for many years. In partnership with Jack Rosauer, he also owned and operated the New Hampton Roller Skating Rink, where he reveled in the joy of family gatherings and skating adventures.

A social butterfly, Donald had a passion for card games, especially Euchre. Sunday afternoons were dedicated to intense card games at his mother’s house, and his regular card club meetings were a source of great enjoyment. He enjoyed adventures of fishing and making homemade horseradish. He, Donna, and friends perfected the horseradish recipe and handed it out to many who enjoyed the “heat.”

His love for engaging conversations extended to everyone he met, and he was known for his willingness to help others, earning him the prestigious Life Saving Award at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Donald’s strong faith was a guiding force in his life, and he was a loyal parishioner at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton. He and Donna attended 4 o’clock Mass every Saturday and watched Sunday morning Mass regularly, nurturing their spiritual connection.

Donald is survived by his wife, Donna of New Hampton, one son, Randy Schwickerath of New Hampton, two daughters, Regina (Scott) Sterbenz of Johnston, and Roberta (Bret) Wiegmann of Adkins, Texas; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister, Dorothy Carlin of New Hampton; and one sister-in-law, Karen Schwickerath of New Hampton.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Francis Schwickerath, Marianne (Donald) Mashek, Kathleen (Donald) Sullivan and Merle Schwickerath; and brother-in-law, Michael Carlin.

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