Alice Rethamel, 74

Alice Rethamel, age 74 of New Hampton, Iowa died Monday, August 12, 2019, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 16, 2019, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with Rev. Brian Delleart celebrating the Mass.

Interment will follow at St. Marys Cemetery in New Hampton with Jacob Rasing, Blake Rasing, Garrett Shekleton, Shane Shekleton, Lee Rethamel, Jaren Winkey and Cameron Rasing serving as pallbearers.

Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 15, 2019, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton where there will be a 7:30 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Friday at the church.

Joseph and Susan (Jax) Reicks welcomed Alice Mae to the world on March 13, 1945, and she was the youngest of five children. She was raised in the small border town of Chester and received her education in Cresco, where she was a member of the Class of 1964 at Crestwood High School.

Her life forever changed one night during high school because she decided to head north to the small Minnesota town of LeRoy to do a little roller skating. At the rink, she met a dashing young man named Merle Rethamel, and a lifelong love affair began. Less than four months after she graduated from high school, on Sept. 5, 1964, she and Merle were married at St. Stevens Catholic Church in Chester.

Merle built his bride a house on Broadway Avenue in New Hampton, where they began their family, but three years later they moved to an acreage east of New Hampton, where Merle built a house almost identical to the one in town for his Alice Mae. The couple had five children — Shari, Mark, Sheila, William, and Sandi.

She was a loving mother who liked to stay home, bake and take care of her children, who admired their mom’s easy-going nature. But they also knew when they had done wrong because of the “look” Alice — and Merle, too, for that matter — would give them. She helped her husband on their mink farm, and when Sandi headed off to kindergarten, she began working part-time as a cook at the old New Hampton Care Center and later she worked at what was then known as the Chickasaw County Care facility.

But Alice’s No. 1 priorities were her husband and children. She butchered between 150 and 200 chickens every year. She also annually brought out the quart jars and canned tomatoes, pickles and saurekraut while freezing corn and peas. She loved to shop, eat out and go for coffee with the ladies. Alice knew her away around the “dollar stores” and found great deals at thrift stores like the Treasure Chest.

Monday nights were her “date nights” with Merle as they welcomed Merle’s brother, Father Roger, home on his day off and played cards with family. She loved her children, but she adored her grandchildren. Merle and Alice never missed a ballgame or school event, and the grandkids loved Saturday morning breakfasts at Grandma’s. When she and Merle retired, they drove the countryside, picking up cans and loved to tell their kids how much money they got “this time.”

Alice lost her husband and best friend of almost 49 years on March 28, 2013, and while the sadness was evident, she also didn’t dwell on it and continued her routine, fixing great meals, visiting friends and staying close with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had 11 great-grandchildren, and one on the way.

In 2014, she moved back into town and lived in a house on the same side of the Broadway Street block where Merle built that first house for her so long ago. She especially looked forward to having her hair done weekly by LeAnn Shekleton.

And despite fighting diabetes and heart and kidney ailments, she never lost her sunny disposition. Alice always loved people and talking with them. When she moved to New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation, her room was the one filled with joy and people loved coming to see her because she was always so excited to talk to them. Alice never had an unkind word for anyone and she was loved by her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,

She was a member of Holy Family Parish.

Alice is survived by three daughters, Shari (Ken) Rasing of New Hampton, Sheila (Greg) Shekleton of New Hampton, and Sandi (Ken) Honts of New Boston, Illinois; one son, William (Denise) Rethamel of Muscatine; nine grandchildren, Jacob (Britney) Rasing, Blake (Stephanie) Rasing, Garrett (Kiley) Shekleton, Shane (LeAnn) Shekleton, Chelsea (Duane) Wiggins, Lee (Jessica) Rethamel, Jaren Winkey, Taylyr Rethamel, Kendra Honts; 11 great-grandchildren, Brock Rasing, Kaydence Rasing, Blake Wiggins, McKenleigh Wiggins, Kynzlee Wiggins, Archer Wiggins, Avacyn Wiggins, Skylar Schmitt, Cameron Rasing, Ramsey Rasing, and Haylie Rasing; one brother, Roger (Carole) Reicks of Chester; two sisters-in-law, Marlene Reicks and Marge Mayo; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Merle; one son, Mark Rethamel on July 24, 2004; one grandson, Travis Rasing on Oct. 30, 2016; two brothers, Delbert Reicks and Melvin Reicks; one sister, Winnifred (Virgil) McGrane; in-laws, Raymond (Helen) Rethamel, Father Roger Rethamel, Eldon (Pennie) Rethamel, Garland (Lois) Girken, Dale Rethamel and Reed (Mary) Rethamel; and one nephew, Tom Girken.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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