Virginia Reicks, 99
Virginia Reicks, age 99 of Lawler, died Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation, a private immediate family Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler, with Rev. Nick Radloff celebrating the Mass.
A public graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Lawler. Virginia’s grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.
The family does ask for those planning to attend the graveside service to practice social distancing and wear a mask. Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory is entrusted with arrangements.
Virginia’s remarkable, long life began on Oct. 26, 1920, when she was born to Theodore and Alice (Mansheim) Uhlenhake in Neillsville, Wisconsin.
At a young age, she and her family, which included six siblings, moved to Iowa. The Uhlehakes farmed in the Calmar, Ossian, and Festina areas, and Virginia attended country schools and was an eighth-grade graduate of St. Aloysius Catholic School in Calmar.
After helping on the family farm for several years, Virginia moved to Chicago, where she worked as a nanny for five years. One of the highlights of her years was in the Windy City was getting a chance to attend a 1945 World Series game between her beloved Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers.
She moved back to Iowa and was introduced to a dashing World War II combat veteran named Norbert Reicks at a dance at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville. They both found their “keepers” that night, and on April 29, 1947, they were married at St. Aloysius in Calmar.
The couple formed a true partnership on the dairy farm they owned north of Lawler, and they welcomed seven children — Mary, Bill, Bob, Dianne, Pete, Luke, and Linda — who remember growing up in a home where Mom helped Dad with the milking and where the lovely smell of baking bread and rolls was almost always present. They also remember Mom’s garden, which was always in pristine condition; finding a weed in it was dang near an impossible task.
Virginia, like Norbert, was a child of the Great Depression, and they were a conservative when it came to spending and saving, and the two most important things in her life were her family and her faith.
She was just as good of a grandmother as she was a mother — spending hours on the floor with her grandchildren playing “Hide the Thimble.”
Long before walking became cool, Virginia went on daily walks and almost always came home with a four-leaf clover. She was a quiet woman, but she passed on a lot of knowledge to her children, her grandkids, and her great-grandchildren.
In 1981, she and Norbert moved into Lawler, and they enjoyed traveling — visiting Chicago, heading out west to places like Montana, and visiting Europe to see the continent where her husband helped free the world from Nazi tyranny.
Norbert passed away in 2015, and that wasn’t easy for Virginia. But she did get to see her Cubs finally win a World Series — something they hadn’t done since 12 years before she was born — in 2017.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, and her children will tell you they didn’t miss Mass very often when they were growing up and that Mom never lost her faith.
Virginia will be dearly missed by so many, but her funeral will be held on the day of what would have been Norbert’s 101st birthday. Knowing that they are reunited and dancing together in Heaven helps ease the sorrow that comes with the passing of a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and church member who had an extraordinary life.
Virginia is survived by her children, Mary (Steve) Rausch of Chandler, Arizona, Bill (Karen) Reicks of Lawler, IA, Bob Reicks of Minneapolis, MN, Dianne (Rich) Hruska of New Hampton, IA, Pete (Lisa) Reicks of Lawler, IA, Luke (Mary) Reicks of Lawler, IA, Linda (Ron) Maher of Lawler, IA; seventeen grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Uhlenhake of Ossian, IA, Marian (Norbert) Retterath of Spillville, IA, Elsie Swehla of Spillville, IA; brothers-in-law, Alex Reicks of Lawler, IA, Francis (Lucille) Reicks of New Hampton, IA, Ardwin Reicks of Lawler, IA, Lorraine (Wayne) Carlson, of New Hampton, IA, Harry (Barb) Reicks, St. Lucas, IA and Roy (Carolyn) Reicks of Missouri Valley, IA along with several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Norbert in 2015; two brothers, Walter Uhlenhake in infancy, Ray Uhlenhake; sisters, Irene (Louie) Tieskoetter; Lucille Uhlenhake; Ruth (Linus) Elsbernd; and Shirley (John) Schmitt; in-laws, Msgr. Leander Reicks, Neal, Alice & Vernice Reicks, Linus & Lucille Kruse, Eugene & Grace Reicks, Luella Reicks, Edna Reicks, Jerome Reicks, Roche Lensing, Dan Swehla, and Don Reicks.