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Dale Herman Rickert
April 23, 2017

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Dale Herman Rickert, 88, of Wapello, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at Tampa General Hospital, after a short hospitalization. He had been spending the winter in Tampa, Fla., with family.

Dale was born on April 10, 1928 in Luverne, Minn., to Herman and Ella (Karlsen) Rickert. He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings Orville, Gerald, Florence, Mildred, William, James and Gary; and his beloved wife Esther Jamison Rickert - "my Jamie," as he affectionately referred to her.

Dale was educated in Reinbeck Consolidated Schools, graduating from Reinbeck High School in 1945. He graduated with a BS in Animal Husbandry from Iowa State University, and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Dale and Esther married December 27, 1950, and raised three children while operating a farm in rural Louisa County.

In addition to farming, Dale had a variety of other jobs during his life. These include managing farms in Illinois and Iowa, teaching agriculture at the high school and community college level, working at Grain Processing Corporation and selling life insurance and a brief stint as an auctioneer. He especially enjoyed working as the county executive director of the USDA Washington County ASCS/FSA office where he was able to help other farmers succeed. Dale also served his country and community. He was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, a Iowa State Representative (selected as outstanding legislator by the Iowa Press Corps in 1965), Secretary and member of the State Advisory Board for Adult Education, a Trustee of Southeast Iowa Community College (serving as Chair for two years) and State President of Iowa Association of Community College Trustees.

Dale was man of faith and grew up in the Congregational Church of Reinbeck, Iowa. He was a long standing member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wapello, Iowa where he served as a Sunday School teacher, Superintendent, Trustee and Elder. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Shrine. A lifelong Democrat, Dale remained engaged in politics his entire life and was honored to have been invited to the White House during his time on the community colleges board. He raised his children to be socially conscious and considered Christ to be his role model for how we should care for one another. Dale was a gifted storyteller and would make us laugh until we cried with stories about his college years and youthful adventures. A modern man, he adapted to technological advances. He regularly communicated with his children and grandchildren via text messages, emails, Skype and FaceTime. He mastered Facebook so he could share his memories with the next generation of the Herman and Ella Rickert descendants. Because of his stories, they, too, will have the pleasure of knowing what it was like to grow up as a farm kid during the Depression and how it felt to be one of the Rickert boys. Dale retained his mental sharpness literally until the last hour of his passing. Educated in a different time and age, Dale famously could recite epic poems and do "mental arithmetic" where he could multiply 3 columns of numbers accurately without the benefit of paper and pen. He was a devoted caregiver to Esther the last few years of her life. At this time we do not have his death certificate but we are sure it will say the cause of death was a broken heart from losing his beloved Jamie. Many times over the last few months of his life, Dale would say he was treated better than he deserved, had a great life and, while he was not complaining about still being amongst us, was ready to join Esther in heaven.

Left to cherish Dale's memories are his children Claudia (Woodson) Isom, Pamela (Thomas) Broeker, and Dale Jamison (Janice Matson) Rickert; his grandchildren Amber Isom-Thompson (Justin Thompson); Jesse Woodson Isom (Kristy Militello); Adam Jamison Isom (Whitney Tidwell); Matthew Austin Isom; Brianne Leigh Drewry (John); Thomas Jamison Broeker; Dale Thomas Rickert; Jake Jamison Rickert and William Matson Rickert; and his great grandchildren Clara Thompson, Adele Thompson, Kestrel Ada "Kite" Isom, Raven Coralie Isom-Militello and Penelope Blake Drewry. Dale enjoyed sharing the farm with his family who consider "Honey Creek Farm" to be our family home.

In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to "In Honor of Dale Rickert," the Southeastern Community College Foundation Scholarship Fund, 1500 W. Agency Road, P.O. Box 180, West Burlington, IA 52655-0180 or First Presbyterian Church at 127 N. Main Street, Wapello, IA 52653.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 2 P.M. at the Wapello First Presbyterian Church.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.iowacremation.com under Obituaries

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