Richard Lee Wittrock, 65, of Rockwell City, Iowa, died unexpectedly on the first day of summer, Friday, June 21, 2019. Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019 at the United Methodist Church, Rockwell City, with Pastor Anita Bane officiating. Burial of casket will follow at Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City. Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the Palmer & Swank Funeral Home, Rockwell City.
Richard was born May 28, 1954, in Cherokee, Iowa, the son of Robert and Dorothy (Lenz) Wittrock, Sr. He graduated from Holstein High School in 1973. On July 22, 1973, he married April Leonard. They had two children, Jacob and Christie, and later divorced in the late 1990’s. After high school, Richard worked at various places as a farmer and a meat cutter. He eventually went to work for Goettsch’s Restaurant in Holstein, purchasing the business in 1986, and renaming it CJ’s Restaurant.
In the spring of 1987, Richard suffered a debilitating stroke that changed his life. After many years of rehabilitation, he regained his speech, mobility, and stabilized his vision. While he was left with long-term effects, his recovery was remarkable. The community provided amazing support for the restaurant and family, but it was evident he wouldn’t return to the business. During this time, he started delivering newspapers and taking on lawn mowing, garden tilling and other odd jobs in the Holstein area. He and his family also had a small crafts business named Family Crafts for a few years.
On September 23, 2000, he married Wilma Dolph Goodman in Holstein. Richard was already planning a special trip to Branson for their wedding anniversary this fall. They moved to Rockwell City in 2002, where he continued delivering newspapers and doing yard work. He branded himself as the County-Wide Yard Man. Several years ago, he started mowing for the city at Rosehill Cemetery where he was passionate about being the caretaker and making sure it always looked good for the community.
Richard will be remembered for his unbelievable work ethic. He worked whenever he could and was always seeking new jobs to help people. He loved tooling around town in his truck, visiting with friends along the way. One of his favorite things was to have a pop and banter with the guys at the shop.
After 30 years of newspaper delivery, he retired at the end of 2018. Because he was able to get regular sleep, he and Wilma joined the Rockwell City United Methodist Church. He even bought a new suit and proudly wore it every Sunday they attended. On rare casual days, he could be found tending to his garden, fishing, working in the garage, cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs, and spending time with his family.
Survivors include his wife, Wilma of Rockwell City, children, Jacob (Ethan Olson) Wittrock of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Christie (Michael) Kolpin of Arthur, Iowa; Wilma’s children, Paul Goodman of Rockwell City, Kelly Goodman of Lake View, and Peter Goodman of Rockwell City; and grandchildren, Austin (Renae Price) Kolpin, Catherine Kolpin, Ryan Kolpin, Chase Goodman, Naia Goodman, Brody Goodman, and Jett Goodman.
Richard is also survived by his siblings, Karen Gibbins of Grandview, Missouri, Linda (Leslie) Reincke of Denison, Iowa, Robert (Luann) Wittrock, Jr. of Cherokee, and Diane (David) Scott of Holstein; brother-in-law, Del (Barbara) Dolph of Mankato, Minnesota; and many loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and infant sister, Sandra.
Most importantly, he would want to tell you one last joke and to remember, “I’ll send you a bill”.