Richard Lee Schallau, age 82, passed away on July 19, 2018 at Longhouse Residence. The son of Irvin and Joye (Tripplet) Schallau, Richard was born the sixth of ten children on February 6, 1936 at the family home west of Sutherland, Iowa. He attended Quimby School from Kindergarten to 10th grade, then transferred to Meriden graduating high school in 1954. Following high school, Richard enlisted into the United States Army and completed his basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas. Richard was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany for 1½ years. He was a marksman with the M-1 rifle and spent 18 months with the 86th Infantry Regiment rifle team shooting in competition. He was discharged in December 1956 with the rank of sergeant. Richard returned to the Cherokee area and worked for Swanson Grocery Store and Lundell Manufacturing in Cherokee.
On September 18, 1957, he married Patricia Sangwin in Meriden, Iowa. They had two children Kelly and Kevin. The couple lived in Cherokee from 1957 to 1962. Using the GI Bill, Richard attended Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa from 1958 to 1962 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education (General Science). His student teaching was in the Cherokee school system. In 1962, Richard began his teaching career at the Melvin High School, Melvin, Iowa. He taught science and history classes there from 1962 to 1965. During the summers of 1963 to 1966, Richard attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College at Kirksville, Missouri on a National Science Foundation Grant and earned his Masters of Arts degree in secondary education general science education. He continued his post graduate education taking classes at St. Cloud State College and the University of South Dakota. After the 1965 school year, Richard moved his family to Spencer and began teaching 7th grade science at the Spencer Middle School. Richard retired from that position in 1995. His wife, Patricia, died on March 16, 2000.
Richard enjoyed teaching at the middle school level. His love of science and sparking that interest in his students meant a lot to him. Richard’s final wish was to donate his body to a medical school to help in the education of science/medical personnel.
In his post retirement, Richard continued his collection of John Deere and Maytag gas engines and memorabilia. He purchased and restored a 1936 John Deere A tractor. Once the tractor was restored, he began a project to create a ½ scale model of that tractor using a variety of parts from other equipment or creating a piece himself. He was a talented handyman and enjoyed carpentry work and home remodeling.
In 1997, Richard began working part-time for Robert’s Carburetor Repair and continued until 2014 when health issues prevented him from working. In 1995, Richard and Robert Beaver, the owner of Robert’s Carburetor at that time, used their collection of antique tractors and farm equipment and put together a video “From Seed to the Elevator”. This video was one year in the making and is a history lesson in antique farming with 2-row, 2cylinder equipment from the late 20s through the very early 50s.
On June 1, 2001, Richard married Rita Pavlicek McCord in Spencer, Iowa. During their years together, they enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends and traveling to various places across the country.
Over the years, Richard was an active member of the Northwest Iowa Two-Cylinder Club, where he enjoyed all things “green”. He was a life member of the National Education Association and a 32-year member of the American Legion Glen Pedersen Post #1. He served on the Board of the Parker Historical Society and served several terms as a member of the City of Spencer’s Renaissance Committee. During his marriage to Patricia, he and the family were members of Hope Reformed Church. Richard became a member of Sacred Heart Church in 2001.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, wife Patricia, four brothers, and three sisters. He is survived by his wife Rita of Spencer, daughter Kelly (Dennis) Ryan of Minneapolis, Minnesota, son Kevin (Mary Carol) Schallau and their children Abigail and Korbin of Omaha, Nebraska, and step-son Jonathan McCord and fiancé Hannah Butler of Havelock North, New Zealand. Richard is also survived by brother Michael (Dayle) Schallau of Mankato, Minnesota, sister, Patricia Carson of Cherokee, Iowa, and sisters-in-law, Nancy Schallau of Onawa, Lois Chettinger of Cherokee, and Shirley Miller of Iowa Falls. Also, many nieces, nephews, and other relatives as well as dear friends
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