Richard J. Clefisch

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Richard James Clefisch, 80, died at home on Jan. 3, 2018, following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Per Richard’s wishes, there was no visitation. Services were Saturday, Jan. 6, at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home in Guttenberg, followed by the committal service at Ceres Cemetery, and a light lunch in St. John’s Lutheran Church basement. 

Richard was born on March 6, 1937, to Virgil and Jessie (Keehner) Clefisch in Guttenberg. He received his education from area schools and graduated from Garnavillo High School in 1955. He married Sandra Eberhard in 1955, and to this union were born four children. They later divorced. In 1972 he married Carolyn Kick, and they enjoyed over 45 years together until his death.

After high school, Richard worked at the Garnavillo Mill for a time and then farmed most of his life with his family. His proud legacy includes the respect he held for the land, the knowledge he shared with his children and grandchildren, and his commitment to simple, hard work. There weren’t too many things he couldn’t fix; purchasing anything new was out of the question until he had at least tried. He could be a man of few words, but he loved his family fiercely and was always ready to help when he could. For many years he enjoyed raccoon hunting with his numerous hounds, turkey hunting in the spring, and ice fishing with his buddies each winter, eagerly anticipating the day the ice could safely support his truck. Throughout their marriage, he and Carolyn enjoyed fishing on the Mississippi, travelling, and gardening. He was very proud of his fruit trees, berry bushes, and horseradish patch. He made a robust cordial that he loved to share with anyone who was willing to take that first sip and an eye-watering jar of horseradish that his granddaughter loved.

Richard is survived by his wife, Carolyn; sons, Steven Clefisch (Judy) of rural Guttenberg, Scott Clefisch (Brenda) of Dubuque, and Stuart Clefisch (Kristi) of Garnavillo; daughter, Shelley Foster (Arthur) of North St. Paul, Minn.; six grandchildren, Nichole Plagge (Mike), Travis Clefisch (Lindsey), Zachary Clefisch, Jacob Clefisch, Luke Clefisch, and Nathan Clefisch; and soon-to-be six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Sidney Clefisch (Patty) of rural Balltown; two nephews; a niece; several cousins; and many loyal friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Verla Jean.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Crossing Rivers Hospice or the Hospice program of your choice, or the Guttenberg Library Foundation.

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