Richard Duane Popelka, age 74, passed away April 1, 2021 in his home surrounded by his loving family. He was under the wonderful care of St. Croix Hospice.
Richard was born on December 4, 1946 in Toledo, Iowa to Frank and Elsie (Kolosh) Popelka. He attended country school, Carroll No. 5, outside of Clutier and graduated from North Tama High School in 1965.
He was united in marriage to Diane Marie Posusta on August 10, 1968 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Tama. Together they had two children, Denise and Rick, and raised their family in Clutier. They retired to Traer in 2006.
A natural handy-man, he worked as a mechanic for most of his life, previously working at Pearson Auto in Clutier and John Deere in Tama and Keystone. He ran his own mechanic shop and trucking businesses, and drove part-time for Marshall Coaches for many years. He then began work for North Tama County School District as a bus mechanic and driver until his retirement in 2012.
Richard always had a smile on his face and a joke or story to tell. He was always willing to lend a helping hand. He could often be found tinkering in his garage on a project-or ten-and that didn’t even include what was on Rick’s list. He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. His collection of fishing equipment would rival Bass Pro. He enjoyed polka music and dances and loved getting together with friends in the ‘card club’. However, his greatest joy in life was spending time with his grandchildren taking them fishing, sneaking them cookies, and teaching them ‘the bohemie way’.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Diane of Traer; two children, Denise (Tim) Hemann of Marshalltown, and Rick (Cheryl) Popelka of Traer; five grandchildren; Allie Kriz of Des Moines, Haley Hemann of Des Moines, Megan, Tyler, and Tate Popelka of Traer; his siblings; Larry (Marilyn) Popelka of Clutier, and Steve (Diane) Popelka of Clutier; mother-in-law, Betty Posusta of Toledo; brother-in-law Duane Leek of Toledo; sister-in-law, Jean Posusta of Billings, MT; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; one sister-in-law, Deb Leek; and one brother-in-law, Dave Posusta.
A visitation will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM with a service on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 10:30 AM, both at the Overton Funeral Home in Traer. Memorials may be directed to the family. Overton Funeral Home in Traer is in charge of arrangements. 319-478-2775. Condolences may be left at www.overtonfuneralhomes.com