Raymond H. Langreck

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Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for St. Lucas native

Raymond H. Langreck, 89, of Cresco, formerly of St. Lucas, died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Cresco with the Rev. Daniel Knipper as celebrant.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery. 

Arrangements were handled by Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco. Raymond Herman Langreck was born Nov. 26, 1923, in rural Fayette County near St. Lucas. He was the sixth of 11 children of John and Catherine Langreck, with three brothers and seven sisters. 

Ray attended St. Luke’s Catholic School and graduated from eighth grade with highest honors in his class. 

He then worked alongside his father on the family farm. They also ran a sawmill and did carpentry work. 

At the age of 20 Ray enlisted in the Air Force but was assigned to the Army infantry. He served in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946. His service included combat operations to liberate the Philippines. He was part of Occupation forces in Hiroshima, Japan. Using his carpentry skills, Ray led the rebuilding of an orphanage, sending blueprints to his father for approval. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, and four battle stars.

On April 1, 1948, Ray was united in marriage with Ruth Elizabeth Heying at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Festina by Ruth’s uncle, Father Jerome Bohr. To their union six sons and five daughters were born. The couple would have celebrated their 65th anniversary this year. 

The Langrecks first made their home in West Union and then in 1949 purchased a farm in Cresco that was destroyed by a tornado three weeks later. Ray and Ruth rebuilt the farmstead and were successful farmers. Ray won numerous awards, including Outstanding Young Farmer and many Iowa and Howard County Master Corn Grower awards. 

Education was important to Ray. He read and studied constantly in his spare time. He attended night classes every winter and also earned his GED. He served on the Notre Dame School Board for several terms and was instrumental in building the school in 1963. 

He enjoyed working with his friends and neighbors among them Gerald Blong, Paul Seifried, and Chub McAllister. His hobbies included reading, dancing to a good polka band, golfing, going to the casino, and watching the markets. He was sharp at playing cards until the end. He was an excellent conversationalist, knowledgeable on almost any topic.

Preceding him in death were his parents; two sisters, Lena Pitzenberger and Lucy McNamara; and a brother, Leo Langreck of Cresco.

Ray is survived by his wife, Ruth, of Cresco; 11 children, Linda (Bob) Henson of Clive, Gary (Janel) Langreck of Cresco, John Langreck of Cresco, Ken (Colleen) Langreck of Marengo, Diane (Dan) McGrain of Council Bluffs, Donna (Jeff) Jones of Ankeny, Deb (Glen) McIntire of Clear Lake, Dar (John) Skoda of Cresco, Dennis (Beth) Langreck of Lime Springs, Ron (Julie) Langreck and Rick Langreck, both of Cresco; 34 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. 

Surviving siblings include Josephine Heying of West Union, Victor Langreck of Cresco, Theresa Zipsie of Blooming Prairie, Minn., Colette Ameling of West Union, Dolores Buchheit and Roger Langreck, both of St. Lucas, and Joyce Zoulek of Calmar. 

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