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William R. "Dick" Shoenhair

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William R. "Dick" Shoenhair Obituary
William R. "Dick" Shoenhair


A funeral service will be held on Monday at 11 a.m., at the United Methodist Church in Swea City. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Clarion. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today, at Oakcrest Funeral Services in Bancroft, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.

William R. "Dick" Shoenhair was born April 26, 1926, in Eagle Grove, IA. He was the son of John and Ethyle (McCormack) Shoenhair. Dick passed away on Thursday, February 28, 2013, in Ames, IA, at the age of 86 years and ten months.

Dick was raised in Eagle Grove, being baptized and confirmed in the Eagle Grove United Methodist Church. He graduated from Eagle Grove High School in 1944. He spent two years in the army during World War II. Dick completed one year of college at Eagle Grove Junior College and then went on to finish his degree at Iowa State College (University) in Ames, IA. While at Iowa State, Dick continued to play the sport he loved, baseball. He graduated from Iowa State in 1950 with a degree in poultry science.

While at Iowa State, he fell in love and married Janet Rose Shillington on August 27, 1950, in Clarion, IA. Five children were born to this union: David William (died shortly after birth); Mary Ellen, Susan, Nancy, and Carol.

Dick accepted a job at Welp, Inc. as the sales and export manager in Bancroft, IA, in 1950. He worked at Welp's Hatchery for 52 years. While working at Welp's he traveled to 38 countries in his capacity as sales and export manager, forming many friendships throughout his travels. Dick was very active in the Iowa Poultry Association, having served as president of this organization and was "Poultry Man of the Year" in 1987. He was awarded honorary membership of this organization after his retirement.

Politics was also an interest that Dick had. He was involved in politics at both the local and state level. He served as the Mayor of Bancroft, was on the Bancroft city council, was Kossuth County Republican Chair, and also on the Kossuth County Board of Education (chairing this group at one time). Dick also served on the Kossuth County Hospital Advisory Committee until he moved to Ames in 2007. Other organizations that Dick was an integral member of included: Rotary Club (was a Paul Harris Fellow and chairman) and the American Legion. He also helped with Salvation Army activities in the Kossuth County area.

Dick was member of Swea City United Methodist Church where he served as lay speaker, Sunday School teacher, served on the church board, church choir and sang in the Men's Quartet. He was a member of the Swea City United Methodist Church from 1950 until he moved to Ames in 2007. He then joined the Collegiate United Methodist Church in Ames, IA.

In 2007, Dick and Janet moved to Ames, IA, to Green Hills Retirement Community. While in Ames, he became active in various committees associated with the retirement center. He continued to be an ardent Cyclone fan, attending or watching Cyclone football and basketball games until his death. Dick was an avid photographer, a St. Louis Cardinal's fan, and followed his children in all of their activities.

Dick is survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet, of Ames, IA; four daughters, Mary Ellen (Jim) Power of New Providence, IA; Susan Daker of Edgewood, IA; Nancy (Wayne) St. Clair of Croton, IA; and Carol Scharff of Ames, IA; six grandchildren, Lauren St. Clair (Bobby Udell), Jessica (Lucas) Meier, Robert (Molly) Power, Brian Daker, Michael Scharff, and Sarah Daker. There is also one great-granddaughter, Evelyn Mae Power. Dick is also survived by several nieces and nephews and a foreign exchange daughter, Patricia Veale.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, John Shoenhair and Robert Shoenhair; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Orvis and Elma Shillington; brother-in-law, Donald Shillington; sisters-in-law, Dorothea Shoenhair, Thelma Shoenhair, Ruth Shoenhair, and Marjorie Shillington; and son, David William.

Memorials will be directed to the National Parkinson Foundation for research in his memory. Online condolences may be made to

Published in Des Moines Register on Mar. 3, 2013
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