Cover photo for Richard M. Volkens's Obituary
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1928 Richard 2023

Richard M. Volkens

April 2, 1928 — July 5, 2023


Richard Volkens, 95, of Reinbeck, Iowa, passed away on July 5th, 2023, at Grundy County Memorial Hospital. He was under the care of Cedar Valley Hospice. Visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at the Abels Funeral and Cremation Service, French-Hand Chapel in Reinbeck. Burial will follow the visitation at the Reinbeck Cemetery.

Richard was born on April 2nd, 1928, on a farm near Lincoln, the son of Grover and Emma Wiebensohn Volkens. He attended country school in his earlier years, then graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1946. On February 12th, 1951, he was united in marriage to Romagene Struwe, of Reinbeck. They made their home on a family farm of Romagene's, southeast of Lincoln. Richard loved growing crops and raising cattle and hogs. He loved helping his dad, brother Virgil, and brother-in-law, Chuck Rohach, with farm activities such as baling hay and shelling corn. They moved to Reinbeck in 2012, but his love for farming never left him. He would go out to the farm and pick a few ears of corn, then he would shell them and check them for weight and moisture. He was still asking about grain prices and checking crops in his final days. He was even able to climb up in the combine for a ride with Mark just last fall. 

Richard and Romagene moved to the Elm's Assisted Living Facility in Reinbeck, in 2019, where he resided until his death.  

Richard was a talented basketball player in high school, and later for the Voorhies Grain AAU team.  Voorhies Grain won the state AAU title in 1952. He remained friends the rest of his life with many of his teammates. 

He was known by many of his friends as "Sleep" or "Sleepy." He said this comes from over-sleeping as a young boy and missing the school bus.

Richard and Romagene enjoyed cattle buying trips to Kansas with friends, for a number of years.  Richard was a 4-H leader and thoroughly enjoyed helping his kids with their 4-H calves. 

Richard loved to play golf, and was a member of Oakleaf Country Club in Reinbeck. He hated to miss men's night on Wednesday nights. He was proud of two hole-in-ones that he had on hole #9.

Other favorite past-times were fishing trips to Canada with friends, summer family vacations to Minnesota, playing cards, drinking beer, and especially polka dancing. Weekend polka fests took them to many places in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Arizona. If you could hear someone hooting and hollering while dancing, it was probably Richard. 

Richard and Romagene spent many winter months in Mesa Arizona, where they owned a home and had many friends.

He especially loved watching the grandkids activities and spending time with family. He would do anything for his kids. 

Richard liked to invest in the stock market. He never missed a day checking his stock portfolio or seeing how the Dow Jones index closed for the day.

Survivors include his son, Mark (Diana) Volkens; daughter, Jane (Jack) Sass; three grandchildren, Melissa (Tyler) Blohm; Andy (Angie) Sass; and Kristin (Mike) Macri. Also surviving are 10 great-grandchildren, Alexis and Willow Volkens; Tyson and Dustin Blohm; Cael, Mason, and Cameron Macri; and John, Elsie Jo, and Luke Sass. He was blessed to be able to see his tenth great grandchild earlier this year.

Preceding him in death were his wife, Romagene; parents Grover and Emma Volkens; brother Virgil Volkens; sister Lavina Rohach; and grandson, Brandon Volkens. 

Richard was consumed by grief this past year of his life, after losing Romagene, his life partner of 71 years. He was ready to be with her again.   

To send flowers to the family in memory of Richard M. Volkens, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, July 9, 2023

12:30 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Abels Funeral And Cremation Service - Reinbeck

409 Clark Street, Reinbeck, IA 50669

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