Rueben J. (Dick) Schwantes of Coralville, IA passed away on January 4, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. Rueben was born on July 17, 1928 in Kewaunee Wisconsin.
Following graduation from Kewaunee High School in 1946, Rueben proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He then embarked on an academic career earning Bachelor and Master’s degrees in the field of Industrial Education from Stout State University at Menomonie, WI. He spent the next 32 years teaching and supervising in public secondary schools in Medford and Brown Deer Wisconsin, retiring in 1984.
He married Jeanette Marie (Jan) Stangel on September 3, 1951 and together they raised 5 children. Rueben was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandpa and great-grandpa.
In 1986 he and Jan moved to Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas and became active with several volunteer organizations. Volunteering was important to Rueben as he wanted to give back to his community for all the help he received during his learning and earning years. In 2002 he moved to Walls, MS where he continued his volunteer endeavors. He was active with Lions Clubs International serving as Governor of District 7-0 in Arkansas as well as several state and local level Lion offices. He was a progressive Melvin Jones Fellow. For 23 years he served as instructor, local coordinator and assistant state coordinator in the AARP Safe Driving Programs of Arkansas and Mississippi. He also served as Assistant Director of the Auxiliary Police of Horseshoe Bend and held various offices in the local AARP Chapters of Horseshoe Bend and Southaven, MS. His work as a volunteer at the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis for the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services was very special to him. Rueben was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Coralville, IA and a lifetime member of the American Legion.
Rueben and Jan enjoyed travelling and they visited Rueben’s buddies from The Corps, the base at Paris Island and the Marine Air Base in South Carolina. Included in their many travels around the US were visits to their kids and several trips to Canada, Hawaii and vacation cruises.
In 2014, they moved to Coralville, IA to be closer to family. Following a brief illness, Rueben moved to Colonial Manor Nursing home in 2015 where he and Jan were treated like family and he received wonderful loving care.
Rueben leaves to mourn his best friend and dear wife of 68 years, Jeannette; sons Mark (Tina) of Cedarburg, WI, Fred (Susan) of Pacific Grove, CA, Charles (Jill) of Prior Lake, MN, and daughters Nancy (Chris) Marks of Amana, IA and Diane (Ed Kelly) of Carlsbad CA. He is further survived by seven grandchildren: Nathan (Shelby), Aaron (Anna), Collin (Andrea), Ryan (Cherie); Naomi (Alex), Jacob (Celeste); Martin (Kimberlee) Duggan and five great grandsons Simon and Wilson Schwantes; Jacob and Liam Duggan and Mica Schwantes. Also surviving are sisters in law Evelyn Schlies and Donna Heimerl Heckel.
Rueben was predeceased by his parents, Armin and Blanche Schwantes and his brother, Willard Schwantes.
On Thursday, January 9, 2020 the family will receive visitors starting at 10 AM, with a funeral Mass following at 11 AM, and a luncheon in the parish hall at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 3000 12th Avenue, Coralville, IA. A memorial and burial with full military honors will be held at a later date in Kewaunee, WI.
Memorials in Rueben’s memory can be made to the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services, or the charity of your choice.
The family would like to thank the staff of Colonial Manor of Amana and Essence of Life Hospice for their wonderful care of our beloved Rueben.
Go to www.lensingfuneral.com to send flowers for the service.
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