May 6, 2013


Richard Joseph Carey, 82, of Churdan, died at home on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

Mass of the Christian burial will at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with the Revs. Don Ries and Robert Grallup officiating. Burial will be at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery west of Churdan with military rites by the Churdan American Legion.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at St. Columbkille with a rosary at 3 p.m. and a vigil at 7.

Music will be sung by soloist Jim Berry, the congregation and the Churdan ecumenical choir under the direction of Matt Schutt. Organist Marty Brenden will accompany the choir.

Richard's sons will serve as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers will be John Brend, John Shoemaker, Jerry Carey, John Wagner, Lawrence Geisler, Ed Sabus, Ed Gross, Denny Lamoreaux and Roger Blanchfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to family to be used toward the charity of their choice.

Brown Funeral Home of Churdan is in charge of arrangements.

Richard Joseph Carey was born Dec. 18, 1930, at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll, to John Patrick and Agnes Lucille (Meyer) Carey. He was raised six miles west of Churdan with his sisters, Mary (Berry) and Shirley (Dixon) and his brother George who died in infancy. Richard's musical talents first surfaced while attending Churdan High School. He began taking piano lessons during his senior year. He graduated in May 1948 and then attended St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. He graduated with a degree in music education in 1952. The Army drafted Richard into service during the Korean War. He exited service through Fort Carson, Colo., on Sept. 15, 1954.

Richard returned to Iowa, for his first teaching job at Mystic, where he remained from October 1954 through May 1955. He moved back to his hometown in the fall of 1955 beginning his 23-year tenure, teaching music at Churdan and Paton-Churdan Schools.

On June 29, 1963, Richard married Catherine Ann Fitzsimmons at St. Ann Catholic Church in Vail, Iowa. The couple built a home in Churdan. They had six sons, Joseph Richard, John Gerard, Thomas Paul, Gregory James, Timothy Patrick and Stephen Michael. In 1974, Richard and Catherine moved the family to his parent's farm. They remained on the farm until 1997, when they returned to the home in Churdan.

Richard enjoyed watching his family expand and grow. Joe, a math teacher, married Jackie Wente; they have three children, Benjamin, at St. John's University, Erin, a freshman at the College of St. Benedict and Bridget, a junior at Ankeny high school. John, a guidance counselor at Pella Community School, married Cheryl Dahl; they have two sons, Adam, a junior at Pella High School and Nathan, a kindergartner at Pella. Tom is also a guidance counselor. He married Amanda Jordison; they have two sons, Noah, a second-grader in Iowa City, and Will, who is in preschool. Greg, a general contractor, married Heather Schmitt; they live in Churdan across the road from the family farm. They have three children, Jake, a sophomore at Paton-Churdan, Megan, a sixth-grader and Joe, a third-grader. Tim is a lawyer and lives in St. Paul, Minn. Steve works with at-risk youth in the Clear Creek Amana School District. He is married to Jennifer Von Behren; their first child, Nora Rose, was born May 3, 2013, in Iowa City.

In 1978, he finished teaching at Paton-Churdan, switching his focus to special education. He taught special education at Lake City High School for 10 years until his retirement in May 1989.

Richard served as church organist for St. Patrick and St. Columbkille Parishes for 58 years, often playing at multiple Masses per weekend. He played at countless weddings and funerals and other special occasions. He continued playing at Mass until the end of March this year.

He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren; his sister Shirley and her husband George and their family; his late sister Mary Carey Berry's husband Jim and their children; as well as his brothers-in-law and their families: Gene and Teresa Fitzsimmons, Fred and Marion Fitzsimmons and the children of Jack and Bitsy Fitzsimmons.