Richard “Dick” Huinker

Richard (Dick) Joseph Huinker, 71, of Monona died Monday, August 6, 2018 at Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in Waukon after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure.

Funeral services were held Thursday, August 9 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona with Rev. Nils de Jesus Hernandez as the celebrant. Burial was at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Monona. Memorials may be given to the St. Patrick Building Fund.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona assisted the family with arrangements.

Dick was born October 27, 1946 to Irvin and Stella (Tepesch) Huinker in Postville, the oldest of four kids. He was both baptized and confirmed at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Monona where he continued to be an active member the rest of his time with us.

Dick graduated high school from MFL and later attended Coleman Institute in La Crosse, WI where he studied auto mechanics. If you caught Dick in a particularly reflective moment, he enjoyed sharing stories of staying in Monona as long as he could on the weekends to be with his “sweet pea,” Doralee, and driving as fast as he could back to La Crosse with $10 in his pocket to cover cheese and lettuce sandwiches for the week. After six months, he was told by the instructors he should be the one teaching classes, not the other way around, so he returned to Iowa. 

After leaving school, Dick was united in marriage to the love of his life, Doralee Bollman, September 29, 1965 in Caledonia, MN. Over the course of the next 17 years, they were blessed with three wonderful children and one little brat. No pointing fingers at who the brat is. 

Dick started his career as an auto mechanic in Waukon and later moved to Monona to sell cars at Huinker Chevrolet.  One of Dick’s proudest moments was becoming a third-generation owner of Huinker Chevrolet with his purchase in 1992 from his dad and uncles. Over the course of the next 13 years, Dick and Doralee enjoyed the privilege of traveling the world through awards received from Chevrolet due to Dick’s success as a salesman and owner. If you look closely, you’ll likely still see vehicles with the Huinker Chevrolet logo wherever Dick thought they’d look best on each new model.  

While the dealership was a fixture in his life, Dick made sure each Wednesday afternoon he could leave work to golf and play euchre with his regular buddies at Tri-City Country Club in Luana. He spent a lot of time at Tri-City with his dad, wife, kids and friends, playing sometimes five to six days a week and eventually serving as president of the Board.

One thing people might not know about Dick was that he was an incredible teacher. He could teach you how to land a bluegill, when to shoot the moon in a game of euchre, properly wash a car, find a great deal on a clearance rack, mow a lawn and shovel snow, but most importantly, how to give. Dick was well known for moving snow and mowing lawn for many homes in his retirement, almost always without ever needing to be asked. Don’t be fooled though, whenever Dick gave, he received more in return as one of his top joys in life was seeing a genuine look of surprise and appreciation on a recipient’s face. 

Dick and Doralee were blessed with 14 years of retirement together where they loved spending their days traveling, going for cruises in their convertibles, enjoying meals at their favorite restaurants, arguing over the thermostat and most importantly, spending time with their 10 grandchildren. Dick loved his grandchildren very much, often saying in his last months how much joy they brought him despite his worsening circumstances. 

Dick is survived by his mother, Stella Huinker of Monona; his loving wife of 52-plus years, Doralee Huinker of Monona; four children, Wendy (Patrick) Vance of Dubuque; Kevin Huinker (Jackie Schiffler) of Monona, Eric (Jennifer) Huinker of Grimes and Ryan (Jamie) Huinker of West Des Moines; 10 grandchildren, Greg, Whitney, Bailey and Macy Vance, Devin and Storm Huinker, Kaylee and Allen Huinker and Dawson and Cole Huinker; siblings, Mary Lou (James) Henkes of Monona, Ann (Ken) Keehner of Farmersburg and Robert (Renae) Huinker of Lawler.

He was preceded in death by his hero, role model, friend and father, Irvin Huinker, who left us in 1998.

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