Richard "Dick" Gaunitz

Richard “Dick” Gaunitz, 77, of Lansing died Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, WI. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 18 at 11 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Lansing, with Pastor Kevin Smith officiating. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lansing. Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 at Martin Funeral Home in Waukon.

Richard William “Dick” Gaunitz was born in Lansing December 8, 1938, the son of Emmet Elmer and Martha (Johnson) Gaunitz. He was baptized and confirmed at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Lansing.

Dick attended grade school at Waterville and Lansing Elementary Schools and graduated from Lansing High School in 1957. From there he went to Upper Iowa University in Fayette on an athletic scholarship. In the summer he played baseball with the Harpers Ferry Jr. Legion team and was picked by a scout to try out for the Milwaukee Braves.

After school he went to work at the steel mills in Gary, IN as a billing clerk and from there to Kenosha, WI, where he worked at American Motor Company. While there he played on a championship basketball team.

Dick married Iva Mae Buhr November 15, 1964. They came home from Kenosha, WI in 1965 to farm with Dick’s dad on the Gaunitz family’s Century Farm. He won the local “Outstanding Young Farmer” contest sponsored by the Lansing JayCees and went on to win third in the Iowa State Contest in 1972.

Dick played softball in Waukon for State Farm and organized a team in Lansing, where he also helped start the league which still exists today. In the winter he helped organize and played in a basketball league in Lansing. He was a member of the Eastern Allamakee Community School Board, where he served two years as president, and was also active with the Republican Party. Dick was very musical and was a member of the “Little Switzerland of Iowa Harmonizers,” a local barbershop group, for many years. He also sang solos for numerous weddings and funerals and sang with the United Methodist Church Choir for many years.

Dick greatly enjoyed his grandchildren and family. He loved farming and raising and riding his Palomino horses, especially on trail rides. He also loved the time he spent playing cards, baseball, softball and basketball, and attending Iowa ball games. He was truly an active, social man who liked being with people.

Survivors include his wife, Iva, of Lansing; his two sons, Richard Alan (Jolie) of North Liberty and Randy James (Kristy) of Lansing; seven grandchildren: Michael, Lindsey, Marillea, Lydia, Dennis, Drew and Shay; a brother, Emmett, Jr. (Donna) of Owatonna, MN; a sister, Ruth Feuerhelm of Lansing; his sisters-in-law, Elda Judisch of Sumner, Mardella Buhr of Pueblo, CO and Muriel Roquet of Elkader; and many nephews, nieces and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Emmet and Martha; a sister, LaVonne “Bonnie,” and her husband, Zane Thorpe; and brothers-in-law, Lee Feuerhelm, Melvin Judisch and Dave Roquet.

Honorary casketbearers were Kenny Hanson, Gene Sweeney, Jim Middendorf, Jim Hanson, Jim Hillsenbeck, Tom Vater, Bob Leppert, Harvey Estebo and Reuben Schorg. Dick’s grandchildren served as casketbearers. Online condolences may be left at

Rate this article: 
No votes yet