Richard J. Bickler
March 17, 1931- May 17, 2016
Richard Joseph Bickler, 85, died at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby on May 17, 2016.
Mr. Bickler was born on March 17, 1931 in Orrin, the eldest child of Louis and Julia (Schnieder) Bickler. He started school in Orrin and after his family relocated to Rugby, graduated from Rugby
High School in 1949. He attended Fargo College (NDSU) until his National Guard unit was called up for duty in the Korean War, in 1951. He was involved in two major offenses as a mortar for-
ward observer. His unit, 1st Cavalry Division, suffered excessive casualties and was replaced by the 45th Infantry Division. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army with the
rank of Technical Sergeant First Class in August, 1952. In service to his country he earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Campaign Stars, United Nations
Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
He returned to Rugby and joined his father in the grocery business, Bickler’s Jack and Jill. His brother joined the family business from 1959 until 1971 when Daniel moved to Tioga to operate
his own grocery business.
Richard was very well known for his sausage, headcheese, and smoked meats, in addition to providing a fine array of other meats in the store. He retired in 1994, ending 79 years of continuous operation of a family owned business.
Richard married Mary Ann Gross on June 10, 1957 in Balta, North Dakota. She joined him in the family business in 1971, until her death on October 1, 1976.
Richard was very active in the Rugby community.
He was a long time member of Little Flower Catholic Church and one of the youngest Grand Knights of the Knights of Columbus Council # 4136 and a member of the John F. Kennedy Assembly of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus #0786. He was past president of the Rugby Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Clarence Larson Post #23 of the American Legion, where he had served on the honor guard for many years, and was a life member of the Rugby Fire Department.
He enjoyed playing pinochle and fishing during his retirement. He was a regular lunch diner at the Rugby Senior Citizens Center.
Richard is survived by his son, David and his wife, Lori, grandsons Ryan and Reed, all of Kernersville, North Carolina; his daughter, Denise and her husband Stephen Youngman of Dallas, Texas; his sister Doloris (Bob) Frosaker, Bay City, Arkansas; Sisters/brothers-in-law: Dolores (Dan) Koenig, Rugby; Angie Schlict, Fargo; Arlene (John) Harris, Wisconsin; Joe (Barbara) Gross, Devils Lake; Jane Gross, Rugby and special friend, Barbara Larson. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, parents-in-law, Joseph and Elizabeth Gross, sister and brother-in-law Irene and Richard Fleck; brother Daniel Bickler; sister-in-law Jacque Gross, and brothers-in-law Richard Gross and Glenn Schlict.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby with his old friend, Monsignor Joseph Senger, Rev. T.T. Paulraj, and Deacon Arlen Blessum officiating. Honors will be given to him by the Knights of Columbus, Rugby Fire Department, American Legion and North Dakota Military Honor Detail. He will be buried in Little Flower Cemetery – Rugby. Casketbearers will be Kent, Kurt, Mitch, Reed, Ryan Bickler, Tom Fleck, Mark and Rick Koenig and music will be provided by Pam Anderson and Robert Graber.
Visitation will be on Thursday, from 5 P.M. until the rosary service at 7 P.M. and on Friday from 9 to 11 A.M. There will be no visitation at the church.
Niewoehner Funeral Home-Rugby