Richard Lee Wessels

February 7, 1939 ~ February 17, 2022 (age 83)


Born to Ray & Elsie Wessels on February 7, 1939, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Richard “Rick” Lee Wessels was a life-long Palmer resident. Rick graduated from Palmer High School in 1957. In high school, Rick recalls running the 100-yard dash at the State Track meet, having only practiced running on a grass track prior to the state meet.

Following high school, Rick proudly served his country in the Army Reserve from 1957 -1963. He completed his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood and was stationed in Pocahontas, Iowa, during his service.

Rick married Karen Kay Buhs in 1959. The couple made their home in Palmer where they raised five children, all graduates of Palmer High School: Kellie (Mike) Wells; Gregg (Julie Aden); Jackie (Eric) Hanson; and twins, Marci (Kevin) Pickhinke and Mark (Nancy Mullen). Rick and Karen were married for 29 years prior to her passing away in 1988.

Blessed to find true love twice, Rick met and married Judy Pemble in 1993. Through their marriage, Rick gained two stepchildren: J.D. (Heather Hilton) Pemble and Jennifer (Mark) Pearson.

Rick and Judy eventually moved to Twin Lakes where they enjoyed spending time with their large, blended family. Rick and Judy just recently celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary.

In 1938, Rick’s Dad, Ray Wessels, began Wessels Oil Company. Later, Rick and his brother Ron joined their family’s business. The two brothers purchased The Wessels Oil Co. from their father in 1974. Rick co-owned and operated Wessels Oil Co until he retired in 2002.

Rick was a lifetime member of St Paul Lutheran Church in Palmer as well as a member of the Palmer Fire Department for 50 years.

He is survived by his wife Judy, his five children, his two stepchildren, 16 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, brother Ronald (Liz) Wessels, sister Mary Ann (Paul) Muenzenmay, sister Rita Wessels, brother-in-law Dannie (Betty) Buhs, sister-in-law Connie Buhs, brother-in-law Roger (Earlys) Tonkinson, and sister-in-law Deanna Mallinger.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Karen, nephew Terry Wessels, niece Debbie Sperry, and brother-in-law David Buhs.

Memorials may be left to Twin Lakes Bible Camp.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard, please visit our floral store.


February 20, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home
1408 11th Avenue
Manson, IA 50563

Funeral Service
February 21, 2022

10:30 AM
St. Paul Lutheran Church
701 Henrietta Avenue
Palmer, IA 50571

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