Nicholas William Ruppert, of Cresco, lost a hard-fought battle against cancer and many other health challenges on November 22, 2021, at his home surrounded by his beloved family.
Nick was born January 24, 1948, in Orange City, Iowa to Lawrence and Eleanor (Minten) Ruppert. He was raised in Alton, Iowa. Nick married the love of his life, Rhonda Lahr, on June 23, 1979. Together they raised their children: Ben, Jessica, Rachel, and Caleb who were his pride and joy and blessed them with 10 grandchildren that he adored.
After graduation Nick went to GM mechanic school. From there he was trained as a journeyman bricklayer. He then worked for Interstates Electric, which took him around the United States for several years. In 1980, Nick’s talent as a bowler brought their family to Cresco and they opened the bowling alley. What was intended to be a short career stop, turned into a love affair with the community of Cresco, which he called home for the last 42 years. Nick and Rhonda have always been dedicated members of this tight knit community. Nick loved his work at the Cresco Lanes, but as his young family grew, he knew he needed nights and weekends with them. He realized his dream of owning a hardware store in 1988, with the opening of Ruppert Ace Hardware. Nick felt most at home when chatting with customers to solve their home improvement problems or tinkering on a homemade fix of his own. His hands were a valuable tool and a treasure to all who held them!
Growing up Nick enjoyed hunting and fishing. He loved sharing stories of his friends’ adventures. Nick enjoyed spending his summers camping and canoeing with Rhonda and their kids, often enjoying pie and ice cream after a family bike trail ride. Golf was another favorite pastime, with the highlight being a hole-in-1 on #8 at the Cresco Country Club. Since retirement he could most often be found in a local trout stream or on the shore of a pond helping a grandchild set the hook just right. He was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Giants. He was also an Iowa Hawkeye enthusiast. Above all this, Nick loved spending time with his grandkids by going to their sporting events, taking them on fishing adventures, teaching them how to garden and fix things, and playing games. His love and commitment to his family was beyond measure.
Nick was a devoted follower of the Catholic faith. He was a mass server and trained other altar boys while attending Spalding Catholic School, and later a eucharistic minister and parish council member at Notre Dame Parish. Nick and Rhonda enjoyed the experiences and people they met through Marriage Encounter.
Nick leaves behind his beloved wife of 42 years, Rhonda, their children Ben (Nicole) Ruppert of Cresco; Jessica (Jared) Rance of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Rachel (Richard) Lynch of Garner, Iowa; and Caleb Ruppert of Cresco. His grandchildren, whom he dearly loved, were Kryslynn, Brylee, Payton and Kiernan Ruppert; Blake, Zach, Kacie and Sofie Lynch; Emerson and Collins (CJ) Rance; and “Grandpuppy” Naya. In addition, siblings Sue (Elmer) Frederes of Alton, and Nancy Ruppert of Sacramento, in-law siblings Dave (Sandy) Lahr of Waverly, Russ (Lynn) Lahr of Waverly, Dan (Penny) Lahr of Mechanicsville, Sue Lahr of Waverly, and his cherished father-in-law Don Lahr also of Waverly, and numerous nieces and nephews. Nick was preceded in death by his parents Lawrence and Eleanor Ruppert and mother-in-law Kay Lahr.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Nick on Monday, November 29, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., at the Notre Dame Catholic Church in Cresco, IA, with Father Jacob Rouse officiating. A public visitation will be held Sunday, November 28, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and will continue one hour prior to the service Monday. Rosary will be held at 1:30 prior to the visitation Sunday. Burial will take place following Mass at Oak Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the family for later distribution.
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