Richard "Dick" Birchmier

  • Born: June 24, 1928
  • Died: May 19, 2016
  • Location: Centerville, Iowa

Lange Funeral Home & Crematory LLC

1900 South 18th Street
Centerville, IA 52544
Tel. (641) 856-2000

Tribute & Message From The Family

Richard Walter (Dick) Birchmier, age 87 of Centerville, Iowa passed away Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Mercy Medical Center in Centerville.

Dick was born June 24, 1928 in Van Buren County, Iowa on a farm S.E. of Milton, Iowa, to Walter August and Suzanne Mary (Pierre) Birchmier. He attended Highland Center #4 country school thru the 7th grade and high school at Milton, Iowa, graduating as valedictorian in 1945. Dick entered the Army in 1945 as a member of the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program, spending one year at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. He then served with the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

He attended Iowa State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1952. Dick married Martha Lou (Marti) Benge (she preceded him in death on November 22, 2012) on June 16, 1952 in St. Mary's Catholic Church at Oskaloosa, Iowa. They lived in Cedar Rapids, Savannah, Milton, Indianola, Greenfield, West Des Moines, Shenandoah and Centerville, Iowa. He worked at Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, farmed, and in 1962, started with the USDA, Soil Conservation service. Dick was a registered engineer in the State of Iowa. He was in charge of Engineering Project Offices in Shenandoah and Centerville, retiring in 1994. He loved his family and the opportunity to share in their growing up and life. After retirement, he and Martha spent winters in Florida and enjoyed the ocean, as well as traveling. Dick was very much concerned with the land, both in regard to farming and his work with the soil conservation service.

Dick was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church (which he was very close) in Centerville, American Legion, Soil Conservation Society of America, Knights of Columbus and 18-80 Club.

Survivors include his two daughters, Cynthia L. Hunt of Maryville, Missouri, and Suzanne J. Birchmier of Centerville, Iowa; four sons, Richard L. (Peggy) Birchmier of Milton, Iowa, Randall R. (Karen) Birchmier of Maitland, Florida, Michael A. (Paula) Birchmier of Kansas City, Missouri, and Thomas D. (Raegan) Birchmier of Albia, Iowa; 17 Grandchildren, David Lee Birchmier, Emily Ann Birchmier, Jennifer Marie (Perry) Van Sickle, Jason Walter (Mandi) Birchmier, Brandon Lee Hunt, Adriane Suzanne (Phillip) Moser, Whitney Richard (Whitney Elise) Hunt, Ashley Martha (Sean) Haynes, Randall Erik Birchmier, Kaitlin Inge Birchmier, Chelsea Suzanne Birchmier, Rachel Lucille Birchmier, Miles Jorden Birchmier, Joel Wesley Birchmier, Joe Aiden Birchmier, Chris Lee Kilofoyle, and Ryleigh Michelle Birchmier; 9 Great-Grandchildren, Audrey Darlene Lemke, Gregory Leonard Birchmier, Saffron Suzanne Birchmier, Temperance Martha Birchmier, Caleb Ray Peterson, Mackenzie Kay Lemke, Blaine Russell Moser, Gavin Lee Moser and Brielle Eva Elise Hunt; a brother, Earnest A. Birchmier of Cantril, Iowa; and one sister, Marjorie Koellner of Milton, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Martha Lou; one son, Gregory Walter; his parents; a granddaughter, Jerrica Ann Bracelin Lemke, two sisters, Helen Birchmier and Jeanette Jones; and a brother Dennis H. Birchmier .

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Centerville, Iowa with Father Bill Hubmann officiating. Burial will follow in the Troy Cemetery, Troy Iowa. A visitation will take place on Tuesday evening 6-8 PM, May 24, 2016 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville. Rosary is 7 PM Tuesday evening. Memorials have been established to either the St. Mary's Catholic Church or the 18-80- Club and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at


Condolence & Memory Journal

So sorry for your loss

Posted by Jr Mcdaniel - Ottumwa, IA - Friend   May 28, 2016

Dear Birchmier Family, It was my honor to work with Dick and attend his funeral in uniform representing the Shenandoah American Legion Post 88 Color Guard. It was moving and great to see all of you there at Mass and after. As I visited with you, I mentioned I don't know how Dick put up with me in the same office for over 20 years, but he did, and more so than anyone else ever could. That was his excellent character as he worked with fellow employees, contractors and the public. We miss him, but cherish many great memories through family, work, play and service be it the Knights of Columbus, Church, playing bridge, family events, Soil Conservation work, etc. We will dedicate a flag, after the parade at 10:00 AM, at Shenandoah Rose Hill Cemetery during the Flag Dedication Ceremony in memory of Dick and his service to God and Country at the circle of flags on Memorial Day. If any of you wish to do the raising of his flag that would be great. God Bless the Birchmier Family, Ernie & Pat Aust

Posted by Ernie Aust - Shenandoah, IA - Friend   May 26, 2016

Yes,Dick was indeed the true gentleman. I too was a coworker and fellow engineer with Dick. He was never too busy for any question. He gave lots of good direction but then let you do your job until the next question. He was a good mentor and trainer. May God's peace be with his entire family. He is remembered fondly.

Posted by Lee White - Ankeny, IA - Coworker   May 25, 2016


We were blessed to have Richard with us for a while at Golden Age Care Center. We appreciated having him here and residents and staff was able to share a small part of his life with him. Rest in peace our friend.

Posted by Dalene Hamilton - Albia, IA - Acquaintance   May 25, 2016

Dick liked to walk the track at Howar school. This is where I met him. He was a regular walker at the track and used to bring his wife along to walk. Very nice man, soft spoken, friendly, and gentleman would be the word to describe Dick.
Condolences go out to the family.

Tony Shriver

Posted by Tony Sshriver - Centerville, IA - Friend   May 24, 2016

So sorry to hear of the passing of Dick..he and Marti have been friends and co-workers for manykh over 35!..John and Dick were in the Shenandoah SCS office until Dick was transfered to Centerville but we still did a lot of visiting. Our son, Jerry and family moved to Centerville when Dick requested Jerry to come and work as his teck. Then all of a suddened it was time to retirer and we visited back and forth a lot since we all ended up retireing and spending the winters in Florida. We moved to Florida full time and were happy when Susie and Dick could come and visit us. We have so manyk wonderful memories.

Posted by Lorraine and John Mall - Ft.Myers, FL - Friend   May 24, 2016

Dick Birchmier was a perfect gentleman to associate and work with.

I was the District Clerk for the Page County Soil Conservation for twenty years. The offices were in the same building. We all became acquainted and friends.

We enjoyed playing bridge in our homes . My heart goes out to all of you and remember you as children.

I know he is with God and Marty. May God Bless you all.
Marjorie Wright

Posted by Marjorie Wright - Shenndoah, IA - Friend   May 24, 2016

I worked with Dick as a fellow engineer with NRCS. I was the young guy on the block, but Dick was more than willing to help and share experience to bring me along. Now I am the one with 35 years of experience trying to help the younger guys. Dick will be remembered fondly by all of us in the NRCS family. May God's Peace help his family during this difficult time.

Posted by Jeff Godwin - Atlantic, IA - Coworker   May 23, 2016

I am sad to hear of Mr. Birchmier's passing. He was such a nice gentleman. My sympathies to his daughter Suzie.

Posted by Colene Chebuhar - Acquaintance   May 19, 2016

I am sad to hear of Mr. Birchmier's passing. He was such a nice gentleman. My sympathies to his daughter Suzie.

Posted by Colene Chebuhar - Acquaintance   May 19, 2016

R I P Mr. Birchmier. It was a honor to have assisted you the last few months of your life here on earth and now you have your wings and dancing with your wife. I was so scared the first day I met you as I had never given a so strong asked for that day cause all the kids were with you to help you make the decision and your kindness shown throughout. Family have my heartfelt condolences to each and everyone of you I send my hugs and love. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. Diana Crane caregiver @ Homestead Centerville

Posted by Diana Crane - Centerville, IA - Friend   May 19, 2016