The generous and loving spirit of 98 year old Raymond Frohwein, of State Center, departed this earthly life on Saturday, March 25, at Accura Healthcare under the care of their staff and Iowa River Hospice. Born at home, on July 3, 1924, in rural State Center, Iowa, he was the son of Clarence and Ida (Fricke) Frohwein. He received his education at St. John’s Parochial School through the 8th grade. He met the love of his life, Ruth Damman, at a dance at the Forest Park Ballroom in Marshalltown. They married on January 9, 1944 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Melbourne. They shared 76 years of blessings with five children and made State Center their home.
In August 1944 he was drafted into the Army, took Basic training, before leaving in January 1945 on the USS Wakefield with the 30th Division Infantry under General Dwight Eisenhower to Le Havre, France. He was with the 2nd group that fought in the Battle of the Bulge. As a PFC rifleman, his battalion walked over 1500 miles on foot to within 50 miles of Berlin, sleeping in holes dug in the snow. He was awarded the Bronze Combat Infantry Star, and the Battle Stars Award for crossing the Ruhr, Rhine, and Elbe Rivers. He returned from the service in 1946 to farm with his Dad, raising cattle and hogs on their 240 acre farm north east of State Center until 1994. He was a Yoder Feed Salesman for 17 years, worked with the local Pioneer Seed Rep, and drove the grain buggy on a friend’s farm during harvest well into his 80s.
He never met a stranger and had a variety of interests throughout his life. He played baseball and basketball in the 1950s; slow pitch in the 1960s; bowled until age 83; played pool until age 87; and golfed until age 90. He was an avid Hawkeye, Yankee and Chicago Bears fan. Ray loved to fish for over 90+ years. He and Ruth loved ballroom dancing with their favorite band Kenny Hofer. When not dancing on weekends, they played Pinochle, 500, or Sheep’s Head cards with family and friends. He was a member of the Harlan G. Pfantz American Legion for over 76 years. In 2010 Ray went on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. He was interviewed at home to participate in the Documentary Film “None Less Than Heroes- the Honor Flight Story.”
When his wife Ruth could no longer live at home and went to the nursing home, he learned to cook, bake, gardened and canned many jars of produce.
Raymond will be greatly missed and will be remembered for his generous nature, zest for life, love of conversation and dedication to his family. He is survived by his five children: Beth (Ron) Tuttle, of Melbourne; Don (Gaye) Frohwein, of Osage Beach, MO; Marlys Frohwein, of Council Bluffs; Linda Easton, of State Center; Randy (Karen) Frohwein, of State Center; 8 Grandchildren-Jeff Frohwein; Kimberly Tuttle; Joseph Frohwein; Kelly Tuttle; Michael Frohwein; Amanda Kilgore; Jesse Easton; and Jake Easton; 8 Great Grand children; Sister, Nancy DeKock; and two Sister-in-Laws, Jean Brand and Marilyn Damman; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. In death, Raymond rejoins his loving wife Ruth, his parents, one sister, 5 brother-in-laws, and two Grandsons, Brian and Jason.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 30, at Mitchell Funeral Home, from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. A Celebration of Life will be at Redeemer Lutheran Church Friday, March 31, at 10:30 A.M. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery, State Center. Memorials may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church.