Eugene John “Gene” Rima, 88, of Strawberry Point, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at the Edgewood Convalescent Home in Edgewood, Iowa. He was born on September 22, 1931, in Winneshiek County, the son of Harold and Macie (Meyer) Rima. Gene was raised and educated in Postville and graduated from Postville High School. He then served honorably in the United States Navy during the Korean War.
On August 4, 1951, Gene was united in marriage to Joyce Klumpp in Milwaukee. After their marriage, Joyce moved to Postville while Gene was stationed in Hawaii. After his discharge, they made their home in Fayette, so that Gene could attend college at Upper Iowa. After his graduation, the family moved to Elma in 1957 and eventually settled in Strawberry Point in 1960. Gene taught and coached at Starmont Schools. He owned and operated Rima’s Department Store in Strawberry Point and then ran the Scoreboard Lounge.
Gene was a longtime member of St. Mary Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Strawberry Point American Legion. He served as the mayor of Strawberry Point and was a member of the city council. Gene announced the annual Strawberry Point Days parade for over 30 years. For many years, he was the general manager of the Strawberry Point Cubs, the semi-pro baseball team.
Gene enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in all of their activities. He liked taking his kids fishing. Gene also enjoyed bowling in the men’s league, as well as golfing in the men’s league at the Backbone Golf Course. He was a diehard Cubs and Bears fan. Above all else, Gene loved his family and cherished spending time with them.
Survivors include his eight children, Mark (Deb) Rima of Cave Creek, Arizona, Debra (Phil) Steffen of Winthrop, Gary (Marla) Rima of Charles City, Dennis (Julie) Rima of Dubuque, Neil (Marcia) Rima of Nevada, Janet (friend, R.W. McDowell) Rima of Delhi, David (Lori) Rima of Cedar Rapids, and Lisa (Chad) Sage of El Paso, Texas; 19 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren, with one on the way; one brother Jim (Elaine) Rima of Oquawka, Illinois; several nieces and nephews; a special friend, Doug Bowers of Strawberry Point, who looked after Gene these past few years; and many other friends.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Joyce Rima in 2015; his granddaughter, Michelle Rima; his great-granddaughter, Macie Hankins; and one brother, Neil Rima.
Gene’s family invites everyone to wear Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, or their favorite sports team’s clothing and jeans to the visitation.
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