Raymond F. “Blackie” Waller, 85 of Key West passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Monday January 25, 2021.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 am Monday February 1, 2021 at the Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory 2595 Rockdale Road, with pastors Robert Rodzaj and Irv Woelfle officiating. Burial will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. A public visitation will be from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on Sunday January 31, 2021 at the funeral home. Please remember to wear your mask and if you are unable to attend the funeral service a live stream of the service will be on the funeral home Facebook page.
Blackie was born on September 7, 1935 in Dubuque the son of Roy and Bertha (Hartman) Waller. He married Joan M. Hammerand on August 4, 1962 at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Sherrill and they shared 58 years together.
Blackie grew up and lived his entire life on the family farm in Key West, which is the oldest family farm in Iowa. His ancestors built their first home on the property in the summer of 1834.
With six older brothers and two sisters, life was full of hard work, all sorts of escapades, and good farm fun. He walked to the Rockdale one room schoolhouse which he attended through eighth grade. On the way he and his siblings would stop at their Grandpa Waller’s barn and visit. (His grandfather’s house is now Leonard’s Funeral Home and the barn is gone.)
As a young man he worked for several months in Florida landscaping and packaging vegetables. A jack of all trades, he farmed his entire life, never really retiring.
He was an excellent welder and very inventive, making much of what he needed from whatever was available, never throwing anything away because he might use it someday. He was a man of true farmer ingenuity; he could fix almost anything.
Blackie was always trying out new and unusual things including garden seeds, animals, tools, and equipment. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.
Blackie was a loving husband, father and grandpa who worked hard and enjoyed spending time with all of his family. He and Joan met rollerskating at his brother Cliff’s skating rink. Together they traveled to all 48 lower states and 10 provinces in Canada, making many friends. He enjoyed seeing different ways of farming and learning things of interest.
Blackie loved storytelling and jokes. He was generous and kind and would help anyone in need. He lived his faith by loving God and loving his neighbors.
He is survived by his wife Joan, daughter’s Wanda (Joseph) Ross and Sarah (Dale) Jecklin; a daughter-in-law Shelly (Mike) Waller Ellis; eleven grandchildren Sarah (Ryan) Nicholson, Deborah (Travis) Pate, Rebekah Ross, Elizabeth Ross, Joseph Ross, Justin (Katelyn) Waller, Andrew (Gabby) Waller, Molly (David) Maro, Jakob Waller, Madelyn Jecklin, and Luke Jecklin; four great grandchildren Abigail, Sofia, and Caleb Nicholson and Georgiana Pate; a brother Wayne (Annette) Waller of LaMotte; and three sisters-in-law Alberta Waller, Connie Waller and Audrey Waller, along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons George and Dale Waller; a grandson Jonathan Ross; four sisters Ethel Mae and Wanda (Wayne’s twin), both in infancy, and Sylvia (Matthew) Osterkamp and Mildred (Fred) Neumeister; and five brothers Clarence, Eldon (Irene), Robert, Clifford (Jennie) and David.
The family would like to thank the caring professionals at No Place Like Home, for helping Blackie to remain in his family home right up to the end of his earthly journey.
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