Richard Jirele, age 88, of Owatonna, passed away November 14, 2019 at Prairie Manor in Blooming Prairie, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Litomysl with a two hour visitation prior to the funeral mass at church starting at 8:30 AM. Richard was born to parents John and Libbie (Simon) Jirele on April 24, 1931 in Owatonna. He graduated from Owatonna High School in 1949.
After high school Richard was drafted into the army during the Korean War serving stateside. When Richard returned from active duty, he purchased his own farm where he vowed to never have to milk another cow. He grew corn, beans and raised hogs. He married Laura Jane Burshem on September 29, 1959 in Litomysl. He worked at the Owatonna Elevator, delivered mail as a rural carrier, was a milkman for Hope Creamery, and a farm tax preparer under the tutelage of Frances Burshem.
Richard was known for raising Berkshire Hogs and received honors at the National Barrow Shows, National Berkshire Shows, County Fairs, and at the MN state fair for 50 consecutive years. He served on the Somerset Township board, was a longtime swine superintendent at the Steele County Free Fair and served on the National Berkshire Association board. Richard enjoyed playing cards, watching baseball, football, Twins, Vikings, and wintering in Arizona. In his younger days he was an athletic baseball player himself.
He is survived by children, Jane Jirele, Winona, MN, Jean (Tim) Smith of Palmyra, WI, Tom Jirele, Owatonna; 8 grandchildren, Laura (James) Arnott, Jaime (Mike) Hanratty, Caitlin Wicka, Justin, Nick and Hunter Jirele, Jennifer and Kevin Smith; and 3 great-grandchildren, Aiden Enzenauer, Eleanor and Oliver Hanratty. Richard was preceded in death by his wife Laura Jane; great-grandson, Clay; sister Margaret and brothers Bob and Bernard.
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