Richard W Friedrich, 82, was born to Paul and Mildred Friedrich in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 3, 1942. He was later joined by his sister, Mary. As the son of a Lutheran pastor, Rich and his family moved from Colorado to northwest Iowa. He graduated from West Sioux High School and went on to study education at West Mar College in Le Mars. His teaching career brought him to Guthrie Center where he taught junior high history and pursued his master’s degree at Drake University. He would not be alone on those commutes to Des Moines for long. Soon enough, he was joined by Vicki Laughery, who was also working toward a teaching degree at Drake University. 

Rich and Vicki were married on a very hot day, July 22, 1972, at the United Methodist Church in Guthrie Center. In their young married years, they enjoyed their church family, card club, gardening and traveling. Their son, Eric, was born six years later, followed by their youngest son, Christian, in 1984. Rich had a passion for education, which led him to teach 40 years as a history, civics and social studies teacher while also serving as principal at Guthrie Center Junior High. Rich is remembered by countless students and colleagues as a caring influence who was well respected. 

Rich and his family spent summers traveling (often on short notice) to Minnesota, National Parks, Civil War battlefields, and other historical sites (marked and unmarked). He loved to find locations less traveled via his famous Friedrich shortcuts. He enjoyed making Eric and Christian pose for pictures in front of the National Park and historic site signs. Rich appreciated time outdoors, fishing and relaxing on Silver Lake, and never missed a Clay County Fair. He enjoyed stamp-collecting, coin-collecting, sports and his favorite team, the Iowa Hawkeyes. His grandchildren always brought the biggest smiles to his face. He enjoyed all stages of their lives including holding them in his arms, bouncing them on his knee, gardening, hiding their pickle in the Christmas tree (a German tradition), picnics at Springbrook, and cheering them on in all their activities. 

Rich modeled his love for Christ in all areas of his life, from his many leadership roles at Immanuel Lutheran Church to his work with Lions Club and school activities. He was a faithful servant to the Lord, and it was important to him to bring other people to Christ. 

Rich will continue to be loved by his wife of 53 years, Vicki; son Eric Friedrich (Melissa) of Mount Ayr, and grandchildren Tatum, Alba and Morgan; son Christian Friedrich (Sarah) of Waukee and grandsons Joseph and Jacob; sister Mary Campbell of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and nephew Chris Campbell (Claire) of St. Paul, Minnesota;  sister-in-law Debbie Ashman (George), brother-in-law Jim Laughery (Jody), sister-in-law Jan Mitchell (Scott); nephews and nieces George Ashman (Shannon), Heather Minarich, Anne Folkers (T.J.), Beth Laughery, Molly Johnson (Matt), Meggie Widholm (Jordan); and many great-nieces and nephews. We will greatly miss his smile and sense of humor.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 7 from 5-7 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Guthrie Center. Funeral services will be Wednesday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church followed by burial in Union Cemetery in Guthrie Center and luncheon at the church.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8