Richard William “Red” Baskerville, age 87, of Jolley, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home on August 24, 2020, surrounded by family. He now sings with his wife, Roselyn, in the heavenly choir, praising God for eternity with the voice he was known for throughout his time on earth.
Richard was born on June 8, 1933, to Richard Sr. and Thelma (Heflin) Baskerville at the family farmhouse near Jolley, Iowa. Richard attended country school through the fifth grade and then finished his education at the Lytton Community School, graduating from high school in 1951. Growing up, Richard enjoyed working on the family farm, singing, playing trombone, participating in FFA, playing baseball and basketball, ice skating, and attending the Congregational Church in Fonda, Iowa.
After high school, Richard studied music at Drake University. On April 2, 1953, he enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War. After completing basic training and the 10th Infantry Division course for Apprentice Bandsmen at Fort Riley, Kansas, he served as a corporal assigned to the 80th Army Band at Camp Stewart, Georgia. In addition to playing trombone in the band, he was also a lead singer for the division’s dance band. He was honorably discharged on April 1,1955.
After completing active duty, Richard married the love of his life, Roselyn Schwartz, on June 12, 1955, at Emanuel-St. John Lutheran Church in Lytton, Iowa, where he became a life-long member. Richard and Roselyn were blessed with a beautiful marriage for over 59 years, along with three daughters: Rebecca, Rochelle and Ramona.
In 1956, Richard and Roselyn moved to their farmhouse north of Lytton where they each lived the remainder of their lives. Richard joined his father and brother in farming and feeding cattle until he retired in 2000. Richard was involved in the community as a member of the church council and choir, a member of school, elevator and bank boards, and a member of the American Legion, achieving a 50-year active membership. He was also the proud winner of the 1975 Lytton Diamond Jubilee overall beard contest with his red goatee and handlebar mustache.
Richard and Roselyn loved to spend time together dancing, listening to big band music, driving around the countryside, working on garden projects, collecting small Oliver tractors and antiques, eating at Freddie’s (aka Highway 7 Café), and attending church activities. In his quiet time, Richard had an insatiable appetite for reading book after book. He particularly loved history, politics and current affairs. His family will always remember his strong faith, his love for family, his kindness and compassion for others, his smile, his sense of humor, and his love of music and reading.
After losing Roselyn to cancer in October 2014, Richard bravely faced the future without her. While devastated by her passing, he also dealt with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and a failing memory but remained determined to do the best he could to continue enjoying life and his family. He remained a gentle and kind soul, retaining his sense of humor, politeness, and love of music, while teaching his family how to experience and appreciate moments of joy and to live life in the present. He enjoyed listening to daily devotions and praying the Lord’s Prayer. His dementia never robbed him of this holy prayer as he prayed every word verbatim until the end. His life exemplified what Saint Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Richard is preceded in death by his wife, Roselyn; his parents, Richard and Thelma Baskerville; his brother and wife, Irvin and Ann Baskerville; his sister and husband, Arlene and Marvin Krohn; his sister and husband, Ruth Ann and Ole Taxted; nephew, Roger Baskerville; brothers-in-law, Win Tyler, Jim Fyfe, Tom Wellendorf and Omar Saucke; and his in-laws, Fred and Christine Schwartz.
Richard is survived by his loving children: Rebecca (Donavon) Dettmann of Sac City, IA; Rochelle (Timothy) Grochala of West Des Moines, IA; and Ramona (David Huls) Baskerville of Chanhassen, MN; grandchildren: Kristina (Matthew) Tripp and Teresa (Blake) Wirtjers; Kristin, Sarah and Laura Grochala; and Benjamin and Nicholas Huls; great-grandchildren: Elle, Britta and Ava Tripp; and Skyler and Fletcher Wirtjers; his sister: Bonnie Tyler; brother- and sisters-in-law: Fred and Kay Schwartz, Bonnie Fyfe, and Joyce Wellendorf; cousin: Kay Dettmann and family; and many other beloved nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.