Richard K. “Dick” Hockgeiger, 92, of Mount Carmel, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at Oakview Nursing Home and Rehab surrounded with the love of his family. He was born August 21, 1926 in Mount Carmel, the son of Albert Adam and Helena Margaretta (Keneipp) Hockgeiger. Dick married Agnes Keepes, “The Love of His Life”, on November 4, 1950 at St. Sebastian Catholic Church and she survives.
Dick graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1944. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy and joined WWII. Dick was not yet old enough to enlist in the service so his mother had to consent for him to join. His “tour of duty” led him to Hawaii, Alaska and Japan. He also passed the Equator and road across the Panama Canal. Dick served aboard the U.S.S. Guilford, which was commissioned the year he enlisted. He was always proud to be a Veteran and support the United States of America. After the war, Dick attended SIU Carbondale where he studied General Business. He left SIU to play baseball at Joe Stripp’s Baseball School in Orlando, Florida. From there he played for the Brooklyn Dodger’s minor league baseball team. Dick also played for the Mount Carmel Indians and the Evansville Sterling baseball teams. He coached the boy’s basketball team at Saint Mary’s School and was a Boy Scout Leader.
Dick worked for the railroad from 1951 to 1988. He worked for the New York Central, Penn Central, Con Rail and the Cairo Terminal Railroads. He was also a Union Steward and traveled to many conventions and helped in many legal matters while in this position. Dick was a member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the National Retired and Veteran Railway Employees.
Dick was the happiest when his whole family was together. He loved his family, the Catholic Church, the St. Louis Cardinals and his trips to Louisiana. He will be remembered for his “big smile” and his “pretty blue eyes”!
Dick leaves behind his loving wife of sixty-eight years, Agnes; the four children who blessed their lives, Tara (Danny) Reeves of Heflin Louisiana, Tim (Donna) Hockgeiger, Julie Tennes and Kent (Ronda) Hockgeiger all of Mount Carmel, Illinois; sixteen grandchildren, Erin (Kevin) Watts, Karrie (David) Fortenberry, Robert (Brittany) Reeves, Hilary (Kendall) Guillot, Stephanie Myers, David Myers, Allison (Jarod) Miller, Natalie (Cory) Schraner, Andrea Tennes, Martin (Cami) Tennes, Emily Tennes, Ashley Tennes, Ryan (Shelby) Hockgeiger, Kasey (James) Gill, Grant Hockgeiger, Haley Hockgeiger; eighteen great-grandchildren, Michael Watts, C.J. Watts, Nolan Watts, Jude Fortenberry, Asher Fortenberry, Sawyer Guillot, Alexis Myers, Logan Myers, Collin Myers, Violet Miller, Ben Miller, Ezra Miller, Drew Schraner, Otto Tennes, Aubren Hockgeiger, Isabelle Hockgeiger, Ryleigh Gill, Cooper Gill.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Max Hockgeiger; and son-in-law Martin Tennes.
A Rosary Service will be at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, February 21, 2019 in the Chapel of Keepes Funeral Home, followed by a Military Walk Through from the Mount Carmel Honor Guard. Family and friends are invited to gather for a Visitation immediately following the Rosary and Walk Through until 8:00 p.m.
Funeral Services will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 22, 2019, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Father Robert Zwilling, Father Bill Rowe, Deacon Steve Lowe and Deacon Charlie Speaks officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Dick’s memory to Residential Hospice, The Alzheimer’s Association or Saint Mary’s School. Envelopes will be at the funeral home and the Church or can be mailed to Keepes Funeral Home, 1500 North Cherry Street, Mount Carmel, IL 62863.
Keepes Funeral Home is serving the family with the arrangements. To view Dick’s tribute wall, purchase flowers and leave condolences for the Hockgeiger family, please visit www.keepesfuneralhome.com