Raphael Francis Pisarik, 92, a lifetime resident of rural Mount Vernon, died Sunday, June 23, 2013, a short time after suffering a major stroke. Rosary and Prayer service will be Wednesday, June 26, at 3 p.m. with visitation to follow until 8 p.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Mount Vernon. Funeral Mass will be Thursday, June 27, at 10 a.m. at St. John’s with graveside services following at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, rural Solon.
Raphael is survived by eight sons and three daughters: Dennis (Joyce), Francis (Teri), Terese, Larry (Kathy), Pat (LeAnn), John (Jane), Kathy Dix (Minor), Ron (Nancy), Mark (Luann), Steve (Susan), Mary Holubar (Ron) and 34 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.
Raphael was preceded in death by his loving wife of 52 years, Elizabeth, an infant daughter, Christine; parents Joseph and Mary; brother Aloysius; and Frances Daley.
Raphael was born Dec. 22, 1920, on the family farm which is now South Cedar Park. Raphael graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1938. He married Elizabeth Marie Becker in 1942 and they lived south of Mount Vernon. Raphael worked for a time at the Pieper Sawmill near Ivanhoe, worked on the crew that paved Highway 1 south of Ivanhoe to Solon, and helped build the Ivanhoe Bridge. Raphael was an avid outdoorsman and farmer. He loved hunting, trapping and fishing and told many tales of his adventures. He was well known for his storytelling. Later in his life, he bought and sold furs. He was also an industrious farmer, ran a small family sawmill, and sheared sheep for area farmers. He knew the land and promoted its conservation.
Raphael and Elizabeth raised a large family and demonstrated the strength of love and partnership. Raphael was a teacher of life’s lessons and served as a model for his children and acquaintances. He was known throughout the area as a historian and had an amazing memory. He could recall the history of family trees, marriages, events, buildings and people of the area with astounding detail. He shared a wealth of knowledge with people during his lifetime.
Raphael was a strong Catholic and attended Mass regularly where he took pride in leading the Rosary when the opportunity arose. He was a 75-year member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. Raphael lived a humble life. His kindness and generosity touched many. The world is a better place because he was here. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Raphael’s family would like to thank the staff at Mercy Hospital, Cedar Rapids, and Hospice House of Mercy, Cedar Rapids, for their loving care.
A Memorial account has been established at Hills Bank, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Online condolences may be posted at www.morganfuneralchoices.com .