Cover photo for Ivan Fred John Rickers's Obituary
Ivan Fred John Rickers Profile Photo
1935 Ivan Rickers 2023

Ivan Fred John Rickers

June 30, 1935 — December 29, 2023



His visitation will be held from 10:30 A.M. TO 11:30 A.M. p.m. on MONDAY, January 15, 2024, at the United Church in Westside. His memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on MONDAY, January 15, 2024, also at the United Church in Westside with inurnment to follow in the Westside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the Westside Fire Department or the United Church in Westside.


Ivan Rickers was born on June 30, 1935, to Louis and Anna (Weller) Rickers on their farm north of Westside, Iowa in Jackson Township, Crawford County.

Ivan attended country school in Jackson Township before attending and then graduating from Westside High School in 1953. He continued his education at Iowa State College, graduating in 1957 with a degree in Vocational Agriculture. Ivan briefly taught vocational farming practices to veterans returning home from the Korean Conflict before focusing full time on beekeeping.

Beekeeping was Ivan’s passion. His oldest brother, Vernon, gave him 12 hives of bees which Ivan, then 14, took over as a 4-H project. Ivan eventually expanded his beekeeping operation to a commercial scale which at its peak was nearly 800 hives spanning the local four-county area. He was a long-standing member of the Iowa Honey Producers Association (IHPA), where he was a strong voice for proposing and promoting many of Iowa’s bee laws. Ivan served IHPA in various roles to include director, vice president, and was the president from 1977 to 1979. He was awarded Iowa’s Beekeeper of the Year in 1980 and received the Pioneer Award in 2004.

Ivan worked at Farmland Foods (Smithfield Foods) in Denison, Iowa for a total of 27 years and retired at the age of 70 in 2005.

Ivan married Linda Mae Preston on March 1, 1964. They welcomed four children into the world: DeAnn, Denise, Louis (Lou) and William (Bill). They made their home in Westside, Iowa. Ivan lived a full and long life and he often stated that his proudest and greatest accomplishment was raising his four children with his wife.

Ivan passed away at his daughter DeAnn’s home in Woodward, Iowa on December 29, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Ivan was 88 years old.

Survivors include his children and their spouses: DeAnn (Jim), Denise (Jerry), Lou (Deb), and Bill (Rashelle); fourteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lois (Lowell) Rickers; in-laws: Dean (Jan) Preston, Henry (Maria) Preston, and Lory (Jeff) Krummen; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Ivan is preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Anna Rickers; his wife, Linda; his siblings and in-laws: Vernon (Elsie) Rickers, Lloyd (Shirley) Rickers, Lowell Rickers, and Louise (Ron) Meals; parents-in-law, Dean and Irma Preston; in-laws, Lola Preston and Dale Preston; nephew, Russell Rickers; and nieces, Michelle Davis and Ann Krummen.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ivan Fred John Rickers, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation with Family Greeting Friends

Monday, January 15, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Monday, January 15, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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