Patrick G. Folkers. 70
Patrick G. Folkers age 70 of New Hampton, IA died Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family.
A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 20, 2020, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass. PLEASE JOIN THE FAMILY MONDAY AT 10:30 A.M. VIA FACEBOOK LIVE ON THE HUGEBACK-JOHNSON FUNERAL HOMES FACEBOOK PAGE. Interment will be at a later date in the New Hampton City Cemetery. If so desired, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Assn. of Iowa or Disabled Veterans.
Private family visitation will be on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Funeral arrangements are with Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton. Online condolences for Pat's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome,com 641-394-4334
Patrick G. Folkers, along with his older twin brother, Thomas "Moose", were born in New Hampton on July 29, 1949, the sons of Galen and Pauline (Cramer) Folkers. At the time of their birth, Galen was serving as the Sheriff of Chickasaw County. This meant, the Folkers’ children, including the twins, literally grew up in jail, for that’s where the “Sheriff’s home” was located.
Patrick attended school in New Hampton, graduating in the Class of 1968 at New Hampton High School. Afterwhich, he enlisted in the United States Army and received his basic and advanced training. He served his country in Da Nang Vietnam, with the C Battery, 6th Battalion, 32nd Artillery from 1968 to 1970.
There were many great Patrick stories that can be told, including how he ended up marrying the love of his life — Valerie Angell, who was 13 and walking with her mother by the Courthouse to town when they saw Patrick pull up to the Sheriff’s Office in his 1957 Chevy. She announced that “there’s the guy I’m going to marry.” It took another six years for them to get together, but she was right — that was the man she married.
The couple exchanged vows on Sept. 2, 1972, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Hampton, and welcomed three children — Stephanie, Scott, and Travis into their family. Growing up, the Folkers’ children remember their father for the rides he gave them on his motorcycle, and also on the dog sled as Patrick's beloved Siberian Huskies pulled them along. They also remember Dad as being a big University of Iowa fan, whether it be football, basketball, or wrestling. Go Hawks!
Patrick held a variety of jobs, but his favorite was the 10 years he spent as a custodian at New Hampton’s elementary and middle school complex. He not only got to see his kids every day in school, but he was “Dad” to a lot more children, all of whom will remember Patrick in his many costumes at Halloween.
Pat’rick's service in Vietnam, took a toll on him as he was not only exposed to Agent Orange but also suffered from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and in 1992, he was placed on 100 percent disability. He became "Mr. Mom", caring for his children, cooking meals, and doing the laundry while Valerie worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
He loved grilling and spending Saturday night get-togethers with friends when they would sit around the deck, listening to "Cousin Brucie".
Patrick was a motorcycle enthusiast. He and Valerie made numerous trips — Patrick driving; Valerie, thankfully, navigating — throughout the western United States. He thoroughly enjoyed his special role of grandpa to his 5 grandchildren, but he was “Papa,” to his fifth grandchild. They, too, found the joys of riding on a dog sled or a motorcycle, but Patrick had to draw the line at jumping with his grandkids on a trampoline, which is a story that will live forever in the Folkers’ lore.
He was a longtime member of Holy Family Parish, American Legion Fae Stein Post 38, the VFW, Disabled Veterans of America and the Vietnam Veterans of America. He held several offices with the Legion and served as the Commander of the VFW Post. For many years, he was a constant at his fellow veterans’ funerals, where he called out the cadence during the rifle salute.
Patrick took his last motorcycle trip with Valerie in 2013, and the following year he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. It was heartbreaking for his family to watch his condition deteriorate in the last few years. They are comforted by the fact that not only is he at peace now but also that he made such an impact on his wife, children, grandchildren, family members, fellow veterans, long-ago students and so many more.
Survivors include his wife, Valerie, two children, Stephanie (Mike) Gilli-Sanfilippo of Papillion, NE, Scott Folkers of Tooele, UT; five grandchildren, Lewe Gilli, Xzavier Gilli, Dylan Sanfilippo, Nylah Rae Sanfilippo, and Thomas Spargo; his siblings, Paulette (Roger) Nosbisch, Jim Folkers, all of New Hampton; his in-laws, Glen and Helen Angell.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Travis Folkers in 2000; two brothers, Dicky Joe Folkers and Thomas “Moose” Folkers; sister-in-law, Jeanne Folkers; brother-in-law, Grant Wheeler.