Obituary of Richard Tatman
Richard B. (Junior) Tatman, age 98, passed away peacefully Monday, October 16, 2023 at his home on Lake Okoboji. He was born March 7, 1925, to Charles Thomas and Marjorie Viola (Liddle) Tatman on their farmstead in Dickinson County near Superior, IA. His first name was Junior until he changed to Richard in his 20s. He attended the Superior Public School, and joined the U.S. Marines during World War II, enlisting in the 5th Division “The Spearhead”, 5th Tank Battalion, at Camp Pendelton, CA.
Richard was a tank driver, turning 20 years old, in the gruesome Battle of Iwo Jima until the battle’s end 36-days later. His tank battalion supported the infantry invasion during the famous taking of Mount Suribachi and island airfields. The 5th Division had the highest casualty rate of all the Marine divisions in the battle’s invasion. Richard was one of the last living Iwo Jima battle veterans.
Following the war, he married Edith Margaret, daughter of Arthur and Alma (Clausen) Shuttleworth of Estherville on July 9, 1947. Using his farming background, Richard worked for a short time at Superior Elevator, and then became manager of the Ritter Farmers Elevator in Ritter, IA, for 38 years. He loved the cooperative and its neighboring farmers, and he was an early pioneer in commercial fertilizer, custom crop spraying, and unit train grain shipments.
In 1986, Richard retired from Ritter Elevator to Lake Okoboji with his wife, and lived year-round in their lakeside cabin. In retirement, he enjoyed traveling to New England with Edith, attending local VFW events, visiting local land auctions, reading about World War II, and hosting family and friends. He loved visits from his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and always had a fishing pole ready for visitors.
Left to cherish his memory are his children, Michael Tatman of Okoboji, Kathy (Jim) Grannan of Colorado, and Steven (Janet) Tatman of Sioux Falls, daughter-in-law, Merrie, nine grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Edith, infant son, Randy, brother Jack Doren Tatman, sister Patsy (Tatman) Leininger, and his parents.
Those whose lives touched Richard are invited to visitation at the Turner Funeral Home, 1101 10th St, Milford, IA, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. Services are planned at the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church, 1812 Gary Avenue, Spirit Lake, IA at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Military funeral rites will be conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard. “Semper Fidelis” means “Always Faithful” in Latin – the U.S. Marine Corps Motto.
Please send donations (in lieu of flowers) to Northwest Iowa Humane Society, 607 28th Street, Milford, IA 51351.