Richard “Rick” Wenninghoff loved to play in the dirt and be dirty.

Two good traits for a farmer and gardener.

Wenninghoff, a cousin to the Wenninghoff Farm family in Omaha, died April 22 at age 72. He had retired from farming in the Crescent, Iowa, area several years ago.

Daughter Julie Reiss said her father grew corn and soybeans and lots of vegetables that he would sell at the farmers market in Council Bluffs.

“I think he took pride in his sweet corn and tomatoes,” she said.

He also sold produce at the farm and at one time to grocery stores in the area, something that all four of his children helped with through the years. His produce was sold under the banner Wenninghoff Gardens.

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“He was such a hard worker,” Reiss said. “He really passed on his work ethic. We cherish that he passed that on to us.”

Daughter Lisa Herrick and her husband, Lee, have continued the family’s farming tradition in Franklin, Nebraska.

The farm consumed Wenninghoff’s time during the growing season, but he would spend a few months of every winter in Hawaii. Even after he retired, farming remained a big interest.

“When you are good at something you can be really passionate about it,” Reiss said. “He was just good at it.”

Visitation was set for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and a funeral service for 1 p.m. Friday, both at Cutler-O’Neill-Meyer-Woodring Bayliss Park Chapel in Council Bluffs.

Besides Herrick and Reiss and her husband, David, survivors include children Chris Wenninghoff and Greg Wenninghoff, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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