Robert Schlapia, 66, of Diagonal died Friday, July 31, 2020, at his home in Diagonal after a hard fought battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial gathering will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Fogle Recreation Area, South Shelter house in Diagonal. Memorials are to be determined. Online condolences can be given at www.powersfh.com.
Robert Hugh Schlapia, youngest son of Hugh and Vivian (Pratt) Schlapia, was born Jan. 8, 1954, in Ringgold County, and lived in Diagonal his entire life.
Robert started working at a young age, carrying the Des Moines Register, mowing yards and working at Schlapia, Inc., the family feed and fuel business. Robert scooped bushels of grain from bins, painted fuel tanks, ground feed, and did lots of mechanical work. He hauled grain and later fuel, accumulating millions of trucking miles over his lifetime. Robert hauled fuel to many stations and convenience stores.
Robert attended Diagonal school, adding many lifetime friends. He enjoyed sports, activities and met his true love, Cynthia (Cindy) Graham before graduating in 1972. Robert and Cindy married Sept. 7, 1974, in the Diagonal Methodist Church, where he was a member, starting their life together in Diagonal. They built a home and were blessed with three children: Amanda, Amy and Adam. Bringing added joy to their home were Joyce, Jeanie and Holly Butler, along with many relatives and friends.
Robert enjoyed interacting with people in the community. While continuing to help run the family business, Robert served as Diagonal city councilman and mayor with 20 years combined public service. He helped add many improvements to the community during this tenure, most notable was the Fogle Lake Recreation Area.
Robert became involved with the Iowa Hereford Association in 1987, where his children began showing cattle and formed many friendships while traveling to various cattle shows. He later served as a board member and longtime treasurer for the association. His family attended the Iowa State Fair yearly where they would show cattle, camp and enjoy the fair. He enjoyed working livestock control for several years.
Robert enjoyed attending tractor pulls with his son Adam and helping the grandkids pull lawnmowers. He helped Cindy’s family with farming and cattle. Later, Cindy and Robert purchased the heritage family farm, where Robert made improvements, enjoyed camping, gardening and relaxing there.
Robert managed R.K. Fuels with Randy Kohlscheen where he continued to haul and sell fuel. He designed and had new fuel stops in Diagonal and Bedford completed. Robert and Cindy enjoyed camping, attending grandkid’s events and driving long distance vacations.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother Jerry and stepfather Dwain Blake.
Robert leaves behind his wife Cindy; daughters: Amanda (Jason) Heck and Amy (Jeremy) Novak; son Adam (Ronnel) Schlapia; grandchildren: Ethan, Sam, Kyle, Kayla Heck, Jacob, Joey, Justin Novak, Mady, Ryker, Mikayla Henson and Wyatt Schlapia; brothers Alvin (Mary Ann) Schlapia and Ron (Toni) Schlapia; sister-in-law Rosemary Hullinger; many relatives and friends.