Karen and I are deeply saddened to hear of your passing Michael ... we will cherish the many memories we had with you, beginning with our work project in 1998 and continuing through our friendship in years that followed. While I was never able to attend one of your vaunted ‘Rehwaldt Invitationals’, the stories we heard from you and others explain why everyone you knew is so devoted to you. For us, most treasured of all our memories is the wonderful gift of your officiating at our wedding in November 2000. We are forever humbled and grateful to you, and as your friend Jim Leach once said of you ... you truly are "...one of Nature's Great Noblemen'. Rest easy in the ever after, Michael. You will be missed in this world, and we look forward to seeing you in the next.
JOHN MICHAEL REHWALDT
MUSCATINE, Iowa - John Michael Rehwaldt was born October 5, 1942, in Muscatine, to Charles and Helen Rehwaldt. He graduated in 1960 from Muscatine. He attended the University of Iowa. He joined the Sigma Chi fraternity, making lifelong friendships and enjoyed being active in the alumni association.
He was the assistant manager of the Hotel Muscatine before purchasing it in 1970. He loved meeting people in the hospitality business. He was active in the Republican Party, serving on Jim Leach's first campaign for congress, leading him to Washington, DC after he sold the hotel in 1977. He served as a fundraiser for the Republican National Committee.
He worked as an executive headhunter, retiring to Muscatine in 2013.
Wanting to become more involved, he campaigned for second Ward Alderman and won one term. He kept up with his political activities and stayed informed. He was a member of 33 Club.
Michael loved to entertain. He was an excellent chef and continually tried out new recipes. He loved dining out, the Merrill and SalVitale's were his favorites. He was a great friend. Traveling was one of his favorite things. He was an anglophile, loving everything British.
His boon companion was his dog, Spike. He often drove through DQ for ice cream for both of them.
He is survived by his sister-in-law, Fran Rehwaldt, her daughters Katie and Helen; cousins, Sally, Mary, and Rae Ann Rehwaldt and children.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Chad; and cousin, Tom Rehwaldt.
He appreciated the help as he became frailer, passing of COVID complications at Crestview in West Branch.
Michael's request, no services will be held. Memorials may be sent to Anne Carroll, to be used for pet rescue. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.
I've known Michael Rehwaldt since kindergarten at the old Washington School on West 3rd Street. His house (609 W 2nd), a rather opulent home, was just a half block up the street from the school. Mike's mother Helen was our Cub Scout Den Mother. I think I spent almost as much time at the Rehwaldt home as Mike did! We were pals all through high school and beyond. I could share lots of stories about Mike, as many of us could, but one that jumps out from early childhood surrounds Christmas time. All kids look forward to receiving gifts at Christmas time... especially a good toy. Mike would get mad at his maternal grandmother, who lived out of town. She gave him the same gift every year and he hated it. Never a toy... always a large envelope... and inside were General Motors Stock Certificates. He'd say "Now what the heck am I going to do with these!" Mike was a "one-of-a-kind", you'll never meet another like him, kind of guy. You either loved Mike... or you didn't. I happen to be in the former. I loved his humor... I loved his quips. You shall be missed my friend. You left a large footprint. May you Rest in Peace.
Michael: i am glad I got to see you at the Class of 1960 luncheon earlier this year. You were a friend to many in high school and a friend to even many more over your lifetime. RIP my fellow classmate.
Michael…I will miss our long phone conversations….talking about the past and always laughing….Andy,Tom and Jack you were always mentioned in our conversations.
Rest In Peace dear friend💕
I can only echo what others have said. Mike was a beloved and wonderful friend. My memories of Mike go back to kindergarten at the old Washington school on 3rd St, and extend through the countless weekly Sunday evenings when his family and mine got together "for dessert," after supper. Our parents visited in one room and we children played outdoors in summer and card and board games in the Winter. Mike and I remained friends throughout adulthood and he and I visited back and forth between DC and Denver. He was unique and clever in his humor, as was his whole family, always willing to help and listen, and made life long friends wherever he went. There will never be another Mike and I will always miss him. Rest in peace, dear friend. Love to you, Andy
I was deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of my lifelong friend Michael. As neighbors we grew up together and our families were very close. I will not forget the great times in the Aristocrat club in high school and the Rehwaldt Fellows fishing trips around the world both tirelessly organized by "the bear". Michael had a wonderful way of "herding cats". Over the years I visited Micheal many times in the DC area and I was happy to have been a part of his wedding to Dara as were many of the Rehwaldt Fellows and will be forever grateful to Micheal for serving as my best man at the wedding to Patricia in St, Petersburg Florida. Michael came to visit us in Florida in early 2020. He was larger than ever both in presence and personality and we laughed together for 3 days. You could do that with Micheal because he was the master of the quip and rejoinder. We will miss him and not forget. RIP
We were saddened to learn of the passing of our kind and thoughtful friend, J. Michael. Colleagues on many fundraising projects through the years in Washington, D.C., he always added an element of fun. J. Michael loved being with people and had a hearty laugh and warm smile. A creative and accomplished chef, he hosted the best dinner parties and even grew his own basil to make a delicious pesto pasta. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Jacquie and Steve Lowe
I worked with Michael at the NRCC, also in fund raising. He was a good man, with a kind heart. Sad to hear the news of this death. He will be missed by many, including me.
I met Michael in 1980 in Washington, and became one of his many friends. Later, after my wife and I moved to Pennsylvania, he was a frequent visitor at our home. We took fly fishing lessons together and, being who he was, he promptly launched a series of "Rehwaldt Invitational" fishing and golf tournaments where I was one of the few non-Iowans to attend. He was a great friend to me and my family, particularly my son, and I am sorry beyond measure that he is gone. I miss him and will continue to do so.
I will miss you, my friend. You meant a lot to me. After 75 years of friendship, your absence will be a gaping hole. Your companionship after my return to Iowa was a great boost. Rest peacefully.
Mike was a great friend all through high school; his home was a weekly gathering place for laughter, discussion, and fun. Visiting with him in D.C. whenever I was in town was always a delight again with much laughter and insights into the politics of the city. RIP, Mike and know that your absence will leave a hole in many lives.
Mike, Chad and their parents were long-time friends. Mike was a "safe haven" when I worked in D.C. He was a really smart man, funny, and very kind - always. Rest in peace, Mike.
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