Cover photo for Richard John Delfs's Obituary
Richard John Delfs Profile Photo
1943 Richard 2023

Richard John Delfs

September 29, 1943 — October 21, 2023

Sioux City

Dr. Richard John Delfs, 80, of Sioux City, passed away on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at a local hospital.

Richard’s life will be celebrated with a visitation Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 P.M. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 P.M. at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel, 3220 Stone Park Blvd.  A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, October 27, 2023, at Faith United Presbyterian Church, 4327 Morningside Ave.  Family and friends are invited to celebrate Richard’s life following the service with a light lunch.  Private interment will be at Graceland Park Cemetery.

Richard was born on September 29, 1943, to John and Josephine (Zemaitis) Delfs.  He grew up in Chicago and Evergreen Park, Illinois and graduated from Evergreen Park High School.  He went on to pursue a degree in Physics at Carleton College.  After attending Carleton, he earned his PhD in Physics at Iowa State University.  He was an assistant professor of Physics at Oregon State University and in 1975 he became professor of Physics at Briar Cliff University.  It was a position he held until his retirement in 2014.  Richard was curious about how the world worked.  He had a unique sense of presence and skill at explaining. 

Richard married the love of his life Mary (Cartwright) Delfs on July 5, 1975.  He was a loving a devoted father. 

Richard enjoyed teaching his students physics, astronomy, and engineering.  He like to spend his summers with family, camping throughout the United States and Canada.  He enjoyed biking, running, and being outdoors.  He was a member of Faith United Presbyterian Church, where he enjoyed being an usher.  He liked taking his pet dog, Sophie, for car rides.

Richard is survived by his wife Mary; daughter Susan (Matt) Schenck; sister De (Byron) Cansler; brothers-in-law:  Bliss Cartwright (Rita Kirshstein) and Tom Cartwright (Arlene); nephews:  Brett Cansler and Glen Cansler; and a niece Sura (Mark) Rozenberg and her family.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, John and Josephine Delfs and Rev. Bliss and Helen Cartwright. 

Donations may be made in Richard’s name to the Warming Shelter of Sioux City or Siouxland Humane Society. 

Our family would like to thank Dr. Jage, Dr. Jung, Dr. Peacock, and other doctors who helped Richard this past year, the emergency responders at Sioux City Fire Department #7, Pastor Eric, Pastor David Koehler, and Michelle and Mary, nurses at Cardiac Rehab at Unity Point Sunnybrook, for helping Richard.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard John Delfs, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Prayer Service

Thursday, October 26, 2023

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel

3220 Stone Park Blvd, Sioux City, IA 51104

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, October 27, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Faith United Presbyterian Church

4327 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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