Bill Reichardt
(1930 - 2004)

Bill Reichardt

June 30, 1930

June 1, 2004

"I am Bill Reichardt and I own the store."

Bill was a friend who always had time to listen and to share a story. He was a passionate businessman, whose word and reputation meant more than a sale. He was a grandfather that always had our back, even if it was to kick our ass.

The Des Moines Register, June 2, 2004

Bill was born to Herbert and Ethel Reichardt on June 24, 1930 and grew up working in the family restaurant, Reich's Café in Iowa City. Prior to graduating in 1948, Bill received many sports honors, including induction into the Iowa City High School Hall of Fame, recipient of eight athletic letters for varsity competition and First Team All-State fullback.

While attending the University of Iowa, Bill received numerous football honors with the Hawkeyes including All American fullback, First Team All Big Ten for two years and named Most Valuable Player in the Big 10 in 1951. He was named the Chicago Tribune's MVP in the Big Ten, which was the first time any athlete in any sport was named the MVP in a conference on a team that did not win a game.

After graduating, he played in the Senior Bowl, North-South and the Blue-Gray games which were played at Chicago's Soldier's Field and in the College All-Star game against the Los Angeles Rams. Bill was recently named to the University of Iowa All Time Team as full back (selected by the Gannett News Service) and was inducted into the University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame.

In 1952, Bill was united in marriage with Sue Manbeck and they were married for 52 years.
Bill and friend, Bud Flood, opened Reichardts, Inc. in 1953 as Bill Reichardt's Sports Shop. "I'm Bill Reichardt, and I own the store" was a well recognized slogan of Reichardt's Clothing Store which remained in the original Roosevelt Shopping Center in Des Moines for all his 47 years in his own business, until selling the store in 1997.
On the political front, Bill spent two years in the Iowa House and four years in the Iowa Senate between 1964 to 1970. He was a candidate for Governor in the 1992 primary.
Bill has written and published many articles pertaining to competitive athletics as well as juvenile crime issues. In 1956, he founded the Little All-American Football League and coached in the program for 29 years. He also founded the Des Moines Youth Soccer League. He was the annual guest speaker to over 800 boys at the American Legion Hawkeye Boys State for 46 consecutive years. Many organizations throughout Des Moines and Iowa enjoyed Bill's participation on their Boards and Committees.

Bill is survived by his wife, Sue; three children, daughter, Barbara Jensen and her three children, Jessica, William Cody and Jack and her husband, Buzz Weisberg, son Doug, his wife, Debbie and their three children, Kristin Hall, Katie and Randy; son Duke, his wife, Carole and their three children, Austin, Dan and Brynn; and sisters Sherry Gardner and Mary Ellen Krebs.

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Guest Book (8 entries)
I first met Bill as my coach of the Cowboys Little All American Football where I played with his son Doug. Bill imparted some of his sports wisdom with me that has helped me to overcome and achieve in life. He was a great guy and positive influence on many young men.
Gregory Horton
February 1st, 2016
This is very special to come across. Thank y'all for sharing.

Maria Spirtos; If this is the Reich's Cafe in Iowa City then you have found the right family. I have only heard a few stories about this cafe and would love to hear a few more. Please share if this reaches you.

See you on the trails
Randy Reichardt (Grandson)
November 14th, 2014
Remembering a good man and a special family from many yrs ago. RIP
Debra Chrysle Bonvetti (Friend of Barb Jensen)
January 23rd, 2014
He was my counselor at Camp Minoqua in Wisconsin. My first football hero.
Phil Woodward
July 29th, 2013
I attended Drake and the law school and was a passionate patron of Bill's. I cant wear the suits but still have the ties and a pair of white bucks and brown florsheim imperials I bought in 1974. It was a rarity in the midwest; similar to the Andover and ceertain other eastern stores. Finally Bill was a character. I recall he made a kind of sweat band beret for tennis he modeled one Saturday. Ona given day there might be six men - Bill, Dick Gibson and others I knew -- selling suit. A great memory.
Samuel Clark (customer)
December 18th, 2012
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