In Memoriam: Richard Lee Koberg, 1941-2023

ACT sadly reports that the founder of DICA, Richard “Dick” Koberg, 82, passed away on June 27, 2023.

Richard “Dick” Lee Koberg, 82, son of Clarence and Luetta (Friederichs) Koberg, was born February 25, 1941, in Durant, IA. He passed away Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the Guthrie County Hospital, Guthrie Center, IA.

Richard “Dick” Lee Koberg

Known affectionately as DK, Richard “Dick” Koberg, 82, and his wife Carolyn founded DICA using the first two letters of their first names.

After an early career selling life insurance and working for and owning a local Chevrolet dealership, his love for equipment led him to an opportunity with a manufacturer of fiberglass mobile veterinary bodies. The company was looking to expand into the electric utility industry. It was during this time that a utility fleet manager asked, “Can you build me a better outrigger pad?” Seeking a solution, Koberg began working on testing various designs and material formulations. The company delivered its first of these outrigger pads in 1988. This was the beginning of the DICA story.

“DK created an engineered solution to a problem that had long been overlooked in many industries—whether it was asking lineworkers to re-purpose cross arms or crane operators to set up on cable reel ends,” said Kerry Koberg. “There was a growing awareness that outrigger pads should provide a foundation of support for outrigger-enabled equipment. Through his contribution to the industry, employers no longer have to skimp with homemade solutions.”

Like many entrepreneurs and inventors, the early years of the company were operated out of the family garage in Carroll, IA. Later, the company had stints in neighboring towns, before settling into its present-day location near Des Moines.

“One of Dad’s favorite events was the Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Council, and he was honored when the company was invited to participate in the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference,” added Kerry Koberg. “His presence at ICUEE, now the Utility Expo, goes all the way back to its early days in Kansas City, and he had a long history with the Tree Care Industry Association, World of Concrete and ConExpo-Con/Agg.”

“Dad placed a high value on family and taught us the importance of building lasting relationships—not just with our family, but also with employees and customers,” said Kevin Koberg.

Today, the family business includes the three Koberg brothers. Kris has led the company as CEO since 2014. Kerry joined the company in 2004 and worked closely with his father to expand into the crane market. He is currently the strategic accounts manager and works alongside his wife, Kelly, as inside sales manager. Kevin joined the team in 2009. He served as marketing director for many years and was recently promoted to a strategic sales position. Daughter Katie and Dick’s wife Carolyn serve on the Board of Directors.

(Left to right) Kris Koberg, Dick Koberg, Carolyn Koberg, Kevin Koberg and Kerry Koberg.

Koberg enjoyed playing golf and card games, especially with his family. He also loved captaining boat rides at Lake Panorama, where he and his wife Carolyn made their home in later life. He cherished his grandchildren and loved taking them on golf cart rides and sharing ice cream together. He was also well known to enjoy a Boulevard Wheat beer and frequently raised his glass in a heartfelt salute to say, “Thank you to all of our wonderful customers.”

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Koberg of Panora; sons, Kris (Laura) Koberg of Cedar Rapids; Kevin (Joy) Koberg of College Grove, TN; & Kerry (Kelly) Koberg of Earlham; and daughter, Katie Koberg of Dallas, TX; Grandchildren, Conner, Cade, Kelsey, Presley, Piper, Jackson, Ava, and Andrew; siblings, Duane (Jan) Koberg of Sammamish, WA; Chuck (Patty) Koberg of Folsom, CA; and Marcia (David) Schuett of Durant, IA. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister-in-law Ruth Marie Holmquist.

DICA will have a salute to DK the week of July 17. To share a tribute to Dick Koberg, please use the hashtag #DKisDICA. To express condolences or make a memorial contribution, read the obituary here


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