Ronald D. Reiche, 84, a life-long resident of rural Edgar, Wi died on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at his home.
Ron was born on June 18th, 1935 in Wausau, Wi to Martin and Wanda (Winkert) Reiche. He started life on a small farm near the Rib River in the Town of Rib Falls, Marathon County, Wisconsin.
When he was 11 years old, his mother and father bought a small dairy farm on Cty Hwy H, three miles north of Edgar, WI.
Ron graduated from Edgar High School class of 1953. On June 18th, 1956 he married Jean Borchardt at St. John Lutheran Church Town of Wien.
Ron and Jean started their married life living in the upper apartment of his parents’ farmhouse. Ron helped his father on the farm while working as a welder at the former Wausau Iron Works. One memory from this time lingers: He always left for work in the morning with a sunny “Toodle Loo” to his children as he bolted out the door. We look back at how remarkable this was given that he was up at 4:30 am every morning to help his father milk the cows, then off to Iron Works all day, then returning to help with the evening milking.
In 1969, Ron and Jean purchased the family dairy farm and they began over 30 years of fulltime dairy farming and many years of ginseng farming,
In total, Ron lived on his beloved farm for over 73 years. In his later years this was made possible, in part, by the great help and care that he was given by neighbors Barb and Duane Rauen. Also, neighbors Nelson and Martha Weber were always willing to lend a hand when help was needed.
Ron served on the Edgar School Board for over 20 years. He also served on the Marathon County Special Education Board. He was an active member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, serving in various leadership positions over the years.
While we are sad to say goodbye to our Dad and Grandfather, we take a lot of comfort in how he spent the last month of his life. He enjoyed watching a fresh 10’ tall Christmas tree appear in his house, requesting that his favorite Christmas decorations be used – the “blue ones,” those that his wife loved. He had a wonderful last Christmas party at his house filled with almost all his entire family. He got a kick out of watching his 10-month-old great-grandson Lars pull ornaments off the Christmas tree. A week later, he attended the wedding of his grandson. His sister and her husband stopped for a visit, as did his neighbors. We got in one last evening of his favorite card game – Sheepshead. And he watched his Packers win a divisional playoff game – discussed thoroughly in phone conversations after. Hours before he passed, he shared a pizza dinner with his son Gary and daughter-in-law Sue.
So, while we mourn the passing of this old farmer, we give thanks for his life and his legacy. Rest in peace and “Toodle Loo,” Dad and Gramps.
Ron is survived by three children: Jayne (Kurtis) Rowe, Wausau; Jeff (Jill) Reiche, Edgar; and Gary (Sue) Reiche, Weston. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Matti (Betsy) Rowe, Longmont, CO; Britta Rowe, Madison, Wi; William (Elizabeth) Reiche, Oshkosh, Wi; Rebecca Reiche, Edgar, Wi; Andy Reiche (fiancé Kendra Kramer), Weston, Wi; Derek Reiche, Milwaukee, WI; and step-grandson Andy Rowe, West Allis, Wi. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren: Hadley Rowe and Lars Rowe, Longmont CO. Ron is also survived by one sister, Elaine (Ron) Hanke, Marathon, and sisters-in-law Betty (Gary) Walters and Pat Emon, Stratford.
Ron was preceded in death by his wife Jean on February 9th, 2014; his parents Martin and Wanda (Winkert) Reiche; mother and father-in-law William and Charlotte (Heppner) Borchardt; sister-in-law Carol Borchardt; and brother-in-law Robert Borchardt.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Edgar, Wi. Visitation will be held before the service from 9 a.m. until noon.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online Condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
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