Richard J. Kretschmer, age 58, of Merrill, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Richard was born February 17, 1958 in Merrill to the late Gerald & Dorothy (Carlson) Kretschmer. On October 3, 1981 he and Jodene Bahr were united in marriage at St. Johns Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine, Wisconsin. She survives.
Richard attended and graduated from Merrill Senior High School on June 3, 1976. He worked at Weinbrenner Shoe Factory for 36 years in the raw materials warehouse as a stock keeper. Richard enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Lake Alexander, where he loved swimming and cooking perfectly made hamburgers over the fire. He enjoyed hunting with family whom he loved spending as much time with as he could. Richard was an avid concert goer and found peace and relaxation in his music which he shared with his friends and family. He enjoyed listening to Rock N’ Roll music including Doors, Pink Floyd, Rush, Led Zepplin and Jimmy Hendrix, among many others, with Black Sabbath being his upmost favorite. Another favorite pastime was reading. Richard was a quiet man who made choices when he was ready. He was very genuine and had a kind soul. Richard was also a very detailed person in the things he enjoyed. He had a great sense of humor and was very witty and creative. Richard was a friend forever – no matter what, through thick and thin, he never left a friends side. He was proud that he was able to quit smoking and shared that success with his family. Richard was an easy-going, peaceful man who found the good in everyone. He was a loving person and a devoted father who was very proud of his children. Richard instilled a good work ethic in his children who were a true reflection of him. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 35 years: Jodene Kretschmer, Merrill; three children: Heather (Brandon Johnson) Kretschmer, Green Bay, Stephanie Kretschmer, Raleigh, NC, and Phillip Kretschmer, Merrill; one sister: Joann (Jeffery) Erickson, Kenosha, WI; four brothers: Gregory (Tina) Kretschmer, Gaylesville, AL, Paul Kretschmer, Merrill, Mark (Alescia) Kretschmer, Schaumburg, IL, and James (Debbie) Kretschmer, Stevens Point; father and mother-in-law: Vernon and Marlene Bahr; sister-in-law: Renell Bahr; brother-in-law: Shawn (Amy) Bahr; four nieces: Emily Erickson, Krystal (fiancé John) Kretschmer, Brandy Kretschmer and Caleigh Bahr; nephews: Jeremy (fiancé Caitlin) Kretschmer, Tanner Kretschmer, Tony Kretschmer, Josey Sockza, Steven Erdmann and Devin Bahr; family cat: “Tabbie”; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Dorothy Kretschmer.
Mass of Christian Burial for Richard will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, May 16, 2016 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Father Chris Kemp will officiate. Visitation will be from 4-8 PM Sunday, May 15 at Waid Funeral Home and again from 10AM Monday until the time of Mass at the church. Burial will follow in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery. The family has comfort knowing Richard was able to donate to the Blood Center of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Tissue Bank and the Lions Eye Bank. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be held at www.waidfuneral.com.
Richards family would like to express their thanks to the Merrill emergency team, the entire staff at Good Samaritan Hospital and Aspirus Wausau Hospital for the wonderful care they provided for Richard and his family.