Richard "Humpy" R. Marsolek, 71, of Independence, died Monday, January 18, 2016 at Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire, following a long battle with diabetes complications and kidney dialysis.
Richard was born January 22, 1944 in Whitehall to Albert A. and Pauline (Marsolek) Marsolek. He married Elizabeth “Betty” Waldera August 17, 1968 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Arcadia.
Rich lived his early life in Independence. He was a 1962 graduate of Independence High School. Following high school, Rich was inducted into the service of his country in 1965. Rich proudly served in South Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division of the US Army and was a member of Sura-Wiersgalla American Legion Post 186 of Independence. As a proud veteran, Rich decorated the graves of military veterans in SS Peter and Paul cemetery for 30 years.
Following his military service, Rich worked construction in Milwaukee and La Crosse. He was a proud union worker, a member of the Laborers’ International Union Local 140.
In 1968, Rich married the love of his life, Betty. Rich and Betty shared 47 wonderful years together, raising three sons. During their life together, Rich enjoyed traveling to visit relatives in North Dakota and trips to Branson, Nashville and Memphis; as well as sharing memories with relatives at the farm on North Creek Road. Rich’s signature hobby was to pick out hickory nuts, which he then shared with family and friends.
Rich doted on his grandchildren, who called him “Papa.” The kids could always count on Papa having M&Ms to fill their pockets on every visit. On special occasions, Rich was sure to send a card with a gift. Rich’s sons often reflected on how the grandkids got away with behavior that they never would have.
Rich was best known for two things: his generosity and his wit. Rich would give to anyone in need, but never wanted recognition for it. Everyone who knew Rich will remember him for his sense of humor. He was always ready with a one-liner, and could remember and tell jokes better than anyone. Because Rich would appreciate being remembered for his ability to make us laugh, there will be a book available at his service to share any “Rich-isms” you remember.
Richard is survived by his wife, Betty Marsolek of Independence; three sons, Dale (Jeri) Marsolek of Galesville, Craig “Moose” (Traci) Marsolek of Strum and Patrick (Tracy) Marsolek of Elk Creek; ten grandchildren, Alec, Jack (Chelsie), Avrie, Madison, Ainsley, Carin, CJ, Max, Sam and Ace Marsolek; sister Elizabeth “Betty” Halama of Independence and sister-in-law, Vickie Marsolek of Whitehall.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, infant Theresa Marsolek and Rose Kampa and brother, Dominic Marsolek; as well as two brothers-in-law, Ray Halama and Lawrence Kampa Sr., and a nephew Stanley Halama.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 22, 2016 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Independence, with Very Rev. Woodrow H. Pace officiating. Burial, with military rites, will be in the church cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. followed by a rosary, at Edison Funeral Home, Independence, and one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, Rich requested that in his memory we perform a good deed for someone in need or memorials may be sent to the SS Peter and Paul Church Restoration Fund.
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