Posted: Wed 4:45 PM, Nov 28, 2012
Funeral Home: Brainard
Richard K. (“Rick”) Semling of Wausau, WI, found peace and rest when he joined his Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday, November 25, 2012.
Rick was born on October 14, 1954 in Merrill, Wisconsin. He was the son of the late John (“Jack”) and Faye (Rutte) Semling. Rick graduated from Merrill High School in 1973 and from Ripon College with a degree in Business Management in 1977. He later earned an MBA from The College of St. Thomas in 1985.
Rick met Sharon-Diane Wesslund while they were attending Ripon College. They were married on June 7, 1980 in Elmhurst, IL. Sharon feels blessed to have shared 32 years of marriage with this devoted, kind soul who will always be the love of her life.
Rick, who was Director of Sales and Marketing, gave 35 years of dedicated and loyal service to the Semling-Menke Company, Inc., aka SEMCO Windows and Doors.
Sports were always a big part of Rick’s life. In high school, he was known not only for being an accomplished student, but being a disciplined athlete. Rick was on the golf team which placed in the state tournament in 1972 and 1973. He lettered in basketball in his sophomore year and was one of the point leaders of the 1972 team who were regional champions. Rick earned his letter in football and was an offensive stand out on the 1972 team who at the time achieved the most wins in school history. Rick was a proud member of the Merrill Silver M Club. He also enjoyed coaching youth basketball teams, including those of his siblings and sons. Rick was a big Wisconsin sports fan and enjoyed cheering on the Packers, Badgers, and Brewers. He was also proud to support his brother’s UW-Stevens Point men’s basketball team, attending many games.
Like his father, Rick always had a gentle, warm, sincere way about him. He loved his family and friends so much and always took great interest in how everyone was doing. Rick was very unique in that while he was extremely genuine and compassionate, he also had a great sense of humor, often teasing those around him and endearingly giving many of them (sometimes strange) nicknames. He was encouraging to people during times of struggle and will be remembered for his warm embraces, as well as, the heartening pats on the back that he loved to give. Newcomers to the family always enjoyed feeling so welcomed and cared for by Rick, a perfect example of his warmth and sincerity, no matter who the person was.
Helping others was important to Rick throughout his life. He was an active member of his church, braved the cold with Sharon every year ringing bells for the Salvation Army, and was a dedicated Red Cross blood donor. In addition to coaching youth basketball teams, he also supported his many nieces and nephews by attending sports activities and concerts. He consistently demonstrated support for his nieces’ interest in dance by attending many dance recitals. Rick also always made it a point to do things to make people feel special, including taking his nephew, with whom he shared a birthday, out to eat for an annual birthday lunch.
Above all, Rick will be remembered for being such a loving husband, son, father, brother, uncle, and friend to those around him. His compassion, warmth, and humor will be greatly missed.
Rick is survived by his wife, Sharon-Diane, and his children, Eric (Nicole), Kevin, and Kurt, all of Wausau. He is also survived by his mother, Faye (Rutte) Semling of Merrill and mother-in-law, Erika Wesslund, of Wausau. Rick is further survived by his brothers and sisters, Mike Semling, Linda Peterson, Pat Semling, Julie (Jim) Mootz, all of Merrill, Bob (Kathy) Semling, of Plover, and Susan (Dean) Zimmerman, of De Pere. Additionally, he is survived by 18 nieces and nephews, three great-nephews, his Godparents (Uncle Alan and Aunt Marie Malm), Godchildren (Jon Zimmerman, Kate Peterson, and Connor Mootz), Aunt Virginia Harding Reynolds, Aunt Rosemary Rutte, as well as many cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, John (“Jack”) Semling, his father-in-law, Richard (“Dick”) Wesslund, maternal grandparents, Joe and Edna Rutte, and paternal grandparents, Emil and Mae Semling.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The American Cancer Society, Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, or supporting local youth sporting activities.
Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 930 Edgewood Road, Wausau. Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00pm on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, and again on Sunday from 2:30 p.m. until the time of services at the church.
The family would like to thank the many care providers at Aspirus Regional Cancer Center, Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Homecare, and Hospice House for their ongoing dedication and compassionate, respectful care throughout this difficult journey.
On-line condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com