Macy has been waiting for her best buddy at the rainbow bridge. On April 15, 2023, Richard L. Kimpel, Sr. took her leash in hand and they crossed the rainbow bridge together.
Richard passed at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, WI at 9:30pm on Saturday. He was born on October 1, 1943, in Fond du Lac, WI where he lived most of his life. He married the former Linda Hunt on December 7, 1967, Pearl Harbor Day, at the newly built Newman Center at UW-Oshkosh.
Richard and Linda spent most of their married life and raised their children in Fond du Lac, WI. In 2015, he and Linda moved to the La Crosse area to be near their first grandbabies, twins Tobias and Elias.
At age 17, Richard joined the US Marine Corps, an experience which had a strong influence on him for the rest of his life. As a part of the invasion forces during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he did not think he would see another birthday. (Thank you President Kennedy for bringing it to an end.)
In the USMC, Richard learned a lifelong skill of truck driving which he loved. He drove for a number of local businesses. Over time, he also worked in several factories and in construction.
“Once a Marine always a Marine” is so very true. Richard was a charter member of the McCullen-Kimpel Marine Corps League in Fond du Lac. He never met a Marine he could not BS with!
In his later years, Richard was unable to drive due to numerous strokes and dementia. However, he was a very involved, but not always appreciated, back-seat driver.
Richard had a giving heart, always there if someone needed help. He was the general contractor, ladder climber, and overall boss of our family cabin in the woods. It is a place he loved to go and often shared with family and friends who needed a break.
Richard and Linda did both respite care and foster care for almost 30 years. He had a tender heart for those with intellectual disabilities.
Richard loved sports - all sports - from football, to car racing, to women’s mud wrestling. If you saw him watching TV, he looked like he was playing video games with a remote in each hand, going from sport to sport - not wanting to miss a single touchdown, basket, or goal. He loved watching his sons and grandsons play sports, sometimes needing a level-headed person to keep him in line!
Although very quiet and shy as a young man, that all changed once Richard started clowning with his friend, George. He was proud of his time at Clown Camp and had the time of his life. A couple of clown personalities developed including 8 Ball and Scratch. He turned into a social butterfly, for sure, charming little old ladies with a hug and babies with a smile and silly faces. His family joked that he lost his filter years ago.
Richard leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Linda; his son Richard (Ric) Kimpel, Jr. of La Crosse, WI; daughter Dawn (Jennifer Gerzema) Kimpel and their twins, Tobias & Elias of Holmen, WI; and his son Tyler (Amanda) Kimpel and their son Leo of Fond du Lac, WI. He also leaves behind his brothers: Don (Linda) Kimpel of Sheboygan, WI; David (Sheri) Kimpel of Ormond Beach, FL; and Gary (Diana Traver) Kimpel of Fond du Lac, WI. Additionally, he leaves behind his brothers-in-law: Paul (Valerie) Hunt of Fond du Lac; and Dan (Wendy) Hunt of Fond du Lac.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents Harvey and Margaret (Stiel) Kimpel; brother Pfc. Philip J. Kimpel, US Marine Corps (Vietnam); brother and sister-in-law Gene and Marg Stiel; sister-in-law Teresa Kimpel; and in-laws Earl T. and Edna Mae Hunt.
Visitation will be held at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home from 2pm to 6pm on Sunday, April 23, 2023. A Memorial Service will be held at Chapel of the Risen Christ Mausoleum, Calvary Cemetery - 686 Fond du Lac Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI - on Monday, April 24, 2023, at 11am. Interment will follow the service in the Mausoleum.
Memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org or to Wounded Warriors at woundedwarriorproject.org.
Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com