Richard E. Smith, May 12, 1945 - August 30, 2018

Richard E. Smith
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Richard E.Smith, age 73, of Altoona, Wisconsin, passed away Thursday, August 30, 2018, with his daughters by his side.  Richard was born May 12, 1945, in Granton, Wisconsin, and spent his early years on his family’s farm.

He completed boot camp between his junior and senior years of high school, graduating in 1963.  Richard served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Albany from June 1964 to May 1966.  After completing his service, he began a 35 year career with AT&T as an electronics technician.

Richard had a strong connection to nature and appreciated its sacred beauty.  Gardening and sailing were two of his favorite pastimes.  He was also a fantastic baker and cook, taking great pride in his creations.  He was a talented mechanic and builder who enjoyed working on his cars and completing carpentry projects.  Richard was an avid reader with a special interest in politics and philosophy, who relished a good conversation or debate.  He was a mentor to many.

He is survived by his loving daughters Katie (John) Sczepanski, Kim Burgard, Colleen (Jon) Robash; his brothers Jerry (Bev) Smith and Charles Smith; his grandchildren Lauren, Erica, Owen, Ian, Logan, Thurston, and Margaux; as well as his extended family and friends.

Richard’s daughters would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Dr. Storlie; Mayo home hospice, especially Kassie, Nikki, and Evelyn; Osseo Mayo hospital; and Tomah VA hospice.  You all found a unique way to connect with him and provide him comfort.

Memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Eau Claire with Pastor Tim Heupel officiating. Military honors rendered by Amercian Legion Post #53 will take place immediately following the service at the funeral home.  Memorial visitation will take place at the funeral home on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until the time of service.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Marilyn (Garbisch) Johnson September 14, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. Richards family moved next door to my family in Granton. At that time he and Charles were the only ones still at home. He was always so great to talk to. Kind and interested in everyone. Hope your memories ease your grief.

  2. joyce garbisch opelt September 11, 2018

    Missed him at the Granton alumni reunion this year. used to ice skate at the Granton rink in the winter. He would come into town with his Dad on friday nites. So sorry for your loss.. .

  3. Monique (Carpentier) McHenry September 6, 2018

    Katie,Kim and Colleen,
    Please accept my words of sympathy in your most difficult time. Your Dad was a man of many different facets, true to his beliefs but also brave enough to be an individual in this world of imposters. I personally appreciated his rebel spirit,the kind and gentle way he lead his life was a good example of thoughtfulness and depth of character. I don’t have any words to take your pain and loss away, but know that he will never be forgotten in my heart.
    Prayers and love, Monique

  4. Jim and Linda Elbert September 6, 2018

    God Bless, Lord be with Richards family and friends. He made a great Gumbo.

  5. carol benrud September 5, 2018

    We at Benrud Rentals would like to express our sympathy to the family for the loss of Richard. He was a wonderful, loyal tenant of ours who loved to "kibitz" when he dropped off his rent. We are sorry for your loss. Please accept our condolences. Carol Benrud and Scott Ihrke

  6. Bob Dorchester September 2, 2018

    Sorry to hear about “Smithy” passing. Have fond memories of our times together, One of the good guys.

  7. Jenn Kilmurray September 1, 2018

    I've had the pleasure of knowing Richard over the last 6 years. He was a continuous bright spot with wit and wisdom. May he rest in peace. I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to know him.

  8. cindy dial September 1, 2018

    Richard was very generous and kind to me. When I arrived at my first Brown Bag meeting as an out of town visitor, Richard gave me a BigBook -- just offered it to me. Once I moved to EC, we became friends through the club and through the EC Dems. He loved to talk politics with me, even when I was in a hurry and had to leave. I wish I was in EC now; I would love to attend his funeral. My thoughts are with his family.