Obituary for William Rifleman

William Noel Rifleman, 91, passed away peacefully under the care of Colonial Center Colby and St. Croix Hospice on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, where the visitation will be from 10:00 am until service time. Rev. Douglas Robertson will officiate. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the American Legion Post 54, outside of the church following the service. Rembs Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Bill was born July 3, 1928, to Herman and Helen (Strasser) Rifleman of Edgar, WI. He attended St. John’s School in Edgar and Edgar High School.

Bill worked at Mathiesen’s Bottling and Ice Cream in his youth before being drafted into the Army and serving in Pusan, Korea with the 114th Quarter Master Grave Registration and Body Escort Guard Duty from 1951-1953. He received an Honorable Discharge.

Upon returning home, Bill was employed at Marathon Electric in Wausau where he worked until retiring in August 1990. With retirement, Bill was fond of saying that he was busy with his “government job.”

Bill nearly avoided the complications and joys of marriage until he met Joanne (Lang, Wingert) and married her on November 4, 1989 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church. Bill lovingly stepped into not only the role of husband but father and grandfather also.

After his marriage, Bill left Edgar, WI where had he lived for 62 years and moved to Cedar Rail Court in Marshfield where he and Joanne were caretakers from 1990-2006.

Bill is survived by children Michele (Dennis) Gorke, Susan Thomas, John (Marisa) Wingert, Patrick Wingert, Mary (Wayne) Schulz, James (Jamie) Wingert, and Jeffrey (Trisha) Wingert. He is also survived by grandchildren Sarah Gorke (Tony Russo), Amanda (Joe) Diefenbach, Renon (Nikki) Thomas II, Tyrone (Jenny) Thomas Sr., Benjamin (Jenna) Wingert, Jacob (Emily) Wingert, Abbrielle Wingert, Brianah (Christopher) Laughnan, Ross Wingert, Raelynn Wingert, April (Jason Robb) Schulz, Bethany Schulz, Tracey Fox, Anne Marie Wingert, Spencer (Ashley Kopydlowski), Wesley (Courtney Jo Jagielski) Wingert, and Hannah Mason. He is further survived by great-grandchildren Rocco Russo, Renon Thomas III, Damien Thomas, Joseph Valentino, Tyrone Thomas Jr., Magnolia Wingert, Clementine Wingert, Isabelle Stinewal, Mason Laughnan, Carson Laughnan, and Conrad Fox.

Other survivors include Bill’s nieces and nephews Barbara Gottschalk, Carol Janke, Patricia (Robert) Schmirler, and Gail (Richard) Sjoquist; great nephews and nieces Steven Gottschalk, Robert Gottschalk, Michael Gottschalk, Sonja Sue Brown, and Tricia Long; in addition to many members of Joanne’s extended family.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife Joanne, his parents, a brother Douglas Rifleman, a sister and brother-in-law Lucille and Benjamin Gottschalk, and nephews William Gottschalk and Jerry Janke, son-in-law Renon Thomas I, and daughter-in-law Cathleen Wingert.

A special thanks to Tom and Cathie Shilts at A Touch of Home Marshfield and their staff for the care they provided to Bill and where Bill resided the last several years of his life.

We will remember Bill for his fascination with trains, UFOs, polkas, exotic countries, and his gentle kindness.

Memorials may be made to Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI.

Bill, every day is now “a better offer.”

News Desk
Author: News Desk

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