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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 16, 2018

Vanzo
Vanzo
8/4/2018 7:30:00 AM
Ralph Vanzo

Ralph Vanzo, 90, died peacefully at King Veterans Home on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Stambaugh, Mich., on Sept. 19, 1926, to Turin and Anne (White) Vanzo.

Even at a young age, Ralph was an avid fisherman. As often as possible, he headed out after school and work with his fly fishing gear to catch some "brownies" or rainbow trout for dinner. Later on, there were the annual treks to Canada with his sons to catch "the big one". Stories were told of great feasts along the shoreline.

Immediately following high school, Ralph joined the Navy to serve his country in World War II (1944-1946). He graduated from Central Michigan University with a teaching certificate and taught high school physical education and history in Michigan for 20 years. He thoroughly enjoyed coaching all sports and found special satisfaction when he was able to coach his own children throughout all of their years in sports. Ralph especially excelled with his Marine Corps Youth Physical Fitness teams, winning numerous national championships for Rochester High School (Rochester, Mich.). In 1972 he moved his family to Rhinelander and owned/operated House of Sports until 1980. After numerous years of substitute teaching within the Rhinelander school district, he officially retired and was able to dedicate himself to his passion of bread baking. There was never just one loaf in the oven, but rather eight, 10, or often 12. He so enjoyed giving the fresh warm bread away to family and friends. His breadsticks and orange rolls were famous and often the request of all who knew him.

Though "Toe the Line" was the household rule, he was a wonderful, caring, and engaging Dad, Grandpa, and Papa to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was a large presence that will be missed each and every day.

Ralph is survived by his devoted wife and mother of his eight children, Jean (Wittock) Vanzo; his daughters Patricia Vanzo, Shirley (Joe) Roque, Sue (Dan) Wadzinski, Brenda (Dave) Robinson, Karen (Scott Johnson) Vanzo; his sons Bruce (Susan) Vanzo, David (Barrie) Vanzo, Ken (Beth) Vanzo; nine grandchildren: Patrick (Carine Cartwright) Vanzo, Derrick (Mary) Vanzo, Greg (Katie Leaf) Pokorski, Steven Pokorski, Erica Wadzinski, Adam Wadzinski, Sam Vanzo, Rebekah Vanzo, Alex Vanzo; four great-grandchildren Ellie, Harper, Brooklyn, and Adeline; numerous nieces, nephews, other family, and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and parents- in-law (Ed and Josie Wittock), two sisters, three brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law, and two nephews.

A celebration of Ralph's life will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Pine Lake Town Hall. You may leave your private condolences for the Vanzo family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Vanzo family.





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