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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 2, 2022

8/5/2022 5:29:00 AM
Eugene "Gene" Robert Rio

Eugene Robert Rio, 73, of Harshaw, passed away on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Gene was born in Chicago on Aug. 15, 1948, to James F. and Beverly (Bruggeman) Rio. He was raised in Chicago and Villa Park, Ill. In 1973 he was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Colby at St. Pius X Catholic Church. The couple lived in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Gene was employed as a Union Pipefitter. In the early 1980s Gene, his father, and two brothers started their own Mechanical Contracting Company called Vario Mechanical. They owned this business until the late 2000s.

In 2007 Gene and Mary Ellen permanently moved to Harshaw. He was the current Town Chairman for Cassian, holding this office for the past two years. Gene was a lifetime member of the Pipefitters Union Local #597.

He enjoyed fishing, motor sports, including snowmobiling, ATV riding, and off-road driving. He will be dearly missed by his father, James Rio of Texas; son, Anthony (Sarah) Rio of Rhinelander; two brothers, Jeffrey (Claudia) Rio of Wisconsin, Douglas (Jackie) Rio of Illinois; sister, Jamie Rio of New Jersey; companion, Janice Scheeler of Rhinelander, and a sister- in-law, BJ Gregory of Illinois. Also surviving are nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother and his wife, Mary Ellen.

A celebration of Gene's life will take place at a later date.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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