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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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August 7, 2020

7/10/2020 7:29:00 AM
Gaetan Riopel

Gerry Riopel, 78, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on July 4, 2020. Gerry was born Gaetan A. Riopel, the oldest son of Lucien Riopel and Marie (LaCasse) Riopel in Hearst, Ontario on Sept. 17, 1941.

Lucien was head of timber operations for St. Regis Paper Company and moved his family to the Rhinelander headquarters in 1957.

Gerry graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1959, and continued his education at Northland College, later graduating from St. Norbert's College, De Pere.

He received advanced degrees from UW Milwaukee, and from Universidad de Americas in Mexico City, Mexico.

A well known real estate developer and Nicolet Area Technical College instructor, he was instrumental in the development of the Lincoln Street corridor including the Kohl's Plaza, Rouman Cinema, YMCA, First Weber Real Estate, Country Kitchen, Headstart Properties, and Rennes Rehab, in addition to numerous subdivisions and multifamily complexes.

Gerry loved the outdoors, grooming the roads at his hunting shack, and scouting out the next big berry patch.

He was devoted to his family, and is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 43 years, Michele (Kirsch) Riopel, daughters, Danielle (Eric) Sievert, Christianne (Patrick) Whiting, Leslie Riopel, and son, Michael (Jennifer) Riopel, and nine grandchildren who will miss their Papa.

Gerry was close to, and is survived by sisters Lucille Palm, Vivianne (Tom) Stevens, and brothers Andre (Kathy), Edmond (Becky), John (Kathy), Yves (Ruth), and Rob Riopel, and his many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and infant brother Guy.

Due to the pandemic, private family services for Gerry have been held. He will be laid to rest next to his parents in the Newbold Memorial Cemetery. You may leave your private condolences for the Riopel family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving Gerry's family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020
Article comment by: Brian Holmes

Gerry Riopel was remarkable. Strong, warm, human, perceptive, knowledgeable, humorous, full of life. If only more could be like him.

Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2020
Article comment by: Nancy Lehman [Danfield]

Just saw the obit for Jerry. My deepest sympathy, Lucy. You are in my prayers as I know how close you were. I am missing news now that we don't get together every month. Condolences to your family. Sending hugs your way.

Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Article comment by: wILLIAM RODD

still have many fond memoriea of awomnerful ski trip a fewyears ago to hurly, wi. and ironwood mich. love bill rodd

Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Article comment by: Lee Anderle

Dear Michelle,

I was saddened to hear of the loss of your husband Jerry. Please except my condolences to both you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this trying time in your life. I lost my wife of 43 years on 3-18-2020, so I know how hard this is for you right now. Take it one day at a time. You are in my thoughts.


Posted: Monday, July 13, 2020
Article comment by: Kathy Underwood

Michele, I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2020
Article comment by: don bettiga

so sorry to hear of gerry s passing
my sincere condolences to all of his family

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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