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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 28, 2020

9/9/2020 7:29:00 AM
Richard Nofftz

2020 has taken another great one!

Richard D. Nofftz - Born 5/21/37. Died 9/1/2020. Survived by wife Beverly, daughter Kathy, son Ken (Mary), grandchildren: Jesse, Morgan (Mitch), Jarett, Seth, Devyn, and Jacob and great-grandson Jasper; sister Paula (James) and their boys/families, brother-in-law, Lou (Shar) nephews, nieces, cousins and dear friends. Preceeded in death by his parents, Albert and Adella; his brother, Raymond, brother-in-law Andrew (Betty) and sister- in-law Elsie (Frank), and many aunts, uncles and cousins, his niece and several friends.

Richard was born in Joliet, Ill, the second of three children. He graduated in 1955 from Joliet Township High School.

While in high school, his friends nicknamed him "Snuffy." After high school, he attended Joliet Junior College, with a goal to join his father in the family-owned pharmacy. When he didn't pass chemistry, he joined the Army, where he spent time in Germany as a medic, which he truly enjoyed.

The summer between his high school and junior college year, Dick worked shift work in a steel mill. He always said, "I didn't know what I wanted to do for work, but I knew what I did not want to do." Shiftwork interfered with his time to play fastpitch softball, which he was a strong-armed pitcher.

It was his time playing fastpitch in Illinois where he acquired the nickname, "Bull".

After the Army, Dick found himself a job working for Northern Illinois Gas, working there for 11 years until he moved to Rhinelander to work for Wisconsin Public Service, from where he retired in 1998, after 28 years. He had a strong work ethic which he taught his children and maybe even a neighbor kid or two. He always said, "Give 'em a Good Eight."

But it was in 1965 that Dick asked Beverly, "Can you put up with me for the rest of your life?" and on Oct. 30, 1965, they were united in marriage. They had a nice brick bungalow in Joliet where Dick planted roses that were the envy of all who drove by. His love for gardening and beautiful flowers continued after moving up north. In 1970 Dick and Bev moved their family to the Great Northwoods. Together they provided a wonderful life for their children, grandchildren and themselves. They were known as the parents that always included the kids in cookouts, bonfires or whatever activities were going on.

Through work, Dick immediately got involved in fastpitch softball. Many great memories were made at Pioneer Park, pitching for Pabst, and his nickname "Big" was born. Dick enjoyed his work friends and ball playing friends and was always one to make sure everyone had a good time.

Dick taught us the love of family, be good to your neighbors and friends, and help someone in need. Foul language is inappropriate, especially around women and children. Watch out for the underdog and always give them a chance. Be kind, but don't tolerate any BS. Team sports were important to him for the lessons learned being part of a team. He coached Little League and let girls play on his team during a time when that wasn't happening. He instilled the love of the outdoors and travel to beautiful places. No one loved the sunshine more than Dick. Oh, and dance, he and Bev could certainly "cut a rug" and they shared that love of music and dance with their kids. He enjoyed life and he showed us how to live it to the fullest.

Dick absolutely loved being a grandpa. His grandchildren truly brought out the teddy bear in him and he loved spending time with them, letting them steer the pontoon, taking them fishing, or building snowmen. His biggest pride was in watching them playing their sports, whether it be track, baseball, basketball, or football. He and Bev traveled to attend Grandparent's Days at their school and went to as many school sports activities as they could, especially after his retirement.

He took great pride in their accomplishments and he was very proud of each of them. His greatest birthday gift came when his granddaughter, Morgan, was born on his birthday. It made his birthday that much more special, especially as he aged, being able to share it with his "Birthday Buddy."

His retirement took him and Bev to Sarasota, Fla. and Orange Beach, Ala. in the winter months. They had great times and made wonderful friendships while there. Summers were spent at home in Rhinelander and mostly out on the golf course at the Rhinelander Country Club, until his health began to deteriorate and he could no longer swing a club. It was then he simply enjoyed a ride around the course.

Dick was large in stature with a big personality, but he was quiet in deed. Many acts of kindness for others he did without notoriety. He was the first to lend a hand or orchestrate a big memory of fun at a wedding or event. He had an artistic side which he shared in decorating golf balls every year for the Fritz Open. He made seashell trees and frames for many from the shells he picked while walking the beach in Alabama. Some people may have drink chips he wood-burned for Bill and Mary's Bar or Judy's Twin Pines. He liked to cook and made pickled eggs for many during deer hunting or at Christmas. He could be quite the prankster, which often came out during deer hunting at the shack with the YY Gang. His favorite tongue twister was, "One Smart Fellow, he felt smart, two smart fellows, they felt smart, three smart fellows, they all felt smart." He told it time and time again without fail and laughed when others tried to say it.

The last two and a half years, Dick fought a courageous blood cancer battle, traveling to Wausau for chemo every six weeks. He always asked, "Can we take Hwy 17?" It was promised to him that his love for Hwy 17 would be mentioned in his obituary. He always said, "It's the best 20-mile stretch of highway in the whole state (from Rhinelander to Gleason). It has everything. It has water, woods, wildlife, and farmland - the best that Wisconsin has to offer. And it's a smooth road, too,"

His family, WPS work family and friends helped carry him through to his final days, and on Sept. 1, 2020 with his Bevvy holding his hand and his daughter by his side, Dick took his last breath. He loved his family, his friends and his neighborhood deer. At the time of his passing, four does and five fawns congregated in his front yard, as if to say goodbye. It was beautiful and peaceful. He is free from his struggles on Earth and with his Creator and family and friends that passed before him. Schlafen Gut Dad.

We would like to thank Dr. Furda, Dr. Maliske and Dr. Ahuja and all of the wonderful nurses, CNAs and staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Cancer Center, Dr. Landretti and Dr. Marren, and the nurses and lab staff at Aspirus Clinic in Rhinelander and Ascension Hospice at Home nurses, CNAs and staff. You all provided wonderful care to him and to us, his family.

A private graveside burial will take place this month at Northland Memorial Park. Memorials may be directed to Aspirus Cancer Center or Ascension at Home Hospice or a charity of your choice.

You may leave your private condolences for the Nofftz family at www.carlsonfh.com.

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Nofftz family.





Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Article comment by: Stefanie Hunt

Kathy: My prayers to you as you and your family grieve the loss of your father. What a beautiful tribute your family has penned in his honor! God bless



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