On Monday, April 24, 2017, Radford Reither, age 81, passed away peacefully at the House of the Dove, in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He spent his final days surrounded by his loved ones and a wonderful staff who had become very dear to him over the past three months. His final days with cancer ended with great dignity and love.
Radford, son of Severt and Margaret (Berglin) Reither was born on February 24, 1936, in Aitkin, Minnesota. His early education took place in a one-room schoolhouse in Bennettville, Minnesota. He graduated from Aitkin High School in 1954 and went on to college at Gustavus Adolphus, where he played football and received a degree in Physical Education. After graduating from college, Radford joined the United States Army, where he served for three years in Germany and France and played on the Army Football Team. Upon leaving the military in 1962, Rad went to Denver, Colorado, and played professional football for the Broncos for one season. When an injury cut his professional football career short, Rad remained in Colorado, teaching for one year.
His teaching career brought him back to Minnesota, where he taught and coached in Morristown and Kerkoven. While teaching in Morristown, Radford met and married Carol (Flicek). Together, they raised five children. In 1970, they moved to Melrose, Wisconsin, to an old farmhouse that Rad renovated for his growing family when he wasn't coaching and teaching. It was during his time in Melrose that Radford decided to return to military service, joining the Army National Guard. He would serve in the Guard for 20 years. In 1979, Rad, Carol and the kids made their way to Neillsville. This would be the final move of many for Rad. There he taught Phy Ed and Health and coached football until retiring in 1997.
After retirement, Rad enjoyed years of golfing, traveling back to Minnesota, and enjoying any and all sporting events on television. He especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in sports. He also enjoyed spending time shaking dice, visiting with people, and drinking cappuccino from Kwik Trip. In recent times, Rad discovered the York Center United Methodist Church, where Pastor Patsy, her husband Dan, and the vibrant congregation welcomed him with open arms. It was there that Radford grew to know the love of God in a deeper way, shown to him through the teachings, love, and fellowship of this small country church, just nine miles from Rad's home.
Rad is survived by four children, Gary (Kathy) Reither, Sheila (Jordan) Skiff, Loree (Alan) Nauertz, and Jeffrey (Laura) Reither, his ex-wife, Carol, 28 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his dear friend, Mary Hartung. He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers (Ben and Frank), two sisters (Darlene and Mina), son Matthew Reither, and grandson, Isaiah Reither.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to York Center United Methodist Church, (N5889 County Road K, Granton, Wisconsin, 54436) or House of the Dove (1000 W. 11th Street, Marshfield, Wisconsin, 54449).
Visitation will be held from 9:00-10:30 AM on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1813 Black River Road, Neillsville, Wisconsin.
Funeral service, led by Pastor Patsy Roe, will follow at 10:30 AM.
Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.
The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Radford's family with Funeral arrangements.