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Richard R. Vorpahl, 74, of Eau Claire, WI, surrounded by his loving wife and sons, went to be with the Lord on October 15, 2022, after courageously battling cancer for several years.
He was born April 28, 1948, to Howard and Kathlyn (Casper) Vorpahl in Sheboygan, WI. He grew up on the family farm near Kiel, WI, which instilled in him an outstanding work ethic and taught him the value of committing to excellence and a job well done. He deeply appreciated music; beginning as a teen, he played trombone in the Kiel Municipal Band for several years. Richard graduated from New Holstein High School in 1966. He attended Lakeland College in Plymouth, WI, where he played in the band and discovered his passion for the industry that would become his career, food service.
He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Barbara V. Dedering, on October 11, 1969. In the 53 years of marriage they shared, they remained committed to one another in times of both blessing and adversity, building a life they loved and raising two cherished sons, Scott and Steve.
Richard and Barb began their life together in LaCrosse, WI, where he worked in food service at UW-LaCrosse and was later employed as the deli manager at the LaCrosse SuperValu. In 1975, Richard accepted a position as the deli and restaurant manager at Randall Foods in Eau Claire, WI, and the family relocated. He worked at Randall Foods for 27 years, until the store closed in 2002. Richard was then employed as the deli manager at an Eau Claire Gordy’s Market until his retirement in 2013.
The first of two hobbies he had great zeal for in life was the art of woodworking. An extraordinarily talented master woodworker, he skillfully and meticulously produced many beautiful pieces in his lifetime, which are now an enduring part of his legacy. The second was his interest in aviation. He found immense satisfaction in building and flying RC model airplanes and spending time on the flying field. He was a member of the Chippewa Falls Model Airplane Club (CFMAC) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and regularly attended the yearly airshow in Oshkosh, WI.
Richard was a hard worker and dedicated provider. A natural leader and motivated problem-solver, he was resourceful, always had new ideas, and embraced opportunities and challenges with enthusiasm, all being evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit he possessed. He was continually interested in learning and loved to read; he particularly enjoyed history. He had a wide range of knowledge and took pleasure in teaching and helping others by imparting his wisdom. People often sought his advice and expertise on many topics. He was also generous with his talents and abilities, often ambitiously putting them to use on volunteer projects, and he was always looking for opportunities to bless others through them.
Richard’s foremost desire for those whom he loved, especially his family, was that they experience the best, most favorable outcome in every situation in life. Friends and family who knew and loved him will greatly miss the sincere interest he took in their lives, always remembering the details and checking in, inquiring about how things were going, trying to determine if there was anything he might be able to do or offer to help that “best” to be achieved.
Richard is survived by his wife, Barbara; his children, Scott (Kelly) Vorpahl of Fort Wayne, IN, and Steven (Jennifer) Vorpahl of Chippewa Falls, WI; his grandchildren, Janessa Vorpahl of Altoona, WI, Zachary Vorpahl of Fort Wayne, IN, Daxton Vorpahl of Chippewa Falls, WI, and Kira Vorpahl of Fort Wayne, WI; his siblings, James (Bonnie) Vorpahl of Kiel, WI, Kathie Powers of Vienna, VA, and Mary Vorpahl of Dumfries, VA; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gilbert and Marian (Gumm) Dedering of Kiel, WI; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roger and Janise Dedering of Kiel, WI. He was preceded in death by his mother, Kathlyn (Casper) Vorpahl, his father, Howard Vorpahl, and a brother-in-law, David Powers.
A memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2022, at Peace Church in Eau Claire, WI. Memorial visitation will take place at the church on Friday from 1 p.m. until the time of service. For live streaming, please go to this link at the time of the service: https://boxcast.tv/view/richard-vorpahl-funeral--october-21-2022-b5nlf0jqsx3igdmsklt0
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be to the Eau Claire chapter of Feed My People Food Bank.
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