Obit: Kuchenbecker, Michael (1953 - 2004)

Contact: Crystal Wendt


----Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood County, Wis.) Wed. 1 June 2004

Kuchenbecker, Michael (3 Dec. 1853 - 31 May 2004)

Michael R. Kuchenbecker

NEILLSVILLE - Michael Kuchenbecker, 50, of Neillsville peacefully passed away at his home on Monday, May 31, 2004.

The Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, June 4, 2004, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville. The celebrant will be the Very Rev. Woodrow H. Pace. Music will be provided by Ronald Resong, organist, Wendell Attoe soloist, Corrine Armitage, soloist, and St. Mary's Choir. Interment will be in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Neillsville. Casket Bearers are Mike's brothers and sisters.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. A vigil service will be held at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Michael Ray Kuchenbecker was born on Dec. 3, 1953, in Marshfield, the son of William and Rita (Zirngibl) Kuchenbecker. He obtained his elementary education at St. Mary's Catholic Grade School in Greenwood, moved to Neillsville his freshman year of high school in 1968, and graduated from Neillsville High in 1972. He had three years of college education at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse. In 1975, he moved back to Neillsville and began employment with Clark County Highway Department. He served as their union secretary/treasurer for many years. He was united in marriage to Karen Gross, his high school sweetheart, on July 24, 1976. In January 1998, Mike became the Highway Patrol Superintendent, and in June 2000 was promoted to a newly designed position as Operations Manager of which he held until his illness prevented him to continue working in November 2003.

Mike was very active with community work and volunteering with youth activities. He was a member of Neillsville Men's Club. He served as the project leader when it came to updates to playground equipment and other needs at the Tock Baseball Field and Park. Mike was the cub master and den leader for the Boys Scout Pack 43 from 1990-1996. He also volunteered his coaching skills to various recreation department sports including both little league and big league baseball and 4-H volleyball. Mike never missed any of his kids' games.

Mike was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville. He had been a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, enjoyed being a lector and served on miscellaneous committees.

Mike loved to golf, cross-country ski, hunt turkeys and deer, go camping and take family vacations, and he especially enjoyed fishing trips to the Boundary Waters with his brothers and sister. He also loved just spending time with his family and friends. Mike was known as a classic "do-it-yourself handyman." There wasn't a construction project that he couldn't take on and master to his perfection. This was seen particularly in the renovations done to his 100-year-old home.

Mike's kind and gentle spirit carried him through his journey of life, even through the failings of his body that he encountered from the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

He is survived by his high school sweetheart, Karen; two sons, Adam Kuchenbecker of Minneapolis, Minn., and Jared Kuchenbecker of Oshkosh; one daughter, Megan Kuchenbecker of Appleton; his parents, William and Rita Kuchenbecker of Neillsville; and three sisters and five brothers, Mary Kuchenbecker of Houston, Texas, Mark (Lynn) Kuchenbecker of Rosenberg, Texas, Kent (Veronica) Kuchenbecker of Winter Springs, Fla., Jim (Pat) Kuchenbecker of Channahon, Ill., Bob (Brigit) Kuchenbecker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bill (Sheila) Kuchenbecker of Verona, Nancy (Loren) Foemmel of Waterloo, Iowa, and Karen (Elwin) Mehlbrech of Aurora, Ill. Mike is also survived by his mother-in-law, Alice Gross of Neillsville; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Carol Kuchenbecker, in 1980.



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