Obit: Kuchenbecker, Michael R. (1953 - 2004)

Contact: Kipp Kippenhan


----Source: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 edition of the Clark County Press

Michael R. Kuchenbecker

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

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. He moved to Neillsville his freshman year of high school in 1968 and graduated from Neillsville High in 1972. Michael completed three years of college education at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. In 1975, he moved back to Neillsville and began employment for the 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 of 2003.

Mike was very active with community work and volunteering with youth activities. He was a member of the 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 Rec. 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 has 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, 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 wife, 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; three sisters and five brothers, Mary Kuchenbecker, of Houston, Texas; Mark (Lynn) Kuchenbecker, of Rosenberg, Texas; Kent (Veronica) Kuchenbecker, of Winter Springs, Florida; 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 and sisters-in-laws and many nieces and nephews.

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

The Mass of Christian Burial was held June 4, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville. The Celebrant was the Very Reverend Woodrow H. Pace. Music was provided by Ronald Resong, organist; Wendell Attoe, soloist; and Kris Herbrand, organist; Corinne Armitage and Merrill Brunette vocalists; and St. Mary's Choir. Interment was in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Neillsville.

Casket bearers were Mike's brother and sisters.



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