Obit: Van Gorden, Richard H. “Dick” (1925 - 2016)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Van Gorden, Fremstad, North, Olson, Kopp, Minor, Colburn, Stone, Dierauer, Rueth, Anderson

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 12/28/2016

Van Gorden, Richard Humphrey “Dick” (26 May 1926 – 20 December 2016) With Flag

Dick Van Gorden, 91, of Neillsville, died Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, at the Care & Rehab Center – Neillsville.

Richard Humphrey Van Gorden was born May 26, 1925, in Alma Center, the son of Archie and Hazel Fremstad) Van Gorden. He attended the first through 11th grades in Neillsville and graduated from St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield in 1943. He entered U. S. Army training in Texas, assigned to ski troops in 1944. He trained in mountain warfare at Camp Hale in Colorado then a detached assignment to advanced radio school at Fort Benning, GA. He returned to Regimental Headquarters 87th Infantry 10th Mountain Division in December 1944. He landed at the Bay of Naples, Italy, on Christmas Day 1944, served in combat as communications N.C.O. from Apennines through Po Valley and into the Alps of Italy. He then served in Triest and Upine, Yugoslavia, with occupational forces to the end of WWII. Dick received the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious service in Torbole, Italy, in 1945. He also received the 6th Service Command Rifle Team Award, Unit Presidential Citation, Combat Service Ribbons, and Combat Infantry Badge. He was honorably discharged in 1945. In 1951, he was married to Patricia North. They later divorced in 1954. He was united in marriage to Janet Olson June 19, 1957, in Greenwood.

When he came back to Neillsville, he returned to his business partnership with his brother and best friend, Heron “Pink” in feed and fertilizer production, serving central Wisconsin agriculture. Dick was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church. He served as president of the Kiwanis Club, president of the Neillsville Library Board, served as a scout master and was a member of the Wisconsin Fertilizer Association, in which he served 50 years with two terms on the board of directors and one term as president.

Dick enjoyed hunting and skiing in Wisconsin and throughout the mountains in western United States, Canada, and the Yukon Territory.

He is survived by his wife, Janet; four children, Nancy (Tim) Kopp of Neillsville, Peggy (Gary) Minor of Pittsville, Holly Van Gorden and Tamara (Art Colburn) Van Gorden-Stone; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two children, Bill Van Gorden and Sandy Van Gorden; a brother, Heron “Pink” Van Gorden; and a sister, Cyrena Dierauer.

Funeral services for Dick will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Neillsville. Pastor Chad Anderson will officiate. Music will be provided by Jodi Rueth, organist. Interment will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery with the Neillsville Veteran’s Council performing Military Honors.

Casket bearers are: Tim Kopp, Joe Kopp, John Kopp, Gary Minor, Bill Minor, and Tara Minor.

Online condolences may be made at  The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Dick’s family with funeral arrangements.



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