Obit: Smrecek, Ralph J. Sr. (1938 – 2018)


Surnames: Smrecek, Pietka, Steponik, Schroeder, Smith, Kowald, Hills, Brinkman, Huettl, Stanislaus

Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, WI) 21 Nov 2018

Smrecek, Ralph J. Sr. (14 APR 1938 – 21 NOV 2018)

Ralph J. Smrecek Sr., 80, Greenwood, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, at the Marshfield Medical Center. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Friday, Nov. 30, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenwood. Rev. Leo Stanislaus will officiate, and burial will follow in Holy Family Catholic Cemetery in Willard. Pallbearers will be Ken Smith, Luke Smith, Doug Hills, Kade Smrecek, Dale Smrecek and Chris Huettl. Visitation will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 4-8 p.m., with a 7:45 p.m. Knights of Columbus rosary service. Visitation will also be held at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until time of service.

Ralph John Smrecek was born on April 14, 1938, in Willard, to John and Eva (nee Pietka) Smrecek. He was raised on the family farm, received his education in the Willard area, and graduated from Greenwood High School in 1956. After high school, Ralph worked on the family farm until he married Patricia Ann Steponik on Aug. 10, 1963, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Willard. He took over operating the farm until 1978, at which time they bought a farm in the town of Warner, rural Greenwood. His wife, Pat, died on April 18, 2001. He continued living on the farm until selling it to his son, Ralph, in 2002, and building a home adjacent to the farm. Ralph married Betty Hills on Oct. 16, 2004, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Loyal. He lived in his home until the time of his death. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Lady of Fatima Council #4963. Ralph had many interests, but especially enjoyed playing cards, going to the casino, metal detecting for old coins, polka music, playing the accordion, restoring old tractors, woodworking, viewing wildlife from his shack, hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed traveling and some of his destinations included Alaska, Mexico, Ireland, Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, Arizona, Florida, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and Texas.

He will be dearly missed by his wife, Betty, of Greenwood; his four sons: Ralph Jr. (Vicki) Smrecek of Greenwood, Jeff (fiancé Chris Schroeder) Smrecek of Janesville, Tim Smrecek of Eau Claire, and Jon (Brooke) Smrecek of Elk Mound; eight grandchildren: Katelyn, Ashley, Kade, Kellie, Kayln, Karlye, Tessa, and Haddie; four step-children: Shari (Ken) Smith of Willard, Amy Kowald of Kimberly, Doug (Nina) Hills of Fitchburg, and Joe (Lisa) Hills of Waupaca; 14 step-grandchildren; 17 step-great-grandchildren; one brother: Tom (Marlene) Smrecek of Victoria, Minn.; one sister: Mary Ann (Chuck) Brinkman of Marshfield; and several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Patricia; two brothers: John and Daniel Smrecek; and four sisters: Josephine Hansen, Wilma Flaherty, Margaret Fildes, and Theresa Fries.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Cuddie Funeral Home, Greenwood, is assisting the family with arrangements.



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