McFarland/Shorewood Hills: Frederick M. Rich, MD, age 85, died peacefully surrounded by his family on December 1, 2012.
Fred was born September 27, 1927 to Frederick and Gretta (Ingham) Rich in Jefferson, Iowa. He graduated from Cooper High School and earned his MD in 1950 from the University of Iowa, where he met the love of his life, M. Mary Underriner, MD, his wife of 50 years. He valued his long career as a radiologist in southern Wisconsin. He loved his family, farming, swimming, theatre, and a good laugh.
Fred is survived by three children: Maria (Thomas) Eberle, Elizabethtown, KY; Sheila (Jeff) Michalski, St. Louis, MO; Mark (Devra) Rich, Madison, WI; five grandchildren: Basia, Sophie and Jeffrey Michalski, Paul and Brian Eberle; brother Jon Rich, MD and many cherished nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife, son Kevin, brother Clarence "Bud", sisters Lola Culver, Louise Ellis and Clarice Hankins.
A Requiem Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at St. Therese Chapel, 6039 Baltes Road, Waunakee, WI 53597, with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Madison.
The family wishes to send a heart-felt thanks to the doctors and staff at St. Lukes Cardiovascular ICU in Milwaukee for their compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, 21077 Quarry Hill Road, Winona, MN 55987
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Fred was my best buddy, neighbor, friend, paper guy, car guy and what ever else I needed he was always a helping hand. I think about him everyday and miss him even more . I remember the day they looked at the house next door to buy and I thought they were to old to have such a big house . I am so glad they moved in and every day after that was such a joy to have Fred and Mary as neighbors. I have so many wonderful memories of both of them. Fred and I would go through houses when they were being built in our neighborhood, we would get caught walking out sometime but he would always talk with the the new owners and they would take us through the house as if it was the first time . He shared so many stories with us about family I felt I new them and had never met some of them. We watched out for each other and I never let more than two days go by without checking to see that the lights were on and off or that he was in and out of the driveway. We would watch him come in the driveway and hope he stopped before he went through the garage door.. Fred would come home with something new and want me to come over and see what he had. Sundays were the best, he always brought the news paper to the door, he may of read it first but that was fine.He would share his sweets with us after church,., not that we needed more sweets but I never turned them down. He was a very kind caring man, Stan called him the gem of the neighborhood. I set a place for him Christmas Eve as we spent many together. I still owe you a birthday meal. I turned your Christmas lights on, they were the best. . We miss you Fred but you will always be in our hearts. Until we meet again in the Lutheran garden.(just between us)
Uncle Fred, my mother's favorite sibling. I never got to tell you that and now I am, because I know you are in touch with us who love you, up there in Heaven. I am so glad Jeannie, K and I got to come and spend days with you a couple years ago. Was also so glad your brother, Uncle Jon could be there too. From Iowa to Wisconsin and visitors fron California, that is what family is all about. Love you Uncle Fred. God Bless You, Jackie
I worked with Dr. Rich at VMH in Viroqua. He was always a joy to work with. He had a great sense of humor, a love for family and friends, and was a very generous person. He would always share stories of family and also enjoyed hearing stories of ours. I have so many great memories of Dr. Rich. One of my favorites is when the phone rang in his office one day and it was the OB dept. They had a mother that was going to deliver a baby and they knew her Dr. would not get there in time for the delivery. They asked if he would come down and help with the delivery. He said he hadn't delivered a baby since Med. School, but they said they needed his help--immediately. He came running out of his office, taking his tie off as he ran down the hall to OB. Minutes later when he came back we asked how the delivery went. He had a huge grin on his face and said the nurses did most of it, all he did was catch the baby. I'm not sure how many times he retold that story, but it got better everytime I heard it. The thing I will miss most is the yearly Christmas card. Every year since his retirement we have exchanged cards. I always look for that familiar handwriting on the envelope and can't wait to open the card and try to decipher the message. Why do Drs. have the worst penmanship!! I would read it and reread it to get the news. I will truly miss that card this year. He was a very special person to me and i will miss him dearly. I have such great memories!! To the family, I hope your memories of your dad and grandfather will get you through this holiday season. Know that he will be missed by his Viroqua family also.
I have lost a good friend. Fred had a way of sharing his life with everyone. He was funny, he always liked to hear the latest good joke. Even if it had to be explained to him in the end. He would light up the swimming pool when he arrived and we all new it would be a good day. When I was going through a hard time ( I lost my husband in March) he would appear at my door with a basket of fresh fruit, a kind visit or telephone call. Nothing compares to going to his house for one of his seafood lunches, a little disorganized but who cared, we just had a good time and no one noticed. When he had the big auction at his farm, it was a lot of hard work but he knew Devra was there and it would be a big success. He spoke kindly of his children and grandchildren and when Kevin died a piece of him went with him.. Before he lost his wife Mary, he was so devoted to her, we never heard him complain but we knew deep down he needed us to unwind and it is said that laughter is the best medicine. He loved the Lord and his faith was very important to him. May you rest in PEACE dear friend, forever.
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