Richard “Dick” Wilder died peacefully on March 15th. Born in 1925 and one of five siblings, Dick lived most of his life in Madison, WI.
In 1943, aged just 17, Dick enlisted to help fight World War II. Assigned to the Pacific theater in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, Dick aspired to becoming a paratrooper, but was deemed too slight. Instead, he served valiantly as a medic, earning numerous medals as his unit advanced steadily towards Japan.
After the war, Dick attended college, becoming a salesman in Chicago. There in 1952, he met the love of his life Jean Williams Wilder, and they married and moved immediately back to Madison, settling on Spooner St. Together they had two children, Jennie Schmidt, of McFarland, WI, and Stanley Wilder, of Baton Rouge, LA. Jennie is married to Jonathan Schmidt, and has three daughters, Nina Christensen, Aidan Hauge, and Heidi Silvers. These granddaughters gave Dick six great-granchildren: Mateya and Ryker Christensen, Trey and Miles Hauge, and Emma and Nora Silvers.
Stanley is married to Jean Coco, and has two daughters, Coco and Alice Wilder.
Dick was a sunny, optimistic man who loved his family, friends, dogs, and playing guitar, singing cowboy and train-wreck songs. He is known by many in Madison for his running: he managed to run for almost 27 years without missing a day. He spent the last 17 years of his life at Capitol Lakes, where he was beloved.
Memorial services will be held at a later date, post virus. Please contact the family if you would like to be notified.
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