William “Bill” G. Richards, M.D., 93, of Oshkosh and formerly of Beaver Dam, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at the Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh, Wis.
A memorial visitation for Bill will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home, N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road, Beaver Dam. A memorial service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4th at 11:00 a.m. at the Wayland Academy Kimberly Chapel, 101 N. University Ave., Beaver Dam with The Reverend Jack Stubbs officiating.
William George was born on Sept. 4, 1926, the son of Peter E. and Neva E. (Hauer) Richards in Waterloo, Iowa. Bill was graduated from Nekoosa High School in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Navy, during World War II, and served as a Pharmacy Mate (PHM2C) from 1944-1946. After his navy service, he matriculated to St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, but completed both his undergraduate and medical degrees (1952) from UW-Madison. Internship and residency followed at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa from 1952-1957. Dr. Richards became certified in Pathologic Anatomy and Clinical Pathology. In 1957, he founded the Beaver Dam Pathology Laboratory, which became Consultant Physicians in Pathology, S.C. Dr. Richards was joined in practice by Dr. Theodore Rowan in 1961 and subsequently by Dr. Bruce Wohlwend, Dr. Paul Glunz, Dr. Rudy Molina, and Dr. John Sullivan. Dr. Richards and his partners served on the staff of many hospitals in Southeastern Wisconsin with their central laboratory located in Beaver Dam, WI. Bill was a member and active in several medical societies as well as the University of Wisconsin alumni organization.
Bill was married to Jean M. Hansen with whom he raised four children. In August 1980, he married Sylvia Thompson in the Wayland Academy Kimberly Chapel in Beaver Dam, Wis.
Bill enjoyed sharing his love of medicine. He, along with his partners, organized the Beaver Dam Community Hospital School of Medical Technology (1963-1981). He was also co-director of the School for Certified Medical Laboratory Assistants at Waupun Hospital from 1963-1979. For several years he provided a medical education program for Wayland students for their mid-term program/senior special projects. Students were exposed to several areas of medicine through their involvement with the staff and local doctors at BDCH, and the program was the encouragement for some to enter the field of medicine. Bill also encouraged and supported other individuals to seek and make medicine their life’s work.
Bill was a joyous presence and whenever you asked him how he was he would answer “perfect!” He would say “we were all born perfect, but as we age and face life’s challenges, we sometimes forget the perfection and uniqueness of each human individual.”
Bill retired from practicing medicine on Jan. 1, 1988, and his comment at retirement was “I never worked a day after medical school, since I was so lucky to be in a career that made me happy and fulfilled all my working days.” Sylvia and Bill resided in two locations during his retirement years, both in Beaver Dam, WI and Hilton Head Island, SC. Bill enjoyed golfing, fishing with his sons and Keith Stahl and sons, and bicycling with his friend Bob Brunelle on several European adventures. He attended and supported many musical venues with Sylvia, which included the Green Lake Festival of Music in Wisconsin and symphony and choral programs at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Bill played the flute since he was a young boy, was active in his high school band, and continued to play for his own enjoyment his entire life.
Bill is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sylvia, of Oshkosh; his four children, Jane R. Barker, Kathleen E. Richards, William G. Richards, Jr., Timothy (Maureen) Richards; his four grandchildren, Jay (Kristen), Jonathan (Kristina), Jennifer VandeBerg and Zachary Richards; two great-grandchildren, Alexander and Elizabeth VandeBerg; and his brother John P. (Mary Ruth) Richards. His is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his former wife Jean, his brother Jim (Rose) Richards and his son-in-law, Ron Barker.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bill’s name may be made to Church Health Service, 115 N. Center St., Beaver Dam, Wis. 53916; the Beaver Dam Community Theater, PO Box 216, 117 West Maple Ave, Beaver Dam, Wis. 53916 or the Green Lake Festival of Music, PO Box 569, Green Lake, Wis. 54941.
The KOEPSELL-MURRAY FUNERAL HOME in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com.