Richard D. Skrukrud, 89, passed peacefully at his home on September 4, 2022, in Wausau.
He was born November 30, 1932, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, son of the late Odean M. and Florence (Fieldhammer) Skrukrud. On August 18, 1973, Richard married the love of his life, Carol (Zimmermann) Rowe, at Zion Lutheran Church in Wausau. She preceded him in death in 1987.
Richard graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1950 and attended the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He was employed as a claim adjuster for Mutual Service Insurance Company for the extent of his career.
In 1950, Richard enlisted into the Wisconsin Army National Guard, becoming a member of the 32nd Infantry Division. He was awarded numerous honors and commendations, retiring from the Wisconsin Army National Guard Detachment 1 Troop Command as master sergeant after 42 years of service.
Richard was self-taught in photography and woodworking, as well as in music. He combined his interest in the American Civil War with his musical talent with the trumpet, coronet, and flugelhorn as a member of the First Brigade Marching Band in Watertown, Wisconsin. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Community Band in Florida as well. During the holidays, Richard played Christmas songs on his trumpet as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army at shopping malls in the area.
Richard also had a love of boating, most recently with his pontoon boat on the Wisconsin and Rib rivers, where family was always invited. For many years, though, his ultimate get-away was life on the Mississippi River. Family spent summer adventures with him aboard his houseboat, living a Huckleberry Finn life for a week at a time. Most memorable was the occasional warm, quiet evening lit only by stars and fireflies, with the soft, clear tones of “Moon River” being played by Uncle Dick on one of his favorite horns, to the gentle rocking of the river’s waves.
Richard is survived by one stepson, Michael Rowe; one step grandchild Anthony Rowe; two brothers-in-law, Robert (Barbara) Zimmermann and Paul (Margaret) Zimmermann; one sister-in-law, Ruth Ann O’Neil; nine nieces and nephews, Matthew (Jaime) Zimmermann, Sara Zimmermann, Jeremy (Renee) Zimmermann, and Erin Zimmermann, Amy Thomson, Jennifer (Michael) Laury, and Christopher Zimmermann, Troy (Melissa) Juedes, and Jeff Juedes; one cousin, Delmarie (Fieldhammer) True; many grand nieces and nephews, and friends – both in Wisconsin and in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Besides his wife Carol and parents, Dick was preceded in death by one nephew, Craig (Jodi) Juedes, and many other relatives and friends.
Services for Richard will be held at 4:00 P.M. Thursday, September 29 at Helke Funeral Home with visitation from 2:00 P.M. until the time of services. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.
The family would like to thank the physicians and staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Plover Hospital, the physician, nurses, and staff at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, and the staff at Inner Peace Home Care Services for their wonderful care and support of Richard, and of us.