David Fredric Rath, 84, of Stoddard, Wisconsin, and formerly Elmhurst, Illinois, passed away peacefully on July 4, 2022. The oldest of five siblings, he was born on May 14, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois, to Joyce and Fred Rath (both deceased.)
Dave was the beloved Dad of (late) Matthew Rath, Judith (Scott) Krukoff and Scott (Andrea) Rath. Cherished Papa to Benjamin (Emily) Wiegold, Jessica Brown and Samantha Brown as well as great-grandpa of Juniper Blue Wiegold. Dearest brother of (late) Kathleen Boulch, George Lawrence (Melanie) Kessler, (late) Daniel Kessler and Michael (Stephaney) Kessler and uncle to many nieces and nephews. Dave was also preceded in death by his long-time companion, Beth Leis of Stoddard, Wisconsin.
Dave attended Mater Dolorosa Seminary for three years and graduated from York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. He worked on a Wyoming cattle ranch and also served three years in the United States Army stationed mostly in Panama. He was a salesman for Remington Rand for 10 years and then spent 17 years as an auto mechanic for Amoco and in his own business. And he worked 12 years in the Maintenance Department of Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois, until he retired.
He loved his country and its freedoms and proudly displayed the American flag on his property. Dave was a good neighbor, was active in his community and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He appreciated history and the simple things in life like cooking on his Weber grill and listening to country-and-western music.
A competitive sportsman, he liked bowling, golfing, card games and horseshoes. He loved the outdoors and took his family camping and hiking often. An avid and talented fisherman, Dave was also skilled at cleaning fish although he rarely ate them. He didn’t like fish! He loved Chicago sports, was a die-hard Cubs fan and Bulls fan and enjoyed the occasional thrill of victory when the Bears beat the Packers.
Vegetable gardening was among his many hobbies, and he had one of the most impressive raspberry patches the Chicago suburbs has ever seen. He collected books and jokes and model trains and antiques. He especially appreciated antique tools and had extensive collections on display in his workshop. His favorite hobby was woodworking, and he grew to be a master craftsman and made many items and gifts that family and friends still enjoy – especially his beautiful mantle clocks. A wooden caboose that he crafted won first place in the Small Woodworking Items category at the Vernon County Fair in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Dave’s sense of humor and love for life and people will be sorely missed.
The family would like to thank the skilled doctors, nurses and staff at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center for their compassionate care and kindness to their father.
A Graveside Service will be held at 2:00 PM, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with Military Honors performed by the Roy L. Vingers Post No. 52 and Active Duty Army.
As father of a special-needs child, Dave supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regularly. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to St. Jude in Dave’s memory.