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Richard J. Hackett, 80, of La Crosse, Wis., died Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at Tomah Memorial Hospital, Tomah, Wis. He was born in Hillsboro, Wis. on October 4, 1935, to Larry and Vercelia (Mc Donough) Hackett. He married Dorothy Hilton November 16, 1957, at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, La Crosse, Wis.
Dick was a 1953 graduate of Central High School where he was captain of the football team, named to the all city team as well as gaining all-state Honorable Mention honors. He was also named the Athlete of the Year his senior year. He attended University of Wisconsin La Crosse from 1953 – 1955 where he was a member of the Championship 1953 UWL Cigar Bowl team. He served in the Navy from 1955- 1957. Upon his return he completed his degree at UWL and graduated in 1960. He started his teaching career in Prairie du Chien and West Grant. He made the move back to La Crosse and started at Central in 1963 where he began teaching as well as coaching. He received his Masters degree from Winona State in 1966. In 1970 he was named Athletic Director at Central, a position which he proudly held until his retirement in 1997. In 1993 he was honored to be named the Maple Leaf Parade Marshal. He loved his involvement with the Oktoberfest Family. In 1996 he was humbled as they dedicated the Richard â€œDickâ€ Hackett Multipurpose Center in his honor. After his retirement in 1997 he enjoyed his time with his family and friends, attending Central athletic events, golfing, walking his dogs, and continued to run until he was 70.
He is survived by two sons, Tim (Michele) and their sons Cody and Carson and Tom (Laurie) and their children Tabitha, Tammy and Richard J. II (RJ) and one daughter Chris (Greg) Kjos and her children Danny and Caitlyn Callahan all of La Crosse, Wis. He is further survived by one sister Kathy (Larry) Hogden of La Crosse, Wis.; and one brother Jack (Karen) Hackett of Janesville, Wis. As well as many loved nieces and nephews
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, on March 10, 2004; and his parents.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, November 9, 2015, at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main St., La Crosse, Wis. Msgr. Charles Stoetzel will officiate with military rites by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post 52, with entombment to be held in St. Francis of Assisi Mausoleum, Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse, Wis. Friends and family may visit from 3:00 to 7:00 on November 8, 2015, at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Homes, 1501 West Ave. So., La Crosse, Wis. Family and friends may also visit from 9:30 AM until the time of Mass in the Cathedral on Monday.
Memorials may be given to La Crosse Central High School, St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, or any other organization or charity that you know was close to Dickâ€™s heart.
A special thank you to the Tomah Nursing Home and the Tomah Memorial Hospital for their kind and compassionate care. Dick was a kind, caring, loving, and giving man. He loved his family and friends more than anything in the world. He also loved La Crosse Central High School. Every teacher, coach, student, and athlete had a special place in his heart. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him but is forever in our hearts.
â€œOnce a Red Raider, always a Red Raider.â€
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