Remembering a Special Man: Richard Grobschmidt

Richard G image 1

Tributes to Richard Grobschmidt are pouring in, and rightfully so. From Tuesday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story, his online memorials, my mayoral Facebook page and other sources …

  • Tamara Grobschmidt: “He had a way of understanding that there were people who didn’t have the same worldviews as he did. He just knew that it’s important to listen to the voices of all people.”
  • Deborah Thatcher: “It was an honor to begin my teaching career right across the hall from Mr. Grobschmidt! He was a kind and warm gentleman who always made you feel welcomed! My condolences to his beloved family! I agree with every wonderful thing written in this article about his great character and about the fine human being that he was! It was a blessing to have known him!”
  • Kris Wendt: “Rick co-authored the bill that created the Office of School Services at Wisconsin Historical Society in 1992 and worked with the Wisconsin Council on Local History and Wisconsin Library Association to assure passage. Thanks in part to his perseverance, young students of Wisconsin history and their teachers finally acquired their first new Wisconsin text book in 35 years and wonderful supporting resources. He was an outstanding champion of public and school libraries who will be remembered as a kind hearted and humble man. Sincere sympathy to his family. Thank you for sharing him with us.”
  • Richard Thinnes: “He was probably one of the best teachers that I ever taught with. Like they say in the Music Man, ‘You gotta know your territory.’ And he knew his territory. … I never heard anything negative coming out of that man’s mouth. He just got along with everybody.”
  • Mary Lou Keleher: “Rick Grobschmidt was a phenomenal State Representative. It was clear he was working for the best interests of the people of Wisconsin. When he moved on to DPI, it continued. He was a great contact to have at the agency! Rick was truly one of the good guys, and will be sorely missed.”
  • Jeff Plale: “One of the things that he demonstrated to me early is that if you’re willing to share the credit, you can get just about anything done in politics. I learned a lot from that, and I tried to model my style of politics after that.”
  • Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers: “Wisconsin lost an ally for kids and families with the passing of Rick Grobschmidt. He served the state in many roles: as a teacher in South Milwaukee, as a Wisconsin State Representative and Senator, and as an Assistant State Superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction. He was principled in his beliefs, but always looked for ways to build common ground to better serve his constituents and our state. Rick touched many lives and was one of the kindest people I have ever met. I am glad to have called him a friend. My condolences to Barb, Rick’s family, and his many friends.”
  • Democratic Party of Milwaukee County: “We are devastated to hear of the passing of Rick Grobschmidt. He was a tremendous advocate for Wisconsin families as a legislator and deputy state superintendent of public instruction. Rick represented the best of Milwaukee County Democrats and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Barb, Tammy, John, and the whole extended Grobschmidt family.”

Feel free to add your memories in the comments section.

Here is his formal obituary.

And you can read more condolences on the Molthen-Bell websiteRick touched so many lives.

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