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Richard Poehnelt

Richard Henry Poehnelt, age 73, of rural Athens, passed away unexpectedly due to COVID on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

A memorial gathering was held on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford, followed by military honors provided the Colby VFW Post #2227. Masks and social distancing were required. Family and friends watched the service live on the funeral home’s Facebook page or after the service anytime on Facebook or the website.

Richard was born Oct. 11, 1947, to Matt Poehnelt and the late Dorothy (Glenn) Poehnelt in Marshfield. He attended Colby High School and then proudly served in the Army in Korea during the Vietnam War. He worked at Packaging Corp. in Colby for many years and various semi driving jobs. He married Marjean Fischer and they later divorced. They raised two children.

Richard was one of a kind. He definitely brightened the room with his smile and sense of humor. He was always quick with a joke and had a good story to tell. Richard’s “rough exterior” sometimes hid his heart of gold; but, his home was filled with family pictures and his fondest memories and he saved every birthday and Christmas card anyone had ever given him.

His favorite hobbies were riding motorcycle, hunting and fishing, tinkering in the garage, woodworking, guns, truck and tractor pulls, and putting together puzzles and model cars. He loved hanging out with his grandkids, helping Derek and Misty with their hemp farm and projects, helping out on his sisters’ (Sharon and Linda) family farms, quality time with his family, and having a few drinks with old friends and neighbors.

He is survived by his father, Matt Poehnelt of Colby, a daughter, Dawn Belanger of Lomira and a son, Derek (Misty) Poehnelt of Medford. He is further survived by four grandchildren: Meghan Belanger, Eric Belanger (currently serving in the U.S. Navy), Gracen Poehnelt and Ava Poehnelt; five brothers: Tom (Diane) of Eagle, Don (Jackie) of Loyal, Mike of Colby, Mark of Medford and Jim of Abbotsford; and five sisters: Karen (Lanny) Ludwig, Sandy (Mike) Jakel, Sharon (Henry) Blume and Linda (Steven) Bach, all of Dorchester, and Donna (Kevin) of Westboro. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and many friends and other family.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy (Glenn) Poehnelt; a sister, Julie Schindhelm; two brothers, David and Ronald; a brother-in-law, David Schindhelm; and step-mother, Shirley Poehnelt.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to The Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, where a stone will be placed in Richard’s honor.

Family and friends may express condolences online at

Paid obituary 97056