Cover photo for Richard Kelm's Obituary
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1961 Richard 2021

Richard Kelm

March 28, 1961 — October 28, 2021

Richard Alan Kelm, age 60, of Ripon, WI, passed away on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Rick was born March 28, 1961 in Ripon, WI, the youngest son of David and Naomi (Rasske) Kelm. He graduated from Ripon High School in 1979 and from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and secondary education. In 1988, Rick married Karen Rohde, and they celebrated 33 years together.

Rick worked as a high school social studies teacher at Sun Valley High School in Charlotte, NC, Omro High School in Omro, WI, and most recently, Ripon High School for the last 24 years. Rick served as head high school football coach from 1998-2010, leading the team to state titles in 2003 and 2005. He is the winningest coach in school history with a 102-44 record. He also served as the high school golf coach since 2011, coaching the Ripon Tigers to a state tournament appearance in 2012, its first since the 1980’s. Rick’s students and student athletes meant everything to him- their success was his top priority.

Rick is survived by his wife, Karen Kelm of Ripon; son, Aaron (Stephannie) Kelm of Wausau, WI; daughter, Rebecca Kelm of Chicago, IL; granddaughter, Olivia Kelm; sister, Sherry (Bill) Glen of Apex, NC; brother, Doug (Kathy) Kelm of Ripon; sister, Kathy Meinke of Madison, WI; mother-in-law, Gail Rohde of Ripon; sister-in-law, Kathy Rohde (James Glodoski) of De Pere, WI; brother-in-law, John (Michelle) Rohde of Eastvale, CA; and brother-in-law, Michael Rohde of North Fond du Lac, WI. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, aunts and uncles. Rick was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents, David and Naomi (Rasske) (Kelm) Carley; step-father, Richard Carley; father-in-law, John “Jack” Rohde; and many aunts and uncles.

A private family memorial service will be held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ripon with Reverend Clay R. Salmela officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials given in Rick’s name will be donated to charitable organizations chosen by the family.

Faith and family were the foundations of Rick’s life.

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