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Richard H Zeithaml

Richard H Zeithaml

Richard Henry Zeithaml, age 90, of Eau Claire, died Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at Dove Healthcare West. 

            Dick was born on May 12, 1934 in Bainbridge Township, Geauga County, Ohio to parents Joseph and Florence (Dietz) Zeithaml.  He graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1952.  He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, earning honors as a Distinguished Military Student and member of the Mershon Military Honorary Society.  Dick served in the U. S. Army from 1952 to 1965 (including ROTC, Reserve, and Active duty) and attained the rank of Captain. 

            Dick began his career in telecommunications at the age of 16.  He was hired to help rebuild downed lines and poles and restore telephone service in rural Northeastern Ohio after a heavy spring snowstorm.  That led to part-time work with the local telephone company all through high school and college.  Upon graduating from college, he was hired by AT&T (formerly Ohio Bell Telephone Company) where he worked for the next 36+ years, achieving the level of District Manager.  He had several different positions within AT&T and also worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey during his career.  He retired from AT&T Real Estate Management/Building Operations in Ohio in 1993. 

            Dick married Jean Crownhart on October 2, 1982 at Sacred Heart Church in Elmwood, WI.  They lived in Akron, Ohio for over 10 years before retiring to the Town of Tainter, Dunn County, Wisconsin in 1993.  They built a home overlooking Upper Tainter Lake, were involved in volunteerism, and traveled extensively.  When they downsized to a condo in Eau Claire in 2013, they called it their “second retirement.” 

            Dick was a developer of the Town of Tainter Comprehensive Land Use Plan, 1998-2001, and a Town of Tainter Land Use Planning Commission Member, 2001-2006.  He also served on the Tainter/Menomin Lake Improvement Association Board of Directors, 1995-2005.  He served as a state and local leader of the AT&T Pioneers community service organization, serving as President of the AT&T Pioneers Wisconsin Life Member Council, 2000-2002.  As a member of Elmwood Sacred Heart Catholic Church, he served as Finance Council Chair and Parish Council member, 2000-2010, and Eucharistic Minister and Knights of Columbus member.  Previously, Dick was active in Rotary International, serving as President of the Northampton Rotary Club of Akron, Ohio, 1990-1991, and was a Paul Harris Fellow. 

            Dick is survived by his wife of 42 years, Jean; four children of a previous marriage:  Richard A. (Aimee) Zeithaml, Carrie (Jesse) Monk, Katherine Filter, and Anne Morris; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Kathleen (David) Krings; brothers-in-law David Crownhart and Daniel (Carlota) Crownhart; cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents, one brother Donald (Beverly, Lillian) Zeithaml, and two sisters Gail Russell and Joan Ruth Zeithaml (in infancy). 

            The family wishes to thank the staff of Dove Healthcare Orchard Hills Assisted Living, Dove Healthcare West skilled nursing, and Mayo Clinic Hospice Services for their excellent care and being our extended family over the past two years. 

            Funeral Mass will be 11:30AM Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Eau Claire with Rev. Thomas Kreig officiating. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery-Farm Hill in rural Elmwood with Military Honors provided by the Elmwood American Legion Post #365. Visitation will be 4:00PM-7:00PM Monday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie and one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday. 

            The funeral will be live-streamed at https://www.youtube.com/@stjamesparisheauclaire and the Rhiel Funeral Home Facebook page. 

            Memorials are preferred in Dick’s name to the non-profit you are most passionate about.

    Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.


  1. Susan Drewiske (Traynor)

    Dear Jean,
    Our condolences on Richard’s passing. May you find much comfort & support from your family and friends. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
    Blessings, Mike & Sue Drewiske

  2. Pam (Walterhouse) Zupancic

    In the early 1980s I was in a work carpool with Dick and several other Ohio Bell employees. We met each weekday morning in the parking lot at Summit Mall in Akron and took turns driving to the Ohio Bell headquarters building in downtown Cleveland. One particularly nasty winter day the roads were a sheet of ice and it was Dick's turn to drive. His car slipped and slid the whole 35 miles down I77 but we all arrived in one piece and were even on time.
    We had some lively discussions in that carpool and Dick always had something interesting to say. He was a lot of fun.
    Thinking of you and wishing you comfort and peace.

  3. Susan Paar-Miller

    Jean, I was deeply saddened to hear of Dick's passing. He was such a loyal friend. May you find comfort in those cherished years you shared your lives together and I pray those memories bring you smiles and peace.

  4. Deborah Mattson

    Dear Jean, I am so sorry to hear of Dick's passing. He was such a caring and great man. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Please take care Jean. When you are feeling a little better, please call me and we'll get together for coffee or ???. Again, please accept my condolences.

  5. Bill Takacs

    Sorry to hear of Dick's passing. I remember Dick from first grade in Bainbridge School to our high school graduation. Many memories thru out the years.

  6. Suzi Crownhart & Mark Nelson

    Jean, We are so sorry for your loss. Dick was one of the best!

  7. Jane Seibel

    My deepest sympathy. What a wonderful man Dick was. Thinking of you.

  8. Ann Dohm

    Jean and family,
    So sorry to read about Dick’s passing. I always enjoyed our conversation when I worked at Hillside. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Ann

  9. Barbara Voloshen

    Sorry to hear of Dick's passing. May he rest in peace.

  10. Sue Collins

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your life partner. I have such fond memories of you both and feel enriched to have had the times we all shared. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and I am wishing you much peace and heartfelt condolences during this time.

  11. Nicole Harter

    Dick was such always so kind & loving to everyone. I am sorry for the families loss. I am sending prayers & love to you all at this difficult time. All my Love, Nicole

  12. John & Jodell Marson

    May you feel the comfort of friends, the love of family, the presence of God. Sending prayers and sympathy.

  13. Jackie Sailer

    Sorry for your loss, sending my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Mary Hartung

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I miss our gatherings at the Wildcat when you and Dick would come over. May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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