David Havre Raihle, Sr., 86, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 13, 2020 at the Chippewa Manor in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
David was born on February 21, 1934, in Chippewa Falls to Paul H. Raihle and Sylvia Havre.
David spent the early years of his life on the family farm in Anson, Wisconsin, which was the source of his life-long passion for hard work and his love of the outdoors. David and his family later moved to Chippewa Falls, where he resided the rest of his life. David cherished his time at the Raihle Homestead, a once-forgotten property located north of Bemidji, Minnesota, that his mother, Sylvia, homesteaded in 1914. The Homestead later became a family cabin that was the source of memorable times and David’s infamous work projects.
David began his education in the one-room country school in East Anson and graduated from Chippewa Falls High School in 1951. During his school years, David was active in the Boy Scouts of America (earning the rank of Eagle Scout), academics, debate and school plays. David graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Arts in History. David also served six years in the United States Naval Reserve, with two years of active duty during the Korean Conflict (1953-1955), attached to the Pacific Fleet. In 1959 David graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a Juris Doctorate and LLB degree. While studying at the University of Wisconsin, David met Sharon Disbrow. David and Sharon were married in Wausau, Wisconsin, on February 18, 1961. They recently celebrated their 59th anniversary.
David’s professional life was a testament to his devotion and commitment to Chippewa Falls. David began his legal career in 1959 when he joined his father at the Raihle Law Office in Chippewa Falls. David’s service to Chippewa Falls stemmed from a rich heritage of public service (both of his parents served in the Wisconsin State Legislature). David practiced law in Chippewa County for 38 years, during which he served as Chippewa County Corporate Counsel and at various times as the attorney for the City of Chippewa Falls, Town of Lake Hallie, and other Chippewa County municipalities. David also served on the Chippewa Falls Park Board Planning Commission and was president of the second Chippewa Foundation. David’s professional contributions were also integral to building the city pool, developing a new city camper sanitary station, bringing city-wide water to the Town of Lake Hallie, creating Allen Park and promoting improvements to Irvine Park and the zoo. David also had the unique distinction of seeing one of his cases being argued at the U.S. Supreme Court.
David believed in preserving the history of Chippewa Falls and Chippewa County. David’s efforts led to the establishment of the Cook Rutledge Trust, the acquisition of the Cook Rutledge Mansion, and the development of the Chippewa County Historical Society. David led the efforts to establish the historical sign markers in Chippewa County as well as an inventory of all the Chippewa County cemeteries. David was active in historic building restorations including the Sheely House (the restoration of the Sheely House was an adventure inspired by a desire to save the rooming house/saloon culture of the 1880’s) and the Cook Rutledge Mansion.
David’s civic contributions were also extended to memberships in Kiwanis, Moose, Masonic Lodge (Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite), Elks, Wisconsin and Chippewa County Historical Societies, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. David was also a lifetime member of Trinity United Methodist Church.
David’s greatest achievement, however, was as a husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. His irreverent humor, keen knowledge, and love of history was the stuff of family legend. His happiest moments were spent with his family at the family property near Cobban, Wisconsin, maintaining and conserving his woodland, making maple syrup, sharing family stories and strengthening the family bonds that were important to him. David also loved to plan family camping trips throughout the United States and Canada. A better grandfather and father will be hard to come by.
David is survived by his wife, Sharon; children, David Jr. (Rita) Raihle, Paula (Glenn) Pederson, Christine (Thomas) Richards and Richard Raihle; and grandchildren, James Richards, Hannah Pederson, Alexis Raihle, William Richards, Joshua Pederson, and David Raihle III.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Sylvia Raihle; siblings, Richard (Irene) Raihle, June (Harry) Esklund, Pauline (Dale) Wiensch, Alys Melton; nieces, Laurie Vold and Dana Melton; and nephew, David Melton.
Private funeral services will be held. Inurnment will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls. Military Rites will be conducted by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Cobban, WI.
To protect the health and safety of all, services are currently being limited as required by state and local authorities and the CDC. Thank you for understanding and respecting the family at this difficult time.
The family would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to the Chippewa Manor for the care and kindness they extended to David and his family during his stay there. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Chippewa Area History Center Building Campaign at https://www.chippewaareahistorycenter.org/.
AFTER SERVICE NOTICE:
Private Memorial services for David H. Raihle, Sr. were held.
Inurnment was in Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls. Military rites were conducted by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council with Taps played by Caleb Thornton.
A eulogy was given by David H. Raihle, Jr.
Urn bearers were Alexis Raihle, David Raihle, III, Hannah and Joshua Pederson, James and William Richards.