In Memory

Richard Wampole

Richard Wampole


Rick Wampole

Rick L. Wampole, age 66, of Hayward, WI passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2015, at the Luther Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire, WI.

Rick Lee Wampole was born January 18, 1949, in Eau Claire, WI. He was raised in Eau Claire and graduated from Eau Claire Memorial High School. He joined the U.S. Navy on November 8, 1967, and served on the USS Theodore Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier and then the USS Kamehameha and USS Ulysses S. Grant, both ballistic missile submarines. Rick was honorably discharged from the Navy and became a Police Officer and served in Eau Claire and the state of Connecticut. He returned to Eau Claire and began work as an Army National Guard Recruiter and served from 1983 until 1991. From his years of service with the Navy and Army, Rick had earned the Army Good Conduct Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia with one Silver and four Gold Stars, ASW A Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon and Expert Badge (M-16). Rick retired and moved to Hayward, WI where he became President of Veterans Association, active member of the American Legion, and a regular on the Veterans Military Honor Guard for military funeral services. On May 3, 1996, Rick was joined in marriage to Sandy Drabek in Hayward. In his spare time, Rick liked to hunt, fish and paint. He loved cooking and would cater out of the Veterans Center. He also enjoyed feeding the Hayward Football Team before a game. He will be remembered for his funny shirts, stupid jokes, and his playfulness with his grandchildren.

Rick is survived by his wife, Sandy; three sons, Shane (Shellee) Wampole, Eric Wampole, and Dean Wampole, all of Hayward; parents, John and Virginia Vitek; three step daughters, Tammy (Tim) McDonald of Hayward, Lisa (Jim) Lutz of Oregon, WI, Stacey Hessel of Hayward; 15 grandchildren; five great grandchildren; one brother, Gary (Jackie) Wampole of Chetek, WI; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Craig Vitek; step-son, T.J. Drabek and his grandparents, the Balmers and Viteks.

A Memorial Service for Rick will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at the Veterans Community Center in Hayward with Pastor Tim Young officiating. There will be a time of visitation from 1 to 3 p.m. before the service. Interment will be in the dual veterans section of the Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward. Military honors will be accorded by the U.S. Navy Honors Program and the Hayward American Legion Post #218.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Hayward Veterans Community Center; PO Box 633, Hayward, WI 54843.

Online condolences may be left at

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09/20/15 01:19 PM #1    

James Soller

rick was a childhood friend--we went k-6 together--we had a lot of fun and even caused a little trouble--too young to pass--im sure he will be remembered by me forever

09/20/15 02:45 PM #2    

Sue Monty (Thomasgard)

I also went all through grade school, junior high, and high school with Rich. So sorry to hear of his too young passing.

09/20/15 10:41 PM #3    

Liz Hibbard (Isaacson)

Sorry to read that Richard passed away far too young. He served his country with courage and dedication. 

Liz Isaacson

09/21/15 08:35 AM #4    

Dennis Hoepner

So sorry to hear. Rick and I were very close all through grade school. ( Rick , Jim Soller, Rich Holten, Rick Hugdahl and I would fish at the CARP HOLE almost daily during the summers ) YMCA Basketball Team mates in the winters . Oh to be young again.  Had great times post high school also. Nice human being Rick was. My condolences to Ricks family.

09/21/15 12:22 PM #5    

Dan Hall

Rick was obviously dedicated to our country & his fellow service men & women. Way to be Rick!  No doubt they & his family will miss greatly.  My sincere sympathy & well wishes to all who were close to him.  Dan Hall

09/21/15 01:48 PM #6    

Ron Halpern

Although I really didn't know Rick,  that fact doesn't lessen the sadness that I feel upon the passing of one of our own.  True friends are hard to come by in this world and, sometimes, even harder to keep.  Clearly Rick was  a good,  true, patriotic friend to many in our class.  To his friends and his family I express my heartfelt sympathy.  Rest in piece, Rickk


Rnn Halpern

09/22/15 04:10 PM #7    

Greg Martin

I have fond memories of Rick from 9th on.  Had some good times together. A true genuinn good guy.

Ya,  66 is way to early to check out, but as God promises non of us tomarrow, gotta fire up & hit it as much as we can.  GOD SPEED RICK. Greg  Marty Martin

09/23/15 08:31 AM #8    

Robert Tanger

Rick was a very good friend in high school. We had some memorable times. I have thought of him often thru the years. Too bad he's gone.

09/25/15 01:22 PM #9    

Richard Polden

 Sad to hear about Rick.  We had been friends since grade school. Jim Soller, Jack Tingvold and I, along with other friends in the neighborhood, often aquired more trouble than any of us will admit to.  He will be greatly missed

Rick Polden

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