Richard Arnold “Dick” Persike, age 87 of Rhinelander, died Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, at Rennes Assisted Living and Rehabilitation in Rhinelander. He was born July 13, 1931, in Wausau to Ida (Anderson) Persike and Herman Persike.

Throughout his life Dick was a fan of all sports, especially football and golf. At Rhinelander High School, he played on the basketball and football teams before graduating in 1949. During school years, he also worked for his father at Oneida Motor Sales. Following graduation from RHS, Dick attended Lawrence University in Appleton, receiving a degree in economics in 1953. Dick enlisted in the Army after college, serving stateside until 1955 and then in the Army reserve.

In 1955 he met Patricia Jamerson, and the two married on June 22, 1957, in Rockford, Ill. Together, they adopted two sons, Bryan and Michael, and began raising their family in Arlington Heights, Ill. In 1968, Dick jumped at the opportunity to move back to Rhinelander to open Volkswagen Oneida.

Dick had always dreamed of having a sports shop. His opportunity came in 1971 when he purchased Leo’s Sport Shop, which he renamed Dick’s Sport Shop, in downtown Rhinelander.  

Dick finished his working life at Wausau Paper Co. In his retirement, Dick enjoyed working at Trig’s in Minocqua, where he would hand out samples and chat with customers.

Dick was very active in the Hodag community, including as president of the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Retail Division, member of the Lions Club and an officer in the Hodag 50 snowmobile organization. He also served as chief of the Crescent Volunteer Fire Department.

Dick told stories and jokes and could fill a room with his laughter. His stories entertained his grandchildren, and as they grew, their participation in sports and other activities kept him entertained. In addition to his passion for the outdoors and the Northwoods, he and Pat loved to travel together, including spending several winters in Florida. 

Dick is survived by his sons, Bryan (Eileen) and Michael; his grandchildren, Matthew, Brevin, Lindsay, Brieanna, and Zachary; nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Patricia; his sister, Thelma “Toddy”; and his granddaughter, Brynn.

A private memorial service will be held. You may leave your private condolences for the Persike family at The 

Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving Dick’s family.