D. MICHAEL RICH, 67 ELKHORN, WI - D. Michael Rich, 67, Elkhorn, WI, formerly of Alden and Rockford, IL, died Friday, July 12, 2013, at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center Elkhorn, WI. His body grew weary of bouncing back and carrying on from various medical set backs and procedures. Michael was born in Harvard, IL on February 16, 1946, the son of the late Margaret (McCullough) and George Rich. Michael's brain was injured during delivery and that caused communication challenges. Blessed with a dedicated teacher who worked with him at school and a family that worked with him at home, Michael was able to learn to read and write and express himself artistically. He also carried out chores on the family dairy farm in Alden, IL. As a young adult, Michael was a client of Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry, IL. He enjoyed working in the sheltered workshop and participating in social events, particularly bowling, dancing and Special Olympics. Following the death of his father, Michael moved into the Seborg Terrace group home in Rockford, IL. There with his housemates he worked at Barbara Olson Center of Hope for many years. He was especially proud of the Christmas cards they printed that featured a Christmas tree that he drew. Due to medical needs, Michael had to leave his home at Seborg Terrace to enter a skilled care facility. He moved to Holton Manor in Elkhorn, WI on July 18, 2012, to be closer to his sisters. While he regretted leaving the physicians and caregivers that he knew and loved in Rockford, he made new friends of the physicians and caregivers that he had in Wisconsin. Michael was a sweet and good humored person who kept track of the weather and the moon. He enjoyed animals (particularly Jersey cows, horses, dogs and cats), flags blowing in the wind, Strawberry milkshakes, watching Cubs baseball games, holidays, music to dance to, and having a daily routine. He went "Home from Work" at 4 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2013. Michael is survived by his 2 sisters, Sue and Joyce Rich, both of Elkhorn, WI, and his brother, Paul Rich of Harvard, IL. An informal memorial gathering will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, August 25, 2013, in the dining hall at Lutherdale Bible Camp, N7891 US Hwy 12 Elkhorn, WI. Please bring a favorite memory of Michael to share and enjoy "yum-o" food overlooking the lake. Children welcome! Memorials can be made to organizations that support developmentally disabled individuals (i.e., Special Olympics, VIP Services, Pioneer Center for Human Services, Barbara Olson Center of Hope). Michaels's cremains will join those of his parents at the family farm. Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Homes and Crematory of Elkhorn is assisting the family.
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Published in Rockford Register Star from July 20 to July 21, 2013