Richard Rockhill (1942 - 2014)

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Richard A. Rockhill

Dr. Richard A. Rockhill (Dick), 72, of Suamico passed away peacefully on Monday, July 21, 2014 at St. Mary's Hospital. Born on July 14, 1942 to Bill and Beth (Taylor) Rockhill, he grew up in Wauwatosa, WI and attended Marquette University High School. Dick earned his Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Marquette University and was an early pioneer in the application of computer controls to industrial processing equipment. After receiving his doctorate in 1974, he worked for the Lindberg Corporation in Watertown, WI developing computerized temperature controls for the semiconductor processing industry. Dick went on to develop computer controls of processing equipment for a variety of companies including Tec Systems in DePere, WI, the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, WI and Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, WI. He later returned to Marquette University where he spent 13 years as an Adjunct Professor in the College of Engineering.

Dick and his wife Diana's 30 year marriage was built on a shared love of fun and family, along with a healthy dose of humor. When they wed in 1984, it was a merging of families as well as hearts. With three sons and one daughter from his first marriage and two daughters from her first marriage, they formed their very own "Brady Bunch". To help ease the transition for their six teenagers, Dick and Diana introduced the group to downhill skiing and held rousing game nights featuring charades, Pictionary and Liverpool. As a couple, they enjoyed years together on bowling and golf leagues, cheering on their Green Bay Packers and solving daily puzzles from the newspaper. Their combined interest in garden railroading led them to create an incredible backyard display which was featured on the Botanical Garden Walk.

A talented woodworker, Dick loved to surprise the family every Christmas with special hand-made treasures. The annual trek through the snow from the house to his workshop revealed everything from jewelry boxes to racing cars and neat wooden puzzles. Using his father's template, Dick crafted a life-sized wooden man which converts into a coffee table with just a few turns of a wrench. Affectionately known as "Woody," he is one of the most prized gifts to his children and continues to grace all important events, often wearing his black top hat and bow tie.

As grandchildren joined the family, Grandpa delighted in creating rocking horses, doll houses, personalized step stools, bunk beds and animal-shaped piggy banks. His grandest gift to the children, however, is a huge three-car wooden train "jungle gym" that towers in the backyard. Built over the course of three years, the train is a long-standing reminder of Grandpa's love for his family.

Dick is survived by his loving wife Diana; children: Mike Rockhill; Andy (Amy) Rockhill; Dennis (Sue) Rockhill; Rebecca (Rob) Fairman; Karyn (Dan) Angulo; Brenda (Jeremy) Kopke; and 10 grandchildren: Autumn, Holly and Kye Rockhill; Nathan and Reagan Lesperance; Marissa and Nicole Angulo; Lea, Cassidy and Paige Kopke. Further survived by his sister Mary (Fred) Redlinger and brother Robert (Sandy) Rockhill. Dick was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter Hannah Lesperance.

Friends are invited to join in a celebration of Dick's life on Friday, July 25 at Pfotenhauer Funeral Home, 1145 Cardinal Lane. Visitation from 3:30-7:00pm, with a prayer service following at 7:00pm. Online condolences are welcome at www.PfotenhauerFuneralHome.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name at the funeral home.

The family extends a special thank you to the staff of St. Mary's Hospital 3rd floor/ICU for their care and support.

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Funeral Home
PFOTENHAUER FUNERAL HOME
1145 CARDINAL LANE
Green Bay, WI 54313-6803
(920) 434-2060
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Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from July 22 to July 25, 2014
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