Madison – Richard Houden died peacefully on April 19, 2012, surrounded by his family. Born November 12, 1919 to Molly and Avalt Houden in Belvedere, IL, Richard was the seventh of ten children: Ernie, Fritz, Celia, Teck, Frieda, Lloyd, Ben, Helen and Nora.
Dick (or referred affectionately to as RA by his children and friends) excelled in athletics during high school and went on to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he was later inducted into Cornell’s Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1943, he enlisted in the US Navy and served as a communications officer in the South Pacific earning 8 battle stars aboard the Destroyer Collahan during WWII.
Dick returned to the states and finished his engineering degree at the UW-Madison. He continued his love of athletics with participation in football, basketball and track. As a sprinter, he had a magical year in 1947 when he set records for the Badgers, and was invited by an elite AAU track team to compete across Europe.
Because of his accomplishments that year, he was later inducted into the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2010 — a true highlight of his life.
In 1948, while at the UW, Richard met Dorothy Jean Corcoran falling head over heels in love that never wavered up to his parting breath. They married on May 14, 1949 and were blessed with seven children. Their children were instilled with an unwavering sense of optimism and a sheer joy of life by their father’s never ending love and devotion.
RA lived for UW Badger Football Saturdays, relished telling stories to and singing with his grandchildren and great grand children, skiing in the Upper Peninsula while entertaining at the family ski house, creating a family retreat in Stone Lake WI, serving up waffles and ice cream for dinners on Sundays, and above all else doing ANYTHING with his family. More recently, RA LOVED the privilege participating in the Badger Honor Flight – providing him the opportunity to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
RA will be deeply missed by his beloved Dorothy, Linda (Jerry, Nicole, Frank, Antony, Jaxson) Richard, Debbie Stamler (Ralph, Megan, Jenny, Jeff, Abigail), Chris (Deb, Christopher, Anna, Henry) Jeff (D-Ann, Jordan, Justin) Tim (Sue, Ben, Ella) Paul (Amy, Payton, Avery), his brother Spike, many nieces, nephews and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 405 S. Owen Dr., Madison, on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. with Msgr. Kenneth J. Fiedler presiding. A visitation will be held at church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until time of the mass. Entombment will be at Resurrection Cemetery.
With special thanks to the exquisite staff of Agrace HospiceCare , Dr. Julie Chang and her research team at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and Pat, Spike and Dee for making the journey for one last visit for the remaining two siblings.
Memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice, UW Carbone Cancer Center, or to Badger Honor Flight.