Friday, December 26, 2008

Obituary: Richard Widmann

Succumbs to Long Illness
Richard Widmann Dies;
Ex-Madison Fire Chief

Richard Widmann, 76, Route 1, McFarland, former Madison fire chief from Jan. 1, 1939, until his retirement Oct. 1, 1944, died today in a Madison hospital after a long illness. Mr. Widmann had resided in recent years with his son, Ray, McFarland police chief since April of this year and former Blooming Grove police chief and Madison police officer.

Richard Widmann was a past president of the Wisconsin Paid Fireman's Association. He was a member of the Madison Fire department from Oct. 15, 1917, until his retirement. He served at Central, No. 2, and No. 5 stations. On May 1, 1930, he was appointed an inspector, and on Oct. 1, 1936, chief to succeed John Lahm who retired on pension.

After he became chief, Mr. Widmann was instrumental in establishment of a new school of instruction for firemen, designating Fireman Leonard Sime to attend the Milwaukee Fireman's School preparatory to becoming head of the Madison school.

Mr. Widmann was born in Madison June 15, 1884, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fred Widman who with four older children had come from Germany about two years earlier. He attended Madison public schools and Madison (now Central) High School. Subsequently he worked as a switchman and brakeman for the North Western Road for a time, served two years in the Madison police department, and then returned to railroad work for another period.

He was married June 6, 1907, to Lenore Gregerson of Baraboo. Among his survivors, besides his wife and his son, Ray, is a daughter, Mrs. J.F. Tilleman, Elmhurst, Ill.

The body was taken to the Fitch-Lawrence funeral home, 62 University ave.

Friends may call there from 5 p.m. Sunday until the time of services. The family said donations may be made to the Cancer Fund.

Masonic funeral services will be conducted Monday at 1:30 p.m. in the Masonic Temple here by Commonwealth Lodge No. 325, Madison, and burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery.

Originally published on July 30, 1960 as a page one news story in The Capital Times

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