Gale P. Ryczek, 70, passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, August 30, 2018. Born in Portage, WI on April 1, 1948, he was the son of Bernard and Lucille (Delmore) Ryczek. Gale was raised in Lyndon Station and graduated from Madonna High School in 1966. He furthered his education with a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Whitewater, followed by a Master of Science degree from Northern Illinois University. He then went on to obtain a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Administrative Leadership.
On December 26, 1970, Gale married Mary Koehler, his college sweetheart, in Beloit, WI, and they had three sons.
In 1972, Gale began to fulfill his lifelong passion of teaching and coaching at Hiawatha High School in Kirkland, IL. The Ryczek family moved to Salem in 1975 when Gale became the guidance counselor and later the Director of Pupil Services at Salem Grade School. During his 11-years at Salem, Gale developed the guidance, special education, and summer school programs. Reek Grade School in Lake Geneva was an important milestone in Gale’s journey, serving as their administrator for 1-year before settling into his role as administrator at Bristol Grade School where he would eventually retire in June 2016. During his time at Bristol, he taught as an adjunct instructor in the Educational Leadership Department at National-Louis University, where he focused on courses specific to graduate level students studying to become principals.
Also important to Gale’s role as an educator was teaching our youth how to drive safely through his instruction as a Driver’s Education teacher. He also played a big role in the D.A.R.E program and educating on the dangers of using drugs.
Gale was dedicated to his community. One of his most notable accomplishments included establishing and directing the original t-ball, softball, and soccer summer leagues in our community. He established the Westosha Area Sports League, which provided organized sports for children in Kenosha County at a time when these opportunities did not exist. He was further devoted to the Jaycees, Kiwanis, and the coaching of summer soccer, Lakeland Little League, and the Babe Ruth League. In addition, he served on the Salem Town Planning and Zoning Board, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, and served for 6-years on Salem Grade School’s school board as well as 17-years on the Westosha Central High School’s Booster Club. For the past 43 years, Gale and Mary Ryczek have been members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Wilmot.
Gale truly loved sharing deer hunting season with his boys and the bonding and comradery shared up north with his family and friends. For many years he enjoyed playing fastpitch softball, coﬀee clutching with his buddies, and seeking lost golf balls for his enormous collection.
Gale is survived by his wife, his sons Kevin, Steve (Jennifer), and Jeff and his grandchildren Madeline, Jaxson, and Ava. He is further survived by his mother and brother Greg (Donna), nieces and nephews, as well as his canine grandson, Chevy. He was preceded in death by his father and his brother Jeﬀrey.
Gale lived a life of dedication to his family and friends and was guided by his purpose in life to provide the environment in which children could learn and grow. When recently asked what advice he wanted passed along to his grandchildren, he simply said, “Be kind, and look out for each other.”
A remarkable life. A remarkable man.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 8th from 11:00am - 3:00pm at Bristol Grade School 20121 83rd St. Bristol, WI.53104. A prayer service will commence at 3:00pm. Gale will be laid to rest in the South Bristol Cemetery during a private burial. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 118, Salem, WI 53168 made payable to the “Gale Ryczek Memorial Fund” and will be utilized to further enrich the lives of children. Online condolences Haaselockwoodfhs.com. The Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Home of Twin Lakes, WI. is assisting the family.
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Gale Ryczek Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 118, Salem WI 53168