Richard Wahlig

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Richard P. Wahlig, 82, of Belleville, IL, born August 3, 1936, in Red Bud, IL, died Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at his residence.

Dick was a 1955 graduate of Cathedral High School in Belleville and went on to earn both a BS and MS in Education from Southern Illinois University. His teaching career spanned over 35 years, beginning at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School, followed by schools in District 118, including Henry Raab School, Washington School, Jefferson School, and most recently, Central Junior High School, before his retirement.

Dick also managed the Elks Westhaven Pool for many years, and previously managed the Collinsville Swimming Pool.  He was heavily involved with the Belleville Recreation Program for years prior to his teaching career.  He also enjoyed volunteering at The Labor & Industry Museum in Belleville.

Dick was a generous and kind man who absolutely loved children, but none more than his daughter and grandchildren.  He delighted in their every accomplishment, attended all school sporting events, performances and graduations, and when distance was a factor, couldn’t wait to hear a full re-cap afterwards.  He loved the St. Louis Cardinals, watching re-runs of Gunsmoke and indulging in a slice of his favorite homemade pecan pie.  He enjoyed spending time with his many friends, playing a game of golf with his teaching buddies, and as a retired teacher, serving as a student mentor at Jefferson School. Wherever he’d go, he’d be greeted by a former student or other person whom his life had touched.  He was loved by so many and will be deeply missed.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Ann Wahlig; his parents, Phillip and Johanna, nee Heutel, Wahlig; six sisters, Mary Schierhoff, Louis Ratz, Shirley Schulte, Phyllis Doerr, Laverne Eichenseer, and Venita “Hookie” Greenfield; and two brothers, George Wahlig and Bob Wahlig.

He leaves behind his daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Barry Van Deman of Durham, NC;
his two precious grandchildren, Connor and Emeline Van Deman;
his brother-in-law, Jim Geary;
and his many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.

Dick’s daughter Lisa wishes to express her deepest thanks to his nieces Kelli (Wahlig) Schlich and Joan (Schulte) Mentzer and their families for their countless acts of kindness and care of their Uncle Dick over these past years.

At his request, memorial donations in Dick’s honor may be made to Belleville School District 118, or to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: Memorial services will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.


19 Comments on Richard Wahlig

T J Bolt said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2019 at 10:12 PM

Lisa please except my sympathy. My first memories of your dad were as a ref fifth grade touch football and basketball. He was so patient and would explain penalties to us taking such care so we would learn. He was my first boss at Wesrhaven. What a great guy. He will be missed.

  • Omahs
  • NE
Rich and Portia Binder said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2019 at 11:02 PM

Lisa, We were sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. We are sorry for your loss. Dick was a teacher at Central JH when I was the principal from 1993-94 to 1996-97, but I had known him years before (1975-1977) when I was his assistant manager at Westhaven Elk's Pool. He was a great guy and fun to be around. A have many great memories and stories. He will be missed. Our heartfelt condolences to you.

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Georgia Costello said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2019 at 8:31 PM

Dear Lisa and family, It was with great sadness when I heard of Dick’s death. He and I enjoyed 8 years teaching Physical Education and Health together at Central Jr. High. Yep, he put up with me and everyday together was always eventful, fun and an effort of love for our students. The challenges and pleasure we had on a daily basis were much easier because of Dick’s temperament, fairness, and firmness. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He always handled situations with his mischief smile, and it will work out George, don’t worry so much. He cared about and helped his family, friends, co-workers, and students. But most of all the love of his life was his daughter Lisa. He was so proud of her. And I’m sure later on his grandchildren. Lisa, I think his obituary was perfect, vintage Dick Wahlig. I know the Angels and of course Jim Schmidt greeted him with open arms. A special thank you to Dick for helping make others lives happier and better each day. Goodnight to a wonderful, sweet guy and a cherished friend until we meet again.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Larry and Kris Johnson said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2019 at 12:34 AM

We have been lucky enough to attend many gatherings with Uncle Dick at the Schlich’s home. He was a joy to be around and we will miss his smile and laughter. Our sympathies to his loved ones.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Marc Archer said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2019 at 9:32 PM

Condolences to the family. I remember Mr. Wahlig from Queen of Peace school. Terrific and highly respected teacher and man. I still carry life lessons learned from him to this day in my heart.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Todd Schwarz said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2019 at 2:31 AM

Uncle Dick was a hoot to be around... He was great guy for whom I had the pleasure of knowing for many years, and enjoying several adult beverages with:)

  • Lebanon
  • IL
TIMOTHY STUBBLEFIELD said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2019 at 7:33 PM

Dick was my first real boss when I lifeguarded at Westhaven and you couldn't have asked for a better boss. I remember him telling the guards a story about being in a research study to improve stuttering. He couldn't believe someone actually paid him to stutter. He had the guards rolling on the floor laughing. He was always a "make lemonade out of the lemons" kind of guy. Everyone who worked for him was better for it. He will be missed.

  • Illinois
Chuck Lugge said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2019 at 4:56 PM

Dick was part of a dynamic staff at Central Junior High when I first started teaching and coaching. CJH had a top-notch crew at that time, and Dick was a great example of the professionalism and kindness that was exhibited there.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Bill Mueller and Mary Sue Joyce said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2019 at 2:30 AM

They don't come any better than that guy. Dick will be missed

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Candice Andrecht (Woodruff) said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2019 at 12:06 AM

I remember him fondly from my Jr. High days (1993-1995). To his family, I'm so sorry for your loss and wish you great comfort.

  • Calvert City
  • KY
Joe John said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2019 at 8:27 PM

I would like to offer you Lisa, Connor, Emeline and Uncle Dick's family Kelli, Wes, Sandy, Brad & Stephanie my deepest and most sincere condolences. I hadn't seen Uncle Dick in a while, but I considered him a good friend.

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Kurt & Dana Graebe said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2019 at 6:39 PM

So sorry, Lisa and family. I miss seeing him already. Kurt, Dana, Patrick and Leid

  • Swansea
  • IL
Judy Woods said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2019 at 1:47 PM

Dick was an acquaintance that I met thru very dear friends. He was light on his feet when dancing, which he really enjoyed. RIP dear Dick, you will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Terry said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2019 at 1:09 PM

Dick was a hard working person.I remember him with his paper route he had when going to St.Teresa’s.He had many great accomplishments.RIP Dick

  • Bradenton
  • Florida
Jim and Rosie Robinson said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2019 at 7:35 AM

Dear Lisa and family, We were deeply saddened when we read of Dick's death. We are praying for you and your family.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Patrick Bassler said : Guest Report Jul 27, 2019 at 10:51 PM

I taught with Dick many years. Not only was he a fellow teacher, but he was a friend. He loved his daughter and his grand children and when you were around him, he would make you smile. He will be surely missed.

  • Trenton
  • Illinois
Andy Cook said : Guest Report Jul 27, 2019 at 10:40 PM

Lisa I am so very sorry for your loss. Your Dad was good man. He was a kind man. He was an intelligent man. All of these traits he passed on to you and you have passed onto your son. I see my Dad every day in my son. That’s how I know his spirit is eternal. Bless you. All of my love Andy

  • NewbYork
  • NY
Joe Bowman said : Guest Report Jul 27, 2019 at 10:18 PM

Much love to you, Lisa, and your family.

  • Springfield
  • MO
Portia Clubb said : Guest Report Jul 27, 2019 at 6:36 PM

So sorry for your loss!

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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