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Valentine Kotecki

Issue Date: January 6, 2022

Valentine "Richard" Kotecki, 90, of Marinette passed away Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 at Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area.

Born May 27, 1931, to the late Valentine and Vincenta (Smolinski) Kotecki in Beaver, after caring for his mother who passed away early in his life, he enlisted in the United States Army at age 17 and served four years during the Korean War. On Sept. 26, 1953, he married Patricia "Pat" Gruszynski at St. Mary's Church in Crivitz and they had seven children. He worked at Waupun State Prison as a guard for three years and for the DMV as a Driver's License Examiner, where he stood between hopeful 16 year-olds and their driving liberties, for 35 years. 

For many years, he served as treasurer for the Town of Peshtigo and was a charter member of their Volunteer Fire Dept. Later, he served many terms on the Marinette County Board of Supervisors and was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and the American Legion Post 280.

A long time independent logger, he was the type of man that relished physical labor and the feel of a chainsaw in his hands. His children also knew, as many of them were right there alongside him, assisting with measuring and peeling the logs.

He enjoyed the company of many dogs, deer hunting, going to "the shack" (his cabin, spending time with family, especially his grandchildren and will be remembered for his work ethic and straight-to-the-point demeanor. 

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Pat; four daughters, Kathleen Barrette of Washington, Pa., Debra Leemon of Menominee and Suzanne (Rich) Heinen and Pamela (Mike) Goes, both of Marinette; three sons, Rick (Lisa) Kotecki of Antigo, Mike (Liz) Kotecki of Sussex and Scott (Steph) Kotecki of Menominee; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and many nieces; nephews and cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Coty Kotecki; a son-in-law, Bob Leemon and a brother, Charles Kotecki.

Visitation will be held at Thielen Funeral Home on Friday, Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Menominee at 12:30 p.m., with Rev. Abraham Mupparathara officiating. Military Honors will be performed by the Military Twenty Year Club with burial in Glenwood Memorial Gardens. Due to COVID-19  Face Masks are REQUIRED. 


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