Richard B. “Dick” Mulder, 81, of Onalaska, passed away quietly and peacefully at the Onalaska Care Center on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. Dick was born on January 15, 1932 to Byron and Eleanor (Bollrud) Mulder in La Crosse, Wis. He lost his birth mother to pneumonia when he was four years old. When he reached the age of 12, his father Byron remarried Celia Larson. She spent the rest of her life as Dick and his sister Nancy’s much-loved mother. Byron and Celia had a daughter, Judy, who was born in 1945.
Dick grew up on the south side of La Crosse. He attended Hogan grade school and Central High School. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, which he continued to support throughout his life. Dick joined the Army post college and he was stationed and served in Korea during the Korean War. After his service, he worked at Alexander Grant accounting firm utilizing his accounting degree.
Dick met his wife, Lucille Engstler, and the two were married in 1957 in Hokah, Minn., and the two began their life together in La Crosse. In 1962, they opened the golf course calling it the Coulee Country Club. In 1964, the bowling alley was added and the name changed to Coulee Golf Bowl. Together they owned and operated the business for over 50 years. Through this family business he made many life long and true friends and was well known throughout the Coulee Region. Dick loved people! His giving nature was felt by so many throughout the years. He supported many local charities and quietly helped those in need. Dick was a huge supporter of the youth and Onalaska sports teams. He made the golf course readily available to both the boys’ and girls’ teams.
He was a huge sports fan. He avidly followed the Green Bay Packers, the La Crosse Loggers, the Wisconsin Badgers and many others. He was a member of the Onalaska Rotary Club, Onalaska American Legion Post 336, National and State Bowling and Golf Associations, and the Coulee Sno-Drifters snowmobile club. He was an active member in the Local Bowling Proprietors Association as well. Dick served one year as the parade Marshall for the Onalaska Sunfish Days Celebration.
Dick and Lucy have two children. A daughter Susanne was born in 1966 and Jon, born in 1972.
He is survived by his loving wife, Lucille, of 56 years, daughter Susanne (Roger) Hoy of Eden Prairie, Minn., and Jon Mulder of Onalaska, Wis. Grandchildren; Madeline, Andrew, Catherine, Zachary and Camille. He is further survived by nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. Dick was preceded in death by his mother, Eleanor; step-mother, Celia; father, Byron; sisters, Nancy (Mulder) Hartman ’54, and Judy (Mulder) Finberg ‘66.
Funeral services were held on October 7 at North Presbyterian Church in La Crosse. Reverend Scott Skogen officiating.
Burial followed the service with military honors at the Onalaska City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to North Presbyterian Church or the Richard and Lucy Mulder Golf Scholarship Fund in Dick’s memory.