Rudolph Peter Salzman
Our beloved Dad, Pa Rudy, and friend, Rudolph Peter Salzman, 99 years young, passed peacefully from his earthly life to eternal life on Thursday, December 24, 2015.
Rudy was born on August 21, 1916 in the Town of Castle, Wisconsin. He was the fifth child of twelve of Anna (Jensen) and Benjamin Salzmann.
In 1935 Rudy moved to Wausau, Wisconsin where he met Fern Swenson of Cameron, Wisconsin. They married August 21, 1940, at the parsonage of St. James Church (Church of the Resurrection) in Wausau. They made their home in Wausau and in Sanibel Island, FL. They happily celebrated sixty-two years of marriage, laughter, and fun and travel before mother predeceased dad on May 4, 2002.
Rudy had a long and illustrious working career. His strong work ethic and devotion to his family began at an early age. Growing up in the Town of Castle, and later Marathon City, he would do many jobs after school from setting bowling pins at the local bowling hall to putting cords on wood in neatly arranged piles.
In the midst of the Great Depression, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at Camp Manitowish Waters, WI, where he served as the Camp Canteen Steward where his creative marketing and sales skills began. In 1935 he was hired to work on the electric motor assembly line at Marathon Electric Company (ME). For the next forty eight years at ME, he held many positions. In 1937 he was promoted to the Engineering and Testing Lab. Between 1939 and 1945 Rudy was sent to numerous U.S. naval shipyards in WA, CA, LA, and OH where he installed and serviced Marathon Electric motors and generators on various naval vessels. In 1945 Rudy became the first outside salesman for ME which lead to District Sales Manager in Indianapolis, IN, in 1948, then on to Regional Sales Manager in Chicago, IL, in 1957. Moving back to Wausau with his family in 1960, Rudy took the position of VP of Sales and Marketing and in 1978 he became VP of International Sales.
Rudy’s next business venture began in 1978 when Charlie Snapp and he founded Snapp Electric Company. In 1981 Rudy became the sole owner of Snapp until 1983 when he merged Snapp with Leverance Electric to form the L&S Electric Company. He served as Chairman of the Board and later became Chairman Emeritus of L&S Board of Directors which he held until his recent death. Dad never retired since he was involved in his work every day of his life.
During his lifetime, Rudy belonged to and contributed his time, and talent, and energy to the Knights of Columbus where he was elevated to a 4th Degree Knight; the Wausau Country Club where he served as President in 1967; the Wausau Club; the Elks Club; St. Therese Church; St. Isabels’ Church in Sanibel; and Church of the Resurrection.
Love, wisdom, compassion, courage, and the importance of listening are gifts he passed onto us. His retelling of stories from holding the lantern for John Dillinger to talking about the perfect golf shot with his buddies on Saturday mornings at Perkins or in the clubhouse at Beachview Golf Course will long be remembered, shared, and missed.
Taking meticulous care of his roses and flowers in Sanibel showed his love for gardening. Throwing in a nickel for Sheepshead, a quarter for Bridge, or a dime for Cribbage was a highlight of his day to be able to play cards and discuss the day’s happenings with friends.
Family meant everything to him. Rudy was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Fern; his seven brothers and two sisters; and many dear special friends.
He is survived by his sister, Adeline and brother, Joseph Salzmann; son, James (Alice) Salzman; daughter, Kathleen (Charles) Maguire; six grandchildren, Allyson (Peter) Hickey, Susan (Scott) Mortensen, Thomas (Amy) Salzman, Amy (Kevin) Ludwig, Christopher (Michelle) Salzman, and Katy Sawyer; twelve great-grandchildren, Madeline, Lindsey, Lily, Claire, Matthew, Colin, Emma, Mia, Alexa, Corinne, Jack, And Nick; and by numerous nephews, nieces, grand nephews and nieces, and great grand nephews and nieces.
Rudy was blessed to have so many wonderful caregivers the last years of his life. To Donna, Lynn, Yvonne and DeAnn,.. our deepest appreciation and love. To the staff at Primrose since April, 2014 You brightened each day for him with your smiles and devoted care. To St. Clares’ Hospital staff Dr Ugwummandu, Father Marion, nursing staff, RT staff, everyone Thank you for your compassion.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 9, 2015 at St. Matthew Catholic Church. 229 S. 28th Ave., Wausau. Rev. Robert Thorn will officiate. Entombment will be at Restlawn Memorial Chapel Mausoleum. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church.
Condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com