Obit: Raeck, Milton C. (1926-2009)
Contact: Audrey Roedl
Surnames: Raeck, Roohr, Hoell
----Source: Loyal TRG (Loyal, Clark County, Wis.) 02 Sept. 2009)
Raeck, Milton (17 MAR 1926-31 JUL 2009)
Milton C. Raeck, 83, Richfield, passed away on July 31, 2009 at his home, with loved ones by his side. A memorial service was held at his daughter’s home on Aug. 22, 2009.
Milton C. Raeck had very humble beginnings. He was born at home in the town of Green Grove, on March 17, 1926. He was raised by his uncle and aunt, William and Elizabeth Roohr, Unity, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse and worked on the farm.
He graduated from Loyal High School in 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduation. His most notable naval service was his tour at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard as a fireman first class, maintaining ship engines. In July 1945, during his tour, the key fissle components of the first atomic bomb were loaded into the USS Indianapolis for shipment to Tinian.
The following year, just a month prior to his discharge, six convicts at the Alcatraz prison attempted an escape and a three-day prison riot ensued. The U. S. Marines, Coast Guard and Navy were called to action. Thousands of rounds were exchanged during the siege and he was on the Navy destroyer that encircled the island. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in June 1946.
He re-enlisted with the armed services in 1947, this time with the U. S. Army. In 1950, he was stationed in Japan as part of the Army of Occupation of Japan., under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Corporal Raeck was serving with Headquarters Company, 24th Infantry Division, as a mechanic, and was called to duty when the North Korean people’s army launched an attack on the Republic of Korea in the South. A 540-man unit was organized on July 1, 1950 (known as Task Force Smith) and sent into Korea. This was the first U. S. engagement with North Korea. When they landed on Korean soil, they were ordered to block the main road to Pusan as far north as possible. What ensued has come to be known as the Battle of Osan. The task force was using antiquated weapons, each man was only allotted 120 rounds of ammunition, and yet they managed to delay a column of eight North Korean tanks and a second column of three tanks, with countless troops, for seven hours. The task force had to retreat, but provided the UN forces some tine to deploy more troops to Korea.
As part of Headquarters Company, 24th Infantry Division, he was part of the first troops sent to the earliest battles of the Korean War between July 2 and Nov. 1, 1950, including Osan, Tajeon and Pusan. Provided with substandard equipment, their mission was to stop or delay the North Korean Army from moving further south and protect the Port of Pusan until further UN reinforcements arrived.
He received the Army of Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Three Bronze Campaign Stars, Korean War Service Medal from the Republic of Korea, and the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service between July 2 and Nov. 2, 1950.
He never discussed his heroic role in the Korean War—when asked about this period in his life, he would simply reply, "We just did what we were told to do."
He suffered injuries and other health issues resulting from his service in Korea and exposure to the elements there. He was sent to the Fort Knox U.S. Army Hospital in 1952, where he remained until his honorable discharge in 1954. While a patient at the hospital, he trained to become a surgical technician. This is where he met his future bride, Olga Hoell. Both worked under the direction of Colonel R. Townsend Artman.
They went back to their respective states of Wisconsin and New York after leaving Fort Knox, Ky. It would be three years before Olga sent Milton a Christmas card in 1957 and the friendship that began in Kentucky was renewed and blossomed into romance. He visited her in New York once. She visited him, of course chaperoned by her parents, in Wisconsin, once. And the next time they were together in New York, on Oct 17, 1958, they were married.
They returned to Wisconsin to start their life together. He worked at American Motors from 1957 through 1965, before entering the U. S. Postal Service as a clerk at the Waukesha Post Office. Their first child, David, was born in 1963, and they decided to build a house together in Brookfield. In 1966, their daughter, Debra, was added to the family.
It was during this time that his wife discovered that the position of postmaster was newly opened to candidates based on merit; prior to this they were assigned by appointment only. He applied and became the first postmaster assigned based on merit in the state of Wisconsin.
Postmaster Raeck’s first position was at North Prairie in 1973. He then transferred to Allenton in 1977, and in 1983 he settled at the Hubertus Post Office until he retired in 1990.
After retirement, he needed to earn his gambling slot machine money, so he took part-time jobs with Pinkerton Security as a guard and Pick ‘n Save where he bagged groceries and visited with store patrons. They also went to Florida several times each year for extended stays to visit with family, and enjoy the sunshine.
In 2005, his wife suffered a debilitating stroke and, with he help of their children, he spent his days caring for her and managing the household and yard. He demonstrated his love for his wife daily and called her his "Little Angel."
He suffered a massive stroke on Feb. 28, 2009, and on that same day, received the news that he had cancer. After a lengthy stay in the hospital, he returned home to be with his family, especially his "little angel." Weakened and debilitated by the stroke, he tragically succumbed to cancer. His constitution and strength of character remained intact until the day when he left us to be with God.
He was not a man of many words, but his love was demonstrated with every action. He enjoyed fishing, country western music, working in the yard, Pabst Blue Ribbon and going to casinos. He could often be found watching the news, and become engrossed as major historical events unfolded live on television. He loved American history, and he had a deep admiration for FDR and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He possessed a gentle, quiet strength and was never boastful. He was easy-going and had a love of words as he and his wife enjoyed crossword puzzles and word jumbles every day at breakfast. He was a loyal friend and maintained a friendship with Otis Kath for almost 80 years. He was selfless and always willing to lend a helping when needed. He was a devoted husband and father. He was an American hero.
Cherished and beloved husband for more than 50 years of Olga (nee Hoell); devoted and loving father of David (Tammy) and Debra; loved brother of Helen Oestreich and Agnes Domer; dear brother-in-law of Herbert and Lucille Hoell and Violet Sass; caring uncle of Jack and Dale Oestreich; Sandy Swanson, Randy (Linda) Raeck, Kathy Roeper, and Robert (Jackie) Hoell; and true and loyal friend of Otis Kath, Ken and Karin Eppler and John and Ira Zeker.
Preceding him in death were his brothers, Norman, Howard, Harold and Orville; in-laws, Oscar Oestreich, Harold Domer, Herb and Olga Hoell, and niece, Layrie.
He is dearly loved and so very deeply missed.
Memorials to the American Stroke Association are appreciated.
The Schmidt Funeral Home, Jackson, served the family. Online guest book and condolences are available at schmidtfuneralhome.com.
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