The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

William E. Ribich


IRONWOOD, Mich. - William E. Ribich, 92, of Ironwood, passed away Sunday morning, March 5, 2017, at his home.

William was born on Feb. 3, 1925, in Eveleth, Minn., a son of Vincent and Lucy (Maccani) Ribich. He attended Wakefield High School and graduated in 1943. William was an excellent student and an outstanding athlete. He was the basketball captain of the 1943 Cardinals team, which captured the Michigan-Wisconsin conference championship and the tournament. William exceled in football, where he was the quarterback in his junior and senior years, and participated in track for four years.

William was a recipient of the American Legion Award in 1943 and was a Youth Rotar from 1942 to 1943. He also holds a diploma from St. Lawrence of Mount Calvary, Wis.

Following graduation, William proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. He was in Company F, 1306th Engineer General Service Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division in the European Theater of Operations from 1943 to 1945 and later in the Philippines and Japan. William was honorably discharge as a technician fifth grade on Jan. 5, 1946. He received the Good Conduct Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

After returning to Wakefield, William enrolled at Gogebic Community College and received an associate degree. Then from 1948 to 1950, he attended Northern Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, followed by his Master of Arts degree at the University of Michigan and his education specialist degree at Eastern Michigan University.

William was a teacher and administrator at the Stambaugh Area Schools from 1950 to 1964. Then he became an administrator, principal and assistant superintendent at the Milan Area Schools from 1964 to 1986. William retired in 1986 and moved to Little Girl's Point.

William was an avid outdoors person, a gardener, a writer, a lover of classical music, a world traveler and a voracious reader.

He was an active member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Saxon, Wis.

William is survived by two godsons, Don Stanley and Don Tregloan, both of Ironwood; two nephews, William (Susan) Luoma, Wakefield, and Ray (Debra) Luoma, Virginia, Minn .; a niece, Georgiana Fox, Long Beach, Calif .; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and a host of friends.

He was predeceased by his parents; three brothers, Joe, Frank and Leo; and three sisters, Ida, in infancy, Ann Luoma and Angeline Gorich.

In accordance with William's wishes, cremation has taken place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, March 11, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Ann's Church, with the Rev. Frank Kordek OFM, celebrant.

A luncheon will follow at the Saxon Community Center.

Rite of Committal and interment will be at Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield, in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in William's memory to St. Ann's Service Club, 200 Church St., Saxon, WI 54559.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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