Fr. Richard A. Kosterman, of Antigo, died on February 24, 2016 at Langlade Hospital. He was 92 years old.
He was born July 2, 1923 in Racine, second of eight children to the late Arthur and Elizabeth (Shibilski) Kosterman. He attended St. John Nepomacene Grade School in Racine, and Pallottine Seminary in Milwaukee for four years of high school and two years of college. He then went to their novitiate in Jessups, MD for a year. He enlisted in the US Navy, attending boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, and Hospital Corps training at Farragut, ID. He was stationed back at Great Lakes Hospital, where he treated veterans in many medical capacities. He retired from his military service as Pharmacist Mate 3/C. He then completed four years of study at Northern Illinois College of Optometry, graduating as a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.).
Upon graduation from optometry school, he married Frances Bulger from Chicago. She preceded him in death after 37 years of marriage.
He practiced optometry in Antigo for 40 years, during which time he earned a Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development through post-graduate studies. He then included developmental, behavioristic vision therapy in his practice. He was chairman of the Hunters’ Vision Committee of the Wisconsin Optometric Association, where he helped bring about the change in apparel to blaze orange during the major hunting season; always an avid hunter, he was inspired by a cap he found on a hunting trip in Northern Canada. Dr. Kosterman was also a member of the Motor Vehicle Vision Committee, where he was instrumental in the installation of what is now known as the fog line (the white line on the outer edge of the road) on all highways.
After 40 years of practice as a Doctor of Optometry, he sold his practice, and with the permission of Archbishop John Whalen, entered Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He was ordained as a deacon, then transferred to the Gaylord, MI Diocese, where he was ordained a priest. He was Pastor at St. Raphael Church in Copemish for 11 years. Before leading St. Raphael Church, he served as Administrator at St. James in Whittemore, and St. Pius X in Hale. He also served as Sacramental Minister at St. Mary’s in Lake Leelanau, St. Gertrude in Northport, St. Michael in Suttons Bay, and St. Wenceslaus in Gill’s Pier. Upon retirement, he moved back to Antigo, where he served as temporary Sacramental Minister in many parishes in the northern part of the Green Bay Diocese.
He was a member of St. John Catholic Church.
His interests outside of his professional career and religious calling included hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Jaycees, Lions, Wisconsin Optometrist Association, and the American Optometric Association.
Survivors include 2 daughters, Mary (Terry) Walker of Warrenville, IL, and Therese Kosterman of Antigo, whom he especially appreciated for all the care and companionship she gave him; 5 sons, Dr. Daniel (Rita) Kosterman of Alaska, Robert (Cindy) Kosterman of Hogarty, Paul Kosterman of Hammond, John (Carol) Kosterman of Covington, WA, and James (Kim) Kosterman of Ames, IA; 16 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; a brother, LeRoy (Carol) Kosterman of Berlin.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Rita Warden; 2 sisters, Sr. Kathreen Kosterman, and Mary Zibley; and 4 brothers, Robert Kosterman, Eugene Kosterman, David Kosterman, and Daniel Kosterman.
Funeral Mass will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at St. John Catholic Church, with Rev. David Schmidt officiating. Visitation will be 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday at Strasser-Roller Funeral Home, with parish wake service at 7:00 p.m. A second visitation will be 10:00-11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Hoffmann Hall at St. John Catholic Church. Entombment will follow the service at Queen of Peace Mausoleum.
Friends may visit online at www.strasserrollerfh.com.