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Richard H. Gourley

January 15, 1923 March 23, 2016
Richard H. Gourley
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Obituary for Richard H. Gourley

Richard H. Gourley, 93, of Minocqua, died peacefully at his residence on
Wednesday, March 23,2016. Beloved father, grandfather, and brother, he was born in
Waukegan, Illinois on January 15, 1923, but was a lifelong Wisconsin boy growing up in

Rick was only a teenager when he came north to work in the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC camps) down Blue Lake Road south of Minocqua. There he
was assigned as cook and remembered peeling 16 tons of potatoes. But it was from there
he also met his future wife, Beth (Luedtke) whose family owned the Blue Lake Resort on
Blue Lake Island. At the time the resort served meals, and foremen from the CCC camp
often went over to eat. They were allowed to bring only their most trusted workers
because the Luedtke's had three very attractive daughters, Audrey and twins Beth and
Gwenn. Rick was one of the chosen, and he and Beth were married for 71 years before
her death in the spring of 2014.

Rick served as a pilot in the Army Air Corp during WWII. His only child,
Andree, was born on the morning he soloed and was awarded his wings. Flying a B-24
Liberator out of England, he was one of the few pilots who survived all of his bombing
missions into Germany. Though once shot down over Belgium, he was safely returned to
his base with the help of Allied Resistance.

Rick was a carpenter by trade and after moving to Castro Valley, California, in
the 1950s he joined a Bay Area construction ftrm called the Pacific Company. With them
he rose first to foreman, then superintendent, and many San Francisco high rise buildings
stand as monuments to his building career.

Rick and Beth took early retirement to purchase and run the Blue Lake Resort in
the early 1970s. During off seasons of the 15 years they ran the resort, the Gourleys
traveled the globe together visiting every continent except Greenland and Antarctica.
Besides being a world traveler, Rick was a member of American Legion Post 89, a
formidable bridge player, and a lifelong stamp collector.

He is survived by his only daughter, Andree Graveley, proprietor of Blue Lake
Resort since 1989; his three grandchildren Michael (Claire) Graveley of Kenosha, Nicole
(Paul Smith) Graveley of San Leandro, Ca., and Sarah Graveley of Minneapolis, Mn .. On
the very day of his death Rick heard the good news that his grandson Michael was
running for district attorney of Kenosha County. Other decendants include four greatgrandchildren, Ben, Lucas, Amelia, and Aron. He is also survived by a loving sister,
Joyce Fitchett of Racine, sister-in-law Audrey Despain of Castro Valley, Ca., and
numerous nieces, nephews, and their children.

A family memorial is planned for the summer, but remembrances can be made to
the Lakeland Food Pantry, and online condolences can be shared at or sent to Blue Lake Resort. Nimsgem Funeral & Cremation
Services is serving the family.

The family of this beloved man wish him good travels in a place with no wars,
now that he has graduated from this life and has surely earned and been awarded his next
set of wings.

To plant a tree in memory of Richard H. Gourley, visit the Tribute Store.


Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

Memorial Contribution

Lakeland Area Food Pantry

1707 Hwy 51 N.
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568

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