August 23, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Richard “Dick” Thober, 98, passed away July 29, 2022, at Hospice Alliance in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
Born Dec. 15, 1923, in Albany, he was the son of the late Edward Thober 1880-1979 (99 years) and Emilie (Christen) 1889-1974 (85 years). He was born and raised on a 90-acre farm, went to Albany High School, the University of Minnesota for finance and then joined the Army. From Aug. 20, 1943, until Jan. 11, 1946, he served in the Army as private first class. He was in the second wave of Normandy and was a messenger during WWII. Upon leaving the Army, he moved to Los Angeles, California. He worked miscellaneous jobs, one being with Consolidated Aircraft. While working for the aircraft company he got his first job with Warner Brothers Studios working in special effects and creating explosions. He became a member of the Local 44, the union which members locate jobs for various studio companies. Richard had many stories but the one he mentioned often was working in the movie “Singing in the Rain.” He did the rain all by himself while Gene Kelly was singing “Singing in the Rain.” He said, “I really got him wet.” It was a lot of work, but he didn’t mind being up in the rafters by himself. He worked on many movies, including “1941,” “Coma” and “V.” He retired from the motion picture studio (Local 44) in the 1980s.
He called working for the studios “feast or famine.” When not working on a movie, he remodeled homes, enjoyed gardening and loved antique cars.
No matter how much pain he was in from arthritis, he always asked, “How you were doing?” and “How was your day?” He loved to listen to what you had to say. He took the time to compliment you and to say what was on his mind. He loved the Rat Pack and when a song came on he liked, he would sing out loud. At the nursing home there were times he would sing in his room, out in the halls. He enjoyed playing bingo to win his favorite candy bar, Mounds, but just loved chocolate. He could take a small piece of chocolate, that was meant to be one bite, and get three bites out of it. I asked why do you do that? Richard said, “I like to savor and enjoy each bite.” He was a slow eater.
Richard is survived by daughter Liza Thober, son-in-law David Brothen, grandson Mathew Jones of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and brother Arthur “Buddy” Thober of Albany. He has two children, Liza Thober with friend, preceded in death, Geraldine Waite (Cina) of Kenosha, and was married for approximately 1.5 years to, preceded in death, Sharon Thober of Phoenix, Arizona, with son Brook Thober 1961-2022, preceded in death, of Phoenix. Richard also was preceded in death by his siblings, Adline Thober 1917-1962, Arnold Thober 1915-1991, Walter Thober 1913-1978, Clara Thober 1918-1980, Anette Thober 1921-1985, Edwin Thober 1908-2001, Lillian Thober 1911-2007 and Elsie 1929-2009.
An interment service, with military honors, was Aug. 20 Sunset Ridge Cemetery in Kenosha, Wisconsin.