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Richard "Rick" Pfahning

Richard "Rick" Pfahning

February 24, 2018

Richard “Rick” J. Pfahning, 69, of Eau Claire, passed away February 24, 2018 at home following a battle with cancer.  He was born in Marshfield, WI on November 9, 1948, the son of Edward and Amy (Amble) Pfahning.

Rick served honorably as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam.

Rick will always be remembered as a person who lived life to the fullest, enjoying every moment.  He was fondly known as Hair Bear by his friends.  Rick was creative and often an instigator.  Anyone who spent time with him couldn’t help but laugh and be caught up by his enthusiasm.  He loved being an honorary O’Brien brother and was the wise old man at deer camp.

Rick’s interests were varied and many, including motorcycling, Rock Fest, Blues Fest, hunting, fishing, golfing, fireworks, billiards and poker with the boys, growing large pumpkins, and trying new recipes.  He was always willing to give lessons or share pointers.

Rick is survived by the love of his life, Mary Ann Eckes; son, Gene Wagner (Wendy Tubbs); grandson, Clifford Wagner; sisters, Dee Goldbach of Townsend, TN and Laney (Mike) Wohlgemuth of Morgan Hill, CA; brother, Dan (Terrill) Pfahning of Kalispell, MT; brother-in-law, Pat Helixon of Menomonie, WI; sister-in-law, Fran Pfahning Baldwin of Columbia Falls, MT; mother-in-law, Midge Eckes of Marshfield, WI; pets, Amy and Stevie Ray.

Preceding Rick in death were his father in 1990; mother in 2000; brother, Jim Pfahning, in 2000; father-in-law, Cliff Eckes, in 2008; brother-in-law, Paul Goldbach, in 2009; sister, Janette Helixon, in 2016.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 1- 3 p.m. at the America Legion Post #53, 634 Water Street, Eau Claire, WI.  All those wishing to celebrate Rick’s life are welcome to attend.

Rick will be forever in our hearts and missed by all.

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services of Altoona, WI is serving the family. 


Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 1- 3 p.m. at the America Legion Post #53, 634 Water Street, Eau Claire, WI.

Florist Information

All flowers should be delivered to the American Legion on Water Street by 12 p.m. Saturday, March 10.


  • Leose Loiselle Koenig Dear MaryAnn
    We are saddened to learn of your loss.
    Please accept our heartfelt condolences on Ricks passing to you and family.
    We hope that in a small way these condolences help you through this difficult time.
    Sending you a hug and love through this note.
    Leose & Jeff Koenig

    March 10 at 6:02pm

  • Ron and Holly Mathews MA and Gene,we are so very sorry for the loss of your Hair bear,he was truly one of a kind and always had an amazing adventurous elk,deer hunting or motorcycling story to share,he was so creative from his awesome camo canoe to his tiki themed outside lounge and more.We will never forget him and the adventures we shared...Much LOVE and respect,Ron(speedbump)& Holly Mathews

    March 8 at 5:41pm

  • Bruce O'Brien Rick, my good hearted neighbor for many years, you will be missed. You touched many lives and I don’t believe anyone could forget meeting you. You were never without a good story or a helping hand. Mary Ann I am so sorry.

    March 8 at 4:39pm

  • Barb Donndelinger MaryAnn you have my deepest sympathy. My heart goes out to you.

    March 8 at 11:55AM

  • Darla Egger Mary Ann and family...thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. He will live on in your thoughts and memories. Take care.

    March 8 at 8:34AM

  • Robert Ley I am honored and blessed to have known Rick. He was a true friend, a blessing in my life and he will be missed. My heartfelt condolences.

    Robert Ley

    March 7 at 4:41PM

  • Judy Lang Garfield Mary Ann, Danny and Pfahning family, we wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to you at Rick's death.
    As we sit here together, we remember our early years and the fun we had the times we were able to get together, and mourn the fact we were not able to get together more.
    (I, in particular, am so very grateful at seeing him at one of the reunions at Jim Lang's about 4 years ago. It meant the world to me to re-establish contact).
    All of us express our sympathy at your loss, Mary Ann, Dan.
    God bless you.
    Judy Lang Garfield, Dale Garfield,
    Janice Lang Hansen, Jim Lang, Paul Schlagenhaft

    March 7 at 7:36AM

  • Geno I can’t tell you how Rick has affected my life I’ve known Rickey Bird for over fifty years and whenever there were bad times somehow he would find a positive side to everything. Sorry for your loss Mary Ann. He will be missed

    March 2 at 6:16PM

  • Sue Simons We are so sorry to hear about Rick. He will be remembered with love by me and the kids

    March 1 at 3:45PM

  • Jeff Larson Every time I met Rick he was laughing and was always a friend. He made it seem like he knew you all his life. We talked about the Corps, as we were both Marines. God is changing the sentries at the gates of heaven and needed another good Marine. Semper Fi my brother. We miss you.
    Jeff and DeAnna Larson

    March 1 at 12:03PM

  • Geno I’ve known Rick for over 50 years been one of my best friends. Had a lot of good times together Lotta crazy times together never any bad times because when even there were bad times somehow he turned them in the good times. In the obituary it said he was known as hair bear to me it was always Ricky bird and that came from a guy by the pool at the pool hall where we grew up No matter what his nickname was my name for him and his friend always there for you. I will miss him

    March 1 at 9:21AM

  • Judy Lee Mary Ann, you have my deepest sympathy. Rick will be missed by all of us remaining in the old neighborhood gang. He showed us how to live life to the fullest.

    February 26 at 3:35PM

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