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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Robert J. Picard

Issue Date: April 7, 2021

Robert J. Picard, 80, passed away Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Born Dec. 14, 1940 in Menominee, Mi., to Marie (Kuhnle) and Robert (Claude) Picard, his grandparents, Anna and John Kuhnle supported him through his childhood and teenage years while Marie worked at the Lloyd Furniture Company. He played Pop Warner football in Menominee, played kick the can in the neighborhood, caught fish for dinner with his buddies to bring home for his grandmother to fillet and cook. He was a dependable friend, never afraid to try a new sport and brought others along for the fun.

He graduated from Menominee High School in 1959 where he excelled as an athlete playing football, basketball and running track. He earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Michigan and after a shoulder injury, he left Ann Arbor and entered Lawrence University in Appleton. There he injured his back playing football and had to leave school to pay his own way through college. He later enrolled at Northern Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1965.

He married Terry (Delwiche) Picard just before the football season began on Aug. 12, 1971 in Menominee and their daughter Sarah was born six years later. He loved spending time with them on their boat in Door County in the summers, cooking fish on the grill and coaching Sarah most weekends on the golf course. They celebrated his hole in one at Riverside, his time as an Oldsmobile Scramble National Finalist in 1986 and his years of NEWGA Seniors leadership as Secretary/Treasurer.

With his love of sports, he connected with people and made a difference in the community and also entered the field of secondary education. He taught at Albion High School and Gladstone High School before returning to the area where he was an assistant football coach and teacher at Marinette High School. He was proud of his coaching years there, especially the offense of the 1974 State Championship team. He then went to graduate school at NMU, earning a Master's degree in 1979 in School Administration and was principal at Marinette High School, Business Manager and Middle School Principal before retiring in 1996.

He often could be found at Higley Stadium on fall Friday nights cheering on the Marines. He was commentary for WMAM radio and highlighted Marine athletes at the halftime show from the tennis courts, swimming pool or cross country courses. He loved watching the Green Bay Packers offensive line from his perch at Lambeau. His home office was filled with many black and white photos of former players, fellow coaches, University of Michigan and Green Bay Packer regalia and football game memories. One of his happiest days was in 2019, when he entered the Marinette Athletic Hall of Fame with the 1974 Marine State Championship team. The offensive players visited him at home and presented him with a team jersey, recalled the Shawano game of 1974, the incredible blocking and passing plays and practice drills where he pushed them to their physical limits.

He will be remembered as a storyteller on the golf course, at the Elks Club, at coffee klatches, dinner parties in Gulf Shores, Al., and in homes of friends in the area.

In a year where a devastating virus kept so many people apart, he could sense the love and care so many friends and family shared from afar. When family was allowed in to visit in person, they were grateful for the time spent together as a family.

He is survived by his wife Terry; a daughter Sarah Picard (Tony) Taylor; a granddaughter; Fred and Audrey Delwiche; John and Anne Delwiche and six nieces and nephews and many cousins with whom he shared many happy memories.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-mother, Emily and his in-laws, John and Mary Jo Leaper.

A private family Mass will be held and a Celebration of Life where all can gather will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to the M&M Area Community Foundation, especially the Marine Way Fund or the Future Fund. Thielen Funeral Home of Marinette is assisting the family.


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