Serving Western Wisconsin
Theodore Bartels 04/03/2019

Theodore Bartels 04/03/2019

On Wednesday, April 3, Ted Bartels, loving husband, father of four, and grandfather of 12 passed away at the age of 79.  With a whistle and the jingle of spare change in his pocket, you could usually hear Ted Bartels before you could see him. You could hear Ted singing in the United Methodist Choir, teaching Sunday School, and reading to kids at the family day care center, Bartels’ Kiddyland. You could see Ted riding his bike to school, to church, and to the flower shop. Ted gave his time to make the lives of others a little happier. His legacy lives on in the lives of those he touched.  Ted was born in a house about 20 miles east of Rice Lake, Wisconsin on May 27, 1939. When he was four years old, his family moved to Minneapolis. After tragedies that took the lives of two of his uncles, his folks decided to move back to the Rice Lake area. In 1957, Ted graduated from Rice Lake High School and then spent four years in the Navy with deployments to Alaska and Japan. After being discharged, he spent two years attending the Barron County Teachers College. During that time, he married Marlene Stearns. He taught in Ridgeland, Wisconsin for the next three years while attending UW-River Falls.  Ted starting teaching in New Richmond in 1968 and taught there for 29 years. During that time he earned a Master’s Degree in Reading Education. He taught reading to inmates at the Stillwater Prison, grade 3 in Star Prairie, Title I, and grades 4 and 5 in New Richmond. He was also involved in the JCs, Lions, the New Richmond Fire Department, the Cub Scouts, and Sunday School at the United Methodist Church.  After retirement, Ted delivered flowers for Allen’s Flower Shop and Shoots & Stems which filled his passion for making people smile. He was also a custodian for the United Methodist Church in New Richmond. He and Marlene were virtually inseparable, bringing meals and communion to people who couldn’t come to church, driving the church van, and attending community events.  Ted was preceded in death by his father, Merrill, his mother, Elsie, and his brother Jack. He is survived by his wife, Marlene, his four children Todd (Robin) Bartels, Terry Bartels, Tracy (Mike) Preece, Kenna (Lance) Swiggum and 12 grandchildren.  A Funeral Service was held on Friday, April 12, 2019 at 11 am at the New Richmond United Methodist Church 209 E 2nd Street New Richmond, WI.  Visitation was held on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 4-8 pm at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services 728 S Knowles Avenue New Richmond, WI and on Friday from 10-11 am at the church.  Interment was in New Richmond Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • Nancy Schreiber Posted April 4, 2019 7:55 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss! I met him several times. I am Tabitha’s mother. She is married to Dan. I pray that our Lord and Savior rests with you during this trying time.

  • Rosemary Cashman Posted April 4, 2019 9:51 pm

    My heartfelt sympathy goes to “Grandpa Ted’s” family. I met Grandpa Ted a few times and was touched by his kindness. He was good to my nephew Brennan, for which I’m thankful. The unconditional love and wisdom of family elders are invaluable. I was grieved to hear of his illness. I hope his family will be comforted by sweet memories.

  • Brenda Germain Posted April 5, 2019 12:40 am

    I am Teds neighbor, when we first moved in Ted snow plowed our driveway, for a couple of years. A great guy. I want to send our deepest sympothy to Marlene and fsmily.

  • Suze Plahn Posted April 5, 2019 11:15 am

    So sorry for your loss prayers are with you all our..
    Bill and Suze Plahn

  • Janell Thorson Anderson Posted April 5, 2019 1:46 pm

    Keeping the family in our prayers. I remember many visits between the Bartels & Thorson families. Keep your memories close

  • Cindy Hansen Posted April 6, 2019 1:12 pm

    My son was in Ted & Marlene ‘s daycare for several years. He was a kind, caring man & even though he taught school all day you could find him reading to the kids in the daycare when he got home. They all loved him as I did i. Prayers & love to all of you.

  • Bill & Cathy Meehan Posted April 7, 2019 12:17 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We loved Ted and all he did for the kids. Our children had the privilege of having Ted & Marlene as their daycare Dad & Mom and they were great. He will be missed.

  • Michael & Elizabeth Krohn Posted April 7, 2019 10:18 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. We attended church with Ted & Marlene for many years b4 we moved to Osceola 5 years ago. Ted always had a big smile on his face & ready to give a helping hand wherever & whenever it wss needed. He will be greatly missed.

  • Shelley S Lyksett Posted April 8, 2019 2:18 pm

    I will see you all and hug each of you the end of the week. You have all been a part of my life for ever! Ted was such a wonderful guy, and could always make me smile. Whitney sends her love and prayers along with mine. Love you all!

    • Tracy Preece Posted April 8, 2019 6:56 pm

      Looking forward to seeing you, Shelley! Send love right back to Whitney.

  • Cheryl Fellinger Posted April 8, 2019 8:33 pm

    My deepest condolences to all of you. He was such a friendly happy person and put many smiles on faces. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • Leslie Stoeklen Posted April 9, 2019 12:50 am

    I am saddened by the news of Ted’s passing. Ted and I go way back! In 1969 he was my home room teacher! So many great memories from his class, such a wonderful man! Then a few, quite a few years later, my son started going to Bartel’s kiddyland daycare! Six years later, son #2 started to go there! Ted and Marlene we’re like grandparents to my boys and were a huge part of their lives!! They have many fond memories of both of them!! We send our sympathy and love to Marlene and the family!!

  • Lester and Carol Jones Posted April 9, 2019 2:06 am

    Ted was a bright light. He was always friendly and kind. Our sympathy and prayers are with you.

  • Nancy Bohl Bormann Posted April 10, 2019 2:42 am

    Thinking of you all Bartels family.

  • Karen R Smith Posted April 12, 2019 2:58 am

    David and I will miss Ted. Our kids loved him in school and we had such fun visits with Ted and Marlene whenever we would run into each other around NR. Our Condolences.

  • Cheri Evjen Posted April 12, 2019 3:06 pm

    Greatest admiration and respect for Ted and Marlene. Always a smile and a friendly word. Our children were under Marlene’s charge at the Daycare (not in their home), and Ted is a shirt-tail relative of Cheri’s. Ted and Cheri reminisced about the “Uncles” around Rice Lake area. Ted will be greatly missed, one of NR’s icons. All our best to Marlene and the family. Kerry Kittel, Cheri Evjen, Heather and Alex

  • Pam O’Reilly Posted April 18, 2019 8:47 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Ted’s passing. He was an exceptional person who went out of his way to care for others. For a few years he taught just down the hall from me at East Elementary. He was always wonderful with our little preschoolers who had special needs. Marlene and Ted ran their daycare with love and always welcomed our school team in their doors. In 1993 I went to Mayo Clinic & St Mary’s Hospital in Rochester to have surgery on my spinal cord. Once I was home again Ted sent me a get well card. That meant a lot to me, even to this day. Ted was really a one of a kind person and I know he went straight to heaven. God bless you as you learn to live without him on earth and know that his love will always be with you. Keep whistling! Take Care, Pam O’Reilly

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