Richard R. Dehmel

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grafton for Richard R. Dehmel, 59, who died Feb. 22, 2006 in Botswana, Africa.

Richard was born June 20, 1946 in Tucson, Ariz. He was the second son of John and Ruth (nee Kohlwey) Dehmel. He graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1964 and from the University of Arizona in 1969.

From here he joined the Peace Corps and taught math at Sarawak, Maylaysia from August 1969 to December 1971. He returned to the United States to acquire a post-graduate certificate in education from the University of South Florida in 1973. Following this he went to Lesotho, Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer, where he taught two years. Rich went on to teach at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

Richard went to Botswana, Africa in January 1977, teaching at Madiba Secondary School until 1984. He returned to the states to obtain his masterís in secondary education at the University of Arizona. He returned to Madiba Secondary School in September 1985 and taught there until April 1991.

He returned to the United States to be closer to his family, staying from April 1991 to August 1993. During this time he taught emotionally disturbed students in grades 6-12 in Arizona. Later he helped develop and set up a program to teach young adults in the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation.

Richard had a love for Botswana, and returned in August 1993 to teach at Molepolole College of Education. In 1996, he took a position as a math teacher at Maru-A-Pula School, in Gabron, Botswana, where he taught until his death.

Richardís greatest love was helping students to learn and enjoy mathematics and to become responsible members of society. He did this by always being available for his students and by participating in many extracurricular activities in each school he worked. He never let his disability from polio, which he had as a child, stand in his way.

Richard is survived by his brother Karl of Grafton, sister Elizabeth (Fred) Last of Saukville, nieces, nephews, many aunts, uncles and cousins, and many friends and students in Botswana. His sister was told by a former student of Richardís, "He has left his handprint on Botswana."

Richard is preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials suggested to St. Paul Lutheran Church and School or Milwaukee Lutheran High School.