Letter: Goodbye to a valued educator by Bob Klitzka
On Wednesday, June 20, I attended a beautiful funeral service for Dick Scuglik at the Carlson Funeral Home. The people there gave an outstanding service for a really terrific man. Funerals in themselves are almost always a sad affair for me.
What made this funeral worse for me is that when this great man was alive, many students, including myself, never had the chance to say goodbye. Dick Scuglik spent the last year of his life battling cancer. Up until two days before his death on June 14, he thought he was winning.
After spending the last 25 years of his life as an instructor at Nicolet Area Technical College, Mr. Scuglik decided to retire. Whenever we would ask him why he chose to retire now, he would answer with a mist in his eyes that the educational system was changed by actions from our Governor, and was no longer fair to him. Maybe his long battle with cancer helped in his decision process.
Before the last few days of classes, Dick stopped coming to class. The chemotherapy sessions were too much for his body to bear.
Normally for an instructor to retire it’s just life as usual; not so for Mr. Scuglik. I do not know what type of preparations are made to honor a college professor when the time to retire comes. I do know that an instructor of Dick’s magnitude, who has touched so many lives in such a positive way, left the campus without any fanfare! He might not have wanted to participate in the usual retirement ceremonies, but it would have been nice if those of us who were students (both past and present) would have had a chance to say goodbye.
This is my way to say, “Thank you Dick Scuglik for all the lessons you have taught us and for your outstanding sense of humor. I will miss you!”
Bob Klitzka, Rhinelander