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William M. 'Butch' Richter Dec. 12, 1922 - Oct. 14, 2008

GRANITE FALLS -- William Matthew "Butch" Richter, 85, of Granite Falls died Tuesday at his home.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Granite Falls Lutheran Church in Granite Falls.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Granite Falls and continues from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the church. Arrangements are by the Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls.

He was born Dec. 12, 1922, in Bird Island to William and Ella (Surges) Richter. He graduated from St. Mary's Catholic School in Bird Island. He attended St. John's University for a short time before enlisting in the Navy in 1942 and serving as a radar man on the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain.

On April 22, 1946, he married Doris Heglund in Minneapolis. They made their home in Granite Falls, where he joined his father-in-law and brother-in-law in the grocery business. He then worked two years in the parts department at Granite Motors. In 1953, he joined Art Barber as co-owner of Granite Falls Construction Company. He became sole owner in 1968 and changed the name to Granite Redi Mix. He also was part owner of the Granite Bowling Center.

He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, Knights of Columbus and was a fundraiser for Western Fest. He played baseball until he was 52 and then became a team manager in the Legion and VFW baseball programs. He was an advocate for hosting the Minnesota state amateur baseball tournament in 1989 and 1999 in Granite Falls. In 1970, he was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.

He is survived by nine children: Bill (and Linda) Richter of Hecla, S.D., Bob (and Margot) Richter, Dan (and Linda) Richter, John (and Sherry) Richter, all of Granite Falls, Gail (and Al) Carstensen of Hastings, Jean Haug of Marshall, Mary (and Doug) Sawatzky of Willmar, Tom (and Kristi) Richter of Volga, S.D., and Jim Richter of Clear Lake; 30 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and siblings: Aggie Davidson, Chuck Richter, Pat O'Connor, John Richter, Germaine Schaeffer and Kathleen Neubauer.

He was preceded in death by his wife, two brothers; five sisters; and a son-in-law: Bruce Haug.