Richard Ortner, 86, of New Berlin, Wisconsin, passed away at the Froedtert Center for Advanced Care in Milwaukee on Friday, July 9, 2021. In accordance with his wishes, Richard’s immediate family held a small private ceremony at the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Richard was born on February 13, 1935 in Auburn, Iowa, one of 12 children of Henry and Bernadette Ortner. Richard was valedictorian of Auburn High School and graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Iowa State Teachers College (later State College of Iowa and now the University of Northern Iowa) and was one of fewer than 50 Master’s degree scholarship recipients chosen by the National Science Foundation in his time as a student.
Richard started his teaching career in Earlham, Iowa, and then moved to New Berlin where, for almost 30 years, he taught Math at New Berlin High School (now New Berlin West) and was critical to establishing the Math department’s standard of excellence.
Countless New Berlin High School / New Berlin West students of all math abilities are forever indebted to Richard for his leadership, dedication, and love for education. Richard remained a passionate supporter of the high school and its students throughout his life.
Left to cherish Richard’s memory are his wife Madelyn (to whom he was married for 64 years); sons Nate and Nick (Jennifer); grandsons Zach and Sam; and a long list of others who were touched by Richard’s intelligence, kindness, and humor.
In lieu of flowers, Richard’s family asks that memorial contributions be made to New Berlin West athletics, the New Berlin Athletic Association, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, or your local youth athletics or animal welfare organization, in recognition of Richard's love of sports and animals.