Lt. Col. Richard Tegge

IRON RIVER – Lt. Col. (Ret. USAF) Richard “Dick” Tegge, 78, of Iron River, passed away Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at his home with his children by his side.

He was born on March 16, 1934, in Stambaugh, son of the late Albert H. and Esther (Scheurle) Tegge. Dick graduated from Iron River High School, class of 1952. He married Lucille Hilberg in 1993, and she preceded him in death on Aug. 24, 2010.

After attending Michigan State University for a year, and he elected to join the United States Air Force. During his distinguished 25 year career as a navigator he was recognized many times for his significant contributions to our nation.

Highlights include crew member of Operation Deep Freeze which performed mapping missions and established McMurdo Station in Antarctica. His participation was recognized by the naming of “Mount Tegge” in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica.

Dick was an original member of the elite “Air Commando” group established in 1961, designated as one of the Air Force’s first counter-insurgency units which saw some of the earliest action in Vietnam. He was a strong contributor to the C-5 aircraft flight simulation instructional program.

Prior to his retirement in 1978, Dick returned to the U.P. as the executive officer for the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at K.I. Sawyer.

Dick was an avid outdoorsman; he leaves a legacy of love for hunting and fishing. He freely shared his knowledge and experiences with family and friends.

He is survived by three children, Richard (Beth) Tegge of Marquette, and their two sons, Steven and Zack; Linda (David) Rajala of Covington, Mich., and Maj. Steve (Kathy) Tegge of Troy, Mich., and their two daughters, Lydia and June; two stepdaughters, Jeanne (Michael) Ferraro of Traverse City, Mich. and Sandra (Kenton) Pfister of Omaha, Neb.; four stepsons, Ronald (Diane) Hilberg of Crystal Falls, William (Rose) Hilberg of Escanaba, Gary (Diane) Hilberg of Crystal Falls, and George (Patty) Hilberg of Crystal Falls; one sister, Marilyn (Moe) Gorowsky of St. Paul, Minn.; his ex-wife and lifelong friend, Sandra Lindstrom Tegge; 20 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and close friends.

In addition to his parents and his wife Lucille, Dick was preceded in death by two sisters, Shirlee Stoker and Elaine “Peaches” Tegge.

Visitation will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon Central time at the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home in Crystal Falls.

The Crystal Falls Masonic Lodge will offer a memorial service Saturday at noon at the funeral home. The West Side Veterans Alfred Branchini Post 17 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Covington Post 8945 will accord military honors at 12:15 p.m. at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be Saturday, 12:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Celebrant Chuck Tooman of Lake Superior Hospice will offer a celebration of life service.

Burial will be in Resthaven Cemetery in Iron River.

Donations may be made in Dick’s memory to the Lake Superior Hospice, 914 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, MI 49855, or the Wounded Warriors Project PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 (

You may light a candle in remembrance of Dick or leave a condolence to his family online at

The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home of Crystal Falls to honor Dick’s legacy of life.