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  1. #1
    Long Trail '04
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    Default Article on recent thru-hiker who died

    He was thru-hiker from last year, but it doesn't have his trail name.


    Kiel man died with his hiking boots on
    By Bob Petrie
    The Sheboygan Press
    February 28, 2006

    Richard Buchholz of Kiel practically wore out his passport traveling the world and loved taking photographs of the many places he visited.

    "He said he felt so close to God when he was in nature," his wife of 41 years, Peggy Buchholz, said Monday.

    On Feb. 20, Buchholz was in Tanzania, attempting to climb to the summit of 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. About 100 meters from the top, his group, which included two guides and his daughter, Sheila Lackershire, took a rest at Stella Point, a popular stop for climbers.

    "We were taking a break and he just kind of put his head down and we decided to go there and take his pack off, and he just fell asleep in my hands," said Lackershire, 39, of Kiel.

    Buchholz, who appeared to family members to be in excellent health, died just short of reaching his goal. His death was attributed to a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to family members, a pre-existing condition unknown to anyone.

    "Everybody thought he was in such great health," Peggy Buchholz said. "It was just shocking."

    Richard Buchholz, a retired farmer, was 63. His funeral service was to be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Peter's United Church of Christ, 424 Fremont St. in Kiel.

    "His life was an adventure," Lackershire said. "He was a very strong man, a very kind man. He loved to travel. He had so many more dreams and more trips planned, and I was just blessed to be the one he asked to go climb with him."

    Peggy Buchholz, who traveled to Europe, Thailand, Costa Rica and Africa with her husband, said he pointed to Mt. Kilimanjaro during a trip there last year and told her, "I'm going to climb that."

    "Richard farmed all his life and I was so happy and thrilled he got to do some of the things that he wanted," Peggy Buchholz said. "He was a very, very interesting man. He did a lot of stuff and was very intelligent and very kind-hearted."

    Last year, Richard Buchholz walked more than 2,100 miles along the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States. He once did a six-day river trip in North Carolina. Over the years, there were other trips to Argentina, Brazil, Borneo, India, Nepal and Tibet.

    "Whatever he wanted to do, he made plans to do it," said Bonnie Buchholz, 27, of Milwaukee, another of his daughters. She accompanied him and other family members on a whirlwind 2 1/2 week European trip a few years ago, visiting several countries.

    "When he was farming, he really didn't get to go on a lot of vacations with us ... because he had to work," Bonnie Buchholz said. "He was a dairy farmer 24/7."

    Buchholz retired from farming the family homestead in 2002, after 31 years, and turned more to travel.

    Over the course of 40 years, Richard Buchholz also had a strong passion for photography, taking more than 12,000 slides and pictures of the places he visited. He was a regular at farmers' markets in Elkhart Lake and Appleton, selling his art, his wife said. He also kept journals of his travels. Buchholz also enjoyed making several varieties of homemade wine, which he would give as gifts and serve at family gatherings.

    "The wine was the best," Bonnie Buchholz said. "It doesn't get any better than Dad's wine."

    Richard Buchholz, 34, of Sheboygan, a son, also remembers going fishing and hunting with his father.

    "He wanted to take my brother and I on a fishing trip, but it never quite happened," he said.

    After her father's death, Lackenshire, who had never climbed a mountain before, ended up using his hiking poles to make her way back down Mt. Kilimanjaro in the darkness.

    "I will someday finish the climb for my dad," she said Monday. "I am going to do that."

    # # #

  2. #2
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Condolences to the family.

    But also, what a way to go!

    Rain Man

    .
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

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  3. #3
    Slow and steady does the trick... AbeHikes's Avatar
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    Agreed. That's the other way I wouldn't mind going. Lucky man...

  4. #4
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    Yep. I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio. I like to think he was happy going the way he did.
    Skids

    Insanity: Asking about inseams over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)

  5. #5
    GA-->ME 2005 MacGyver2005's Avatar
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    Anyone know what his trail name was?

    Regards,
    -MacGyver
    GA-->ME

  6. #6

    Default

    A surprising number of climbers have fatal heart issues on Kili. Not that tough of a walk, but the altitude issue gets brutal.

    Sorry to hear this. Thoughts to his family, especially his daughter. Traveling home afterwards had to be difficult.

  7. #7

    Default Died with his boots on

    I would like to think that I would be happy to go that way, but not before I am 90. Condolences to the family.

  8. #8

    Default

    Altitude and the accompanying hypoxia will exacerbate any pre-existing condition you may have and make hidden conditions painfully or fatally apparent.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  9. #9

    Default

    I just did a little reading on the condition. His kids need to be careful and get screened. It seems to be an inherited condition in most cases and is dominant...it doesn't skip generations.

    The condition is characterized by an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, which is not, by itself, a bad thing, but the heart muscle cells grow abnormally. Rather than being aligned in the neat interlocking rows typical of cardiac muscle, the cells are aligned in an almost random pattern, making them weak and inefficient. There is no known cause. Most cases do not limit length or quality of life. Probably if Richard Buchholz hadn't gone to altitude, it wouldn't have been a problem.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  10. #10
    I hike, therefore I stink.
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    God bless his soul. His was an example of a life well lived.
    If you don't have something nice to say,
    Be witty in your cruelty.

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Default Richard H. Buchholz

    Richard "Ol' Gy" Buchholz crossed the Kennebec river ferry on September 23, 2005. My heartfelt condolences go out to his whole family. He certainly accomplished many goals and achievements in his lifetime. Steve Longley

  12. #12

    Default

    Oh great, two close friends should be arriving in Tanzania today for their climb of Kilimanjaro. Now I gotta worry about this!

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