Fan's 40-year streak of Badger games comes to an end - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Fan's 40-year streak of Badger games comes to an end

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MADISON (WKOW)-- The Badgers are working on a streak of three straight Rose Bowls, but one lifelong, diehard fan's 40-year streak will come to an end on Tuesday.

Richard Story died on Saturday, three days before he planned to attend another Wisconsin football game.
   
"He was the biggest Badger fan in the world," says Kevin Hinkley.

It's common practice that when you meet someone for the first time, conversation starts with asking them what they do for a living.

Richard Story didn't let his living define who he was. Not his time in the Vietnam War, his 25 years as a Wisconsin engineer, or even the fact that he owned a popular bar near downtown. Friends simply remember a man who loved life

"I don't think you could ask for a better alumni than Richard Story," Hinkley says.

Friends say Story loved cheering on the hometown team.

"For 40 years, never missed a single game away or home, including Tokyo," Hinkley explains.

However, there are some who disagree, for Story did miss one game: the 1974 matchup against the Minnesota Gophers. While he had his tickets, he and his friend, Al Augustine, never made it to the game.

"He saved my life on November 23, 1974," Augustine explains.

Being a lifelong pilot, Story would often fly friends to Badger games. On that flight to see the Badgers play the Gophers, his engine suddenly stopped.

"He went into the marsh and if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have made it," Augustine says. "We were told we hit the ground at 80 miles per hour. The plane was broke in two."

The accident sent Story to the hospital, forcing him to watch his first game on television. Decades later, he's forced to miss yet another game.

"They were going to leave this morning," Hinkley says.

After weeks of suffering complications from pneumonia, Story died one day before he was set to fly to the Rose Bowl with his wife.

"He took the Badger spirit with him wherever he went," Augstine says.

Story also rarely missed a UW band concert. Friends say he had his own personal seat during performances. 

Richard Story's funeral service is set to be held at Gunderson Funeral home later this week.

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