Hugh Wilson Raetzsch, Sr., DDS, (77) of Lake Charles passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 24, 2023. Hugh was born March 20,1946 in Corpus Christi, Texas to Alvin Thomas and Leah Raetzsch. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Kristina Brame Raetzsch; son, Hugh Wilson Raetzsch, Jr. and wife Betsy; daughter, Susan Raetzsch Copeland and husband Paul; grandsons, Wilson (Anna), Matthew, and Nicholas Raetzsch, Davis and Josh Copeland; sister Susan Raetzsch Poulter (Dale) of Park City, UT; sister Nancy Raetzsch Donaldson (Bob) of Austin, TX; brother Tom Raetzsch (Lollie) of Columbus, TX, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Hugh moved from Corpus Christi to Lake Charles with his family at an early age. He graduated from LaGrange High School in1964 and was a vital member of the Gator football team. Hugh attended Louisiana State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1969 and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He then furthered his education at LSU Dental School where he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1973. He relocated back to Lake Charles and started his private dental practice. He was a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, and Calcasieu Parish Dental Society. Hugh was active on the YMCA Board and volunteered with the local Boys Club. He enjoyed practicing dentistry and treating patients until 2010 when he retired.
Hugh was an outstanding athlete and highly competitive. Hugh loved to run, swim, bike, and participate in competitive races. He could often be seen in the noontime blazing summer heat running the streets of downtown Lake Charles with his YMCA running group. He was also an avid golfer in his younger years.
Hugh absolutely loved his family. Hugh and wife, Kris, were not only husband and wife but also best friends. They could often be found at the beach in Destin, FL, the Caribbean, or Mexico. If there was water and sand, they were there. Through the years, countless memories were made. His favorite times were spent traveling with Kris and spending time with his children and grandsons while relaxing at their family property, Wilson Ranch, in Alleyton, TX. He loved the time he spent at Wilson Ranch. While hunting was a priority as a younger man, he later embraced land management practices which greatly improved the deer herd. He also loved living on the Calcasieu River in Moss Bluff and the time he spent at his parents’ home on Prien Lake where he could often be found pulling (skiing, knee boarding, tubing) his kids and kids friends throughout the lake. He was loved by everyone and will continue to live in our hearts and memories.
Hugh’s family would like to gratefully thank the compassionate staff and personal caregivers at Sage Oak of Lake Charles, Dr. Ameer Kahn, and Amedisys Hospice nurses Katherine DeVillier and Callie East.
Visitation will be held from 9 – 11 am on Thursday, June 29 in the Johnson Funeral Home Chapel at 4321 Lake Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605. A memorial service will be held immediately following the visitation.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in support of Houston Methodist Hospital’s Nantz National Alzheimer Center. Donations can be made here: https://givingforms.houstonmethodist.org/NantzGivingForm or you may mail a check in Hugh’s honor to: Nantz National Alzheimer Center c/o Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4384, Houston, TX 77210-4384
The Nantz National Alzheimer Center (NNAC), created by CBS Sports commentator, Jim Nantz and Houston Methodist Hospital, conducts cutting-edge research and provides state-of-the-art training for physicians and health professionals related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementing illnesses.