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Restauranteur Ratzsch found dead at park

Restauranteur Ratzsch found dead at park

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - Karl A. Ratzsch III, third-generation owner of one of Milwaukee's most famous German restaurants, was found dead early Tuesday at a downtown lakefront park.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said Ratzsch, 40, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities said his wife, Cindy, called police about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday out of concern that he had left their suburban Glendale home.

She later reported finding a suicide note from her husband among some bills. The contents weren't disclosed, but authorities said Ratzsch had been concerned about what Mrs. Ratzsch considered to be minor financial problems.

Ed Lump, executive vice president of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, called the death a "great tragedy."

Karl Ratzsch's Old World Restaurant opened in 1904 as Otto Hermann's Cafe. Karl Ratzsch Sr. began working at the restaurant during World War I and later became its owner. He moved it to its current location when the original building was razed in 1929.

He sold the restaurant to his son, Karl Ratzsch II, in the late 1950s, and Karl Ratzsch II sold it to his son, Karl Ratzsch III, in 1984.


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