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Timothy Joseph Padden

d. March 26, 2023

Timothy Joseph Padden

Timothy Joseph Padden, age 76, of Racine, WI, passed away March 26th, 2023, in Suwanee, GA. Tim was born in Montrose, MN to the late Ambrose William Padden and Edna Jeannette Padden (née Elsenpeter). He attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, WI, and earned a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry from Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN, with a research thesis entitled “Metal Precipitate of Esculetin, Structure and Reactivity”.

In 1969, he married his college sweetheart, Barbara M. Reisinger, and they moved to Racine, WI.  There Tim enjoyed an illustrious career at S.C. Johnson & Son, with 32 years of loyalservice.  He was the lead formulator for many personal-care, air-care, and home-cleaner productsthat were marketed internationally, specializing in surfactants, polymeric films, aerosols, and other technologies.  He was granted five US Patents and he was recognized with manyprestigious awards.  His most notable accomplishments were the invention of hair mousse, and a peer-reviewed publication on the microscopic composition of dirt, which earned him the nickname “Dr. Dirt”.

Tim was also well known for his self-taught do-it-yourself expertise in just about any topic, such as home improvement, woodworking, auto repair, etc.  He generously offered to help friends and neighbors with projects of their own, often being sought out for a specific skill, and he was always willing to lend a hand with his tools.  In his later years Tim developed a strong interest in photography as well, particularly travel photography, birding, and taking pictures of his grandchildren.  He participated in multiple photography clubs and received several recognitionsin competitive photo contests.

Tim’s real passion though was fishing.  He was a skilled mariner and the proud captain of the boat he named “Knot Me”, a nautical twist on his children’s notorious claim that whatever went wrong was not their fault.  Tim especially loved fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan, and walleye in the Wisconsin Northwoods and on Lake Erie.  He won several prizes in the popular Salmon-A-Rama fishing contest and earned many Fish Ohio awards.

Tim was a devout Catholic and a member of St. Lucy Catholic Church in Racine, WI, for many years.  He will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 54 years, Barbara “Barb” Padden (née Reisinger); son and daughter in-law, Brian and Carolyn (née Birdsall) Padden; daughter and son in-law, Karen and Richard Kress; grandchildren, Ryan, Christopher and Shannon. Tim is preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings Dan, Terry, and Jane (Pearlman).

A funeral mass will be held at St. Lucy Catholic Church (3101 Drexel Avenue, Racine, WI, 53403) on Friday, July 14th, 2023 at 11:00AM, and the family will host a luncheon that afternoon.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Timothy J. Padden to the Sustain Our Great Lakes Program of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) online at or by mail at 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff and residents at the Arbor Terrace South Forsyth assisted living community for their care and friendship.  Condolences may be emailed to

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