Richard Dvorak, 83Published 9:50pm Thursday, August 2, 2012
Richard Dvorak, 83
Born: March 17, 1929
Died: Aug. 1, 2012
Richard Patrick Dvorak, 83, of Rebecca Lane, Niles, died Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, at his residence following a brief illness.
He was born March 17, 1929, in South Bend to William and Eulalia (Niesen) Dvorak.
Richard graduated from Central Catholic High School, South Bend, in 1948 where he excelled as a hard-nosed football player. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Oriskany during the Korean War.
He met the love of his life and wife of 60 years, Margaret, while in New York City during March 1952. Richard and Margaret were married May 14, 1952, at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Middle Village, N.Y. They then settled in Niles and were soon blessed by the birth of sons, Richard Jr., Thomas, John; daughter, Judy; and son, Tim.
An electrician by trade, Richard worked in the mobile home industry and was employed by Skyline, American Coach and DeRose. He preferred the life of an outdoorsman and purchased a small summer home and land on Long Lake in Three Rivers. He thrived on water while fishing and loved hunting in southwest Michigan’s woods.
As his own children grew and grandchildren arrived Richard shared his love of nature and outdoor skill. Time shared at “the lake” became a family tradition with “Grandpa” at the center. His 12 grandchildren have graced Richard and Margaret with 17 great-grandchildren.
Richard was an inveterate tinkerer, builder and handyman. His own home marked almost entirely by DIY projects and designs. He loved fixing things and his workspace was organized carefully with every brand of tool, doodad and doohickey.
Just weeks ago, toolbox in hand, he insisted on helping with electrical work on his granddaughter’s new home. He repaired a broken gun rack with loving fidelity. Stairs in his home recently carpeted with the help of a special great granddaughter. Even with his health in decline, Richard found it impossible not to pitch in. His love for a project matched by his love of family.
He was a member of Saint Mark Catholic Church in Niles, and Past Grand Knight with the Niles Knights of Columbus Council 708.
Richard is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Condon, as well as sons, Richard (Carol) Dvorak of Knoxville, Tenn., John Dvorak of Niles, Thomas (Gillian) Dvorak of Virginia and Timothy Dvorak of Niles and daughter Judith (Greg) Ingleright of Niles.
Grandchildren include: Simon (Kristi) Dvorak, Greg (Tara) Ingleright, Julie (David) Ewing, Jenni (Joe) Murray, Daniel Dvorak, Melody (Jesse) Dvorak, Shaun (Kelley) Dvorak, Adam Dvorak, Chris Dvorak, Christine Dvorak, Brian (Nikki) Dvorak and Amethyst Dvorak. Great-grandchildren include: David Joseph, Maggi, Hayley, Blake, Zackary, Katlyn, Meghan, Ruthie, Madison, Paige, Emily, Aubree, Alison, Hunter, Patience, Faith and Max. He is also survived by sisters, Suzanne Ferry and Sister Mary Elizabeth Niesen, both of South Bend.
He was preceded in death by infant twin children and two brothers, James and William Dvorak.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Richard Patrick Dvorak will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Saint Mark Catholic Church, Niles, by the Rev. Thomas King, C.S.C., of the church.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles and will conclude with a Scripture Service beginning at 7 p.m.
Donations in memory of Richard may be made to Saint Marks Catholic Church in Niles.