Richard Patrick Dvorak, age 83, of Rebecca Lane, Niles died on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at his residence following a brief illness. He was born March 17, 1929 in South Bend to William & 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 of 1952.
Richard and Margaret were married May 14th of 1952 at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Middle Village, New York. They then settled in Niles, Michigan 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, Michigan. 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 twelve grandchildren have graced Richard and Margaret with seventeen 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 doohicky. Just weeks ago, toolbox in hand, he insisted on helping with electrical work on his grandaughter's new home. He repaired a broken gunrack with loving fidelity. Stairs in his home recently carpeted with the help of a special great grandaughter. 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, Past Grand Knight with the Niles Knights of Columbus Council 708.
He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Condon, as well as sons Richard (Carol) Dvorak of Knoxville, Tennessee, 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 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 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 4, 2012 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 – 7:00p.m. at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles and will conclude with a Scripture Service beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Donations in memory of Richard may be made to Saint Marks Catholic Church in Niles.
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