Dick was born to parents August and Angela (Platta) Pudroski on October 17, 1926, on the family farm in Nelsonville, Wis. He attended Loberg School in the Town of New Hope, St. Peters Grade School in Stevens Point, and then a vocational school in Stevens Point until enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17.
He was on active duty in the Pacific during World War II from 1943-1946. Soon after his discharge, he married his long-time sweetheart Vivian Tessmer at St. Peters Church on October 5, 1946.
He was employed at Bake-Rite Bakery in Stevens Point for several years. He opened Dick’s Bike Shop in 1953 and operated the bike and hobby shop on North Second St. in Stevens Point until 1955. In 1956, Dick and Vivian moved the family to Milwaukee; Dick worked at International Harvester for a short time, and then at Babcock and Wilcox where he worked for 26 years until early retirement in 1982.
He was an active member of St. Matthews Parish in Milwaukee and held the office of president of the Holy Name Society for many years. After retirement, Dick and Vivian moved back to Stevens Point and they rejoined St. Peter’s. Dick was an active member of St. Peters Parish where he held various offices including president of the Holy Name Society. He was a dedicated burger-flipper at St. Peters Parish Picnic for many years.
Dick had many hobbies and interests through his life, such as building and flying model planes and taxidermy. He was a musician for most of his life and was happiest when playing the concertina. He had several playing partners over the years and entertained at local nursing homes and events around Point.
In addition to his participation in activities and committees at St. Peter’s, Dick was a member and past president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles; member of the VFW; Chaplain-Catholic Financial Life. He was a volunteer at the Veterans Home at King and for the Red Cross at local blood drives.
Dick dedicated his life to serving others, and his volunteer activities through his long life are too numerous to mention. He was always there with a helping hand if needed. He was a kind, generous and hard-working man and he will be truly missed by many, many people. He was one of the best of the greatest generation.
Dick is survived by his children: Darlene (John) Eckhardt, Cloverdale, OR; Mark (Ginger), New London; Linda (Patrick) Ford, West Allis; and Kevin (Nancy), Plover; Grandsons: Chris (Stephanie) Eckhardt, Logan, Utah; Matt Eckhardt, Tillamook, OR; David Eckhardt, Logan, Utah; Jeremy Gorka, Galion, Ohio; Paul (Amy) Ford, Brookfield, Wis.; Mike Ford, Milwaukee; Dan (Sveta Zghenty) Ford, Brookfield, Wis.; nine great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Mary Jane Pudroski, cousins, nieces, nephews and cherished friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, August and Angela; his wife, Vivian (2016); his brothers, Leonard, Norbert, Jack, and Dale (infant); and sisters, Lee Bolms; Jane Wozniak and Arlene Mucha; and grandson, Justin Gorka.
Special thanks to the dedicated caregivers at Ascension Ministry Home Hospice-especially George, Henry and Megan-for their loving care of our dad. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Veterans Home at King, Wis., or Casa Hogar de Juan Pablo II (Peru).
A Mass of Christian burial will be held for Richard at 11 a.m. at St. Peters Church, 800 4th Ave., Stevens Point, on Friday, June 14, 2019. Rev. Arul Joseph Visuvasam will officiate.
Friends and family will gather to share memories from 9-11 a.m. on Friday in the Faustina Room at church. A general rosary will be prayed at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow with full military honors at Guardian Angel Cemetery.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting http://www.shudafuneral.com.