Richard E. Zdroik

Richard E. Zdroik passed through the veil to new life, peacefully in his home, holding the hand of his life partner, Kathleen, on January 30, 2024.

He was the quintessential family man and will be greatly missed by those he left behind. Richard loved his family beyond measure. He also loved the outdoors, northern lakes, fishing and hunting. He loved to play softball and was often on several teams in a single season. He was known in those days as “Stix,” and frequently would hit multiple home runs in any given game, especially after eating a meal of liver and onions.

He was a master wordsmith, loved crossword puzzles, and rarely could be bested at Scrabble. He loved to garden, and his home was lush with annual and perennial vegetation. He also loved birds, including purple martins and loons, and enjoyed feeding clouds of hummingbirds every summer.

Richard was born on October 28, 1935, in Stevens Point to Edmund and Eva (Redford) Zdroik. He attended St. Peter’s Elementary School and graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School in 1953.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1953 and served in the submarine services. He spent two-and-a-half years on the USS Trigger SS 564 and was honorably discharged on Oct. 25, 1956.

Richard returned to Stevens Point to marry the love of his life, Kathleen Tepp. They were wed on November 24, 1956, in Saint Joseph’s Church in Stevens Point. They welcomed four blessings in less than six years. Linda was born in 1957, Jim in 1958, Brenda in 1961, and Bruce in 1963.

Richard worked on the Soo Line Railroad, starting as a Brakeman in 1957 and retiring as Conductor in 1996. He and Kathleen bought property on Spider Lake in 1995 and built their beloved lake home in 2001. They retired on the lake, spending many joyful years in Mercer. The lake home was his nirvana, and he was happiest fishing with his children and grandchildren from his pontoon boat on the lake.

They left Mercer in 2018, returning to the golden sands of Plover, where he would live out the remainder of his life.

Richard is survived by his wife, Kathleen; his daughters, Linda (Dan) Jerzak, Brenda (Johnny) Ciulla; and sons, Jim (Jess Spreeman) and Bruce (Bette) Zdroik. He is also survived by grandchildren, John (Erica) Ciulla, Adam (Lauren) Jerzak, Jeremiah (Erin Leavitt) Jerzak, Matt (Stephanie Anderson) Zdroik, Amanda (Kellen) Lund, Nicole (Tim) Ciulla-Hopkins, Colton (Liz Leonhard) Zdroik and Camryn Zdroik. Great grandchildren include Amber, Aron, Jackson, Virginia, Jacob, Ethan, Jaxen, Lily, Juniper, and Chase.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Joanne; brothers, David and Daniel; nephews, Keith Zynda, Kenneth Zynda, Allen Zdroik; niece, Karen Zynda; and granddaughter Stacy Ciulla.

Memorial services will be held at Boston Funeral Home on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Visitation will precede, beginning at 9:30 a.m., with service at 11:00 a.m. Fr. Jeffrey Hennes presiding. Interment will be in Guardian Angel Cemetery at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at www.bostonfuneralhome.net