Robert J. Rykiel., 79 of Las Cruces met our Lord in heaven on Friday, December 21, 2012 at Mesilla Valley Hospice La Posada after complications following many surgeries. Robert was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 1933 to Joseph and Mary Papuga Rykiel. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served his country honorably upon the USS Hamilton from 1952- 1956. He was then married to Joyce E. Erickson on November 24, 1956. To this union two sons were born, Randy S. and Gerald L. Rykiel. Robert was a graduate of Spencerian Business College in Milwaukee, WI, and received a BS in Business. He was employed by local businesses for several years. In 1976, he relocated to New Mexico where he owned and operated motels. Before retiring, he was employed by Target Corporation in Las Cruces. Robert was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Edward, Joseph and Richard Rykiel; sisters-in-law Joan Erickson, and Donna Rykiel; two brothers-in-law, Glenn Erickson and Dale Erickson. Robert is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Joyce, their son Randy and wife Tammy of Milwaukee, WI; and son, Gerald Rykiel of Gilbert, AZ; special daughter Michelle Thomas and Tim Thomas; six grandchildren, Melissa, Miranda, and Daniel Rykiel, Jerry Rykiel, Jr., and wife Lindsey, Brandon and Miranda Thomas. Also two great-grandchildren Anthony Rykiel and Wyatt Rykiel to be. Also survived are many other nieces and nephews. Robert was of the Catholic faith. Many will remember him for his unique sense of humor, his strength, the ability to make others laugh, willingness to help others, great smile and the love of his family. At Robert's request, cremation has taken place and Inurnment of cremains will be held in a private family ceremony at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, Fort Bliss, Texas. Entrusted to Baca's Funeral Chapels and Sunset Crematory 300 E. Boutz Road, Las Cruces. 527-2222. Your exclusive providers for "Veterans and Family Memorial Care." For online condolences logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Dec. 30, 2012