Dad and grandfather, Richard was blessed with a full life, and it was a blessing to know him. The Lord called him on Sunday, December 9th, as he lay quietly at home. Born April 13, 1921, in Chicago, IL (parents: Joseph and Clara Rudzinski).

Richard grew up on the north side attending James Monroe Grammar School. Even as a boy he enjoyed working with his hands, and loved God's beautiful outdoors. He had two sisters, Evelyn and Loretta, and guidance from a kind neighbor, Mr. Alex. Richard played several musical instruments, enjoyed fixing/working on things, and took pleasure in such sports as, fishing, hunting and baseball. He did well at Lane Technical High School including assisting his wood shop teacher.

Joining the U.S. Marines in the 1940's when his country called, he trained in San Diego, promoting to Staff Sargeant in Communications, and eventually served in the Pacific on such islands as Tarawa and Saipan. He used his skills to assist in making life easier for the men, including setting up a confiscated generator to provide lighting for all the tents in camp. He returned to the US and participated in the Honor Guard at President Roosevelt's funeral.

Near the war's end, he met Stelle Drabik, who would become his wife of 63 years. Married in 1946, they were loving parents and grandparents. Survived by their son, Ronald & wife, Anne Marie, Canyon Country, CA; grandchildren, Christina, Richard, Joseph, MaryRose; and daughter, Patti Bell & husband Forrest, Bishop, CA, grandchildren, Justin and James; great granddaughter, Caitlynn.

Pre and post war, Richard worked for Western Union. He became a carpenter (building the family's first two houses in Lyle, Illinois). The family moved to Granada Hills, CA in 1958. In 1969 he rebuilt their home after a fire. He was an LA City Building Inspector for the final 17 years before retirement around 1988. He continued work on projects in his home shop until into his late 80's.

The family enjoyed many activities especially camping. Richard and Stelle enjoyed being with family and friends. They were also able to travel after retirement. Richard will be remembered for his love and support. He used his gifts in woodworking and mechanics to make life better for his family and acquaintances. He loved nature, enjoyed dogs, had a great sense of humor, made sure that Santa came (in person) on Christmas Eve for the kids and grandkids, enjoyed polka and square dancing with his wife Stelle, cherished "Honesty" in his friends, and showed his Faith through his actions, rather than just words.

The family is very thankful for the help and support of his care-givers, healthcare and hospice staff, and friends who have been so kind to him and our family. Thank you dear God for our Dad and Grandpa, and for his faithfulness and commitment to his Family.

Viewing will be held Thursday, January 3rd from 5:00p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Utter-McKinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary, 11071 Columbus Ave, Mission Hills, CA 91345. 818-361-4751. Funeral Mass will be held Friday January 4th at 10:30 a.m. at St. John the Baptist De La Salle Parish Church, 16555 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills, CA 91344, 818-363-2535. Burial immediately following the Funeral at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, 11160 Stranwood Ave., San Fernando, CA 91341, 818-361-7387. Reception Lunch Approx. 1:00pm at Golden Hunan Chinese Restaurant, 10334 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, CA 91326 818-363-5511. In lieu of flowers, Mass card or donation to any organization for Disabled Veterans, for the blind or those with vision issues, or to Lane Technical High School in Chicago.

Funeral Home

Utter-McKinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary
11071 Columbus Avenue Mission Hills, CA 91345
(818) 361-4751

Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Dec. 30, 2012