Chester Rydz

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    - Lilia Ciolli
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Chester Rydz Chester "Bucky" Rydz, 85, passed away on Valentine's Day of 2014 while surrounded by his loving family, after a long and courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Chester was born on September 21, 1928, in Hamtramck, Michigan, as Chester Pogorzelski and changed his last name to Rydz after being adopted by his stepfather, Ignatz. He graduated from high school while working hard to support his family. He joined the Navy at the end of WWII and returned home to Michigan, where he began his education at Wayne State University. Even as he enrolled, his high school friends placed bets on how long he would last, predicting three weeks; they decisively lost when Chet obtained his B.S in Engineering four years later. He completed his education at the University of Michigan and literally became a "rocket scientist." While at Wayne State, he met Ida Marie Ciolli at a friend's wedding; he was the best man and she the maid of honor. He and Ida, later known as Nonni, were married on November 24, 1951. They were able to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary before Nonni unexpectedly passed away in September of 2012. Chester and Ida started their family in Michigan, where he hand-built their first home in the town of Fraser. They moved to Redlands, California in 1964 for Chet to pursue his career in aeronautical engineering. He initially worked for Aerospace, and finished at TRW, where he helped design the nuclear warhead re-entry vehicles of the Minuteman Missile, which helped our country end the Cold War. After retirement, Bucky and Nonni moved to Eureka in 2002, where they made many new friends in the Italian Catholic Federation and Cursillo communities. His faith was rejuvenated after meeting Father Raymond Garwronski during a retreat at the Omey Cabin in Orleans, and it flourished thereafter. Bucky had an incredible work ethic and lived by the philosophy that the best job is the job you do yourself. However, he always made time for his family, and enjoyed taking them camping to various lakes and mountains with their special friends in Redlands. He was active in the Boy Scouts of Troop 11, and helped many boys grow up to be fine young men. Additionally, he was a world traveler, taking many trips abroad for his job, with his friends from the Deep Creek Fly Fishing Club, and to visit family with Nonni in Italy. His hobbies included backpacking, golfing, fly-tying & fishing, dancing, woodworking, and dabbling in car mechanics. Bucky was an exemplary member of "The Greatest Generation." He epitomized hard work, devotion, and sacrifice to family and country, and a visibly positive attitude towards every one of life's blessings and hurdles. No problem was too small, and he could always be counted on for wisdom and support. Whenever he was asked, "How's it going?" his response was almost always, "Just fantastic! You wouldn't believe!" This optimistic outlook persisted throughout his battle with his illnesses of lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. His independence was fiercely important to him, and he waited as long as possible to receive both supplemental oxygen and a wheelchair. Chester will be severely missed by all those who knew and loved him here on Earth, but is now dancing and rejoicing with his beautiful bride, and the friends and family who have passed before him. He is in a better place now. He is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Ida, and his son James. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Susan Rydz of Eureka, daughter Kathryn Rydz of Redlands, CA, grandchildren Jenna, Michael, and John Rydz of Eureka, Brett and Lissie Rydz of Eureka, and Thomas Rydz-Earls of Redlands, CA. Special thanks to Drs. Abels, Palmer, Van Speybroeck, Spencer, Harmon, Iverson, Miller, Sageman, and Nelson, the VA Clinic Staff in Eureka, and Hospice of Humboldt and all its members, especially Scott and Ann. Funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Eureka, on Saturday, February 22, at 1:00. A reception celebrating his life will be held at the house of Tom and Sue Rydz at 3:00. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com and click on obituaries.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2014
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