Richard "Dick" Wirta passed away at the age of 92 on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Redding, surrounded by his family.
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He was born April 4, 1920, in Wisconsin to Charles and Lydia Wirta and grew up in Ironwood, Michigan. He joined the Army in August 1942 as a heavy truck driver, and also served the European Theatre of Operations in prisoner transport from France to the United States. He completed his World War II tour of duty in February 1946.
After living a short while in Alaska, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area. In 1958 he met Helen (Robertson); they were married in 1959. He and Helen moved their blended family to Willits in 1960, where they built the Hidden Valley Trailer Park north of Willits and raised their five children.
A carpenter by trade, he worked all over Mendocino County. In 1970, he and Helen opened the first Sears Catalog Store in Willits.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years, Helen, in 1991; his companion Edna McConnell of six years, in 2012; his daughter, Judy Aley of North Bend, Oregon, in 2013; his parents and brothers.
Richard is survived by his daughters, Carol (Doug) Waugh of Redding, Sharon Wirta of Roseville, and Barbara (Gary) Hahn of Willits; and his son, John (Claire) of Fresh Meadows, New York. He is also survived by his sister, Ringa West of Vacaville; by 13 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
He was a great dad, granddad, uncle, brother and friend. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends in the Willits area and beyond.
Private services will be held at a later date.
Published in Willits News from Mar. 27 to Apr. 26, 2013