Jan. 9, 1926 - Sept. 8, 2008
SOUTH BEND - Richard J. Chwalek, 82, of Lake George, CO, formerly of South Bend, died on Monday, September 8, in his home. Born January 9, 1926 in South Bend, Indiana, he is the son of the late Thaddeus and Stella (Knoll) Chwalek and beloved husband of the late Dorothy (O'Connell). He was the devoted father of four daughters, Ann Catherine Chwalek (Ron Chidester) of Albia, IA; Laura (Daniel) Beaulieu of Baldwin, KS; Margaret (David) Bales of Grand Prairie, TX.; Rebecca (Jim) Starkweather of Lake George, CO; one son, Richard A. (Susan) Chwalek of Monticello, MN; Devoted grandfather of Sarah, Elizabeth, Josh, Claire, Colleen, Megan, Matthew, and Laura; cherished great-grandfather to Asher and Taya. Loved brother of Geraldine DeGraff of Lisle, IL; Claudette Leszczynski of South Bend; Josephine Wegenka, also of South Bend; and the late Ted Chwalek. Preceded also in death by his infant children, Mary Elizabeth and Daniel Joseph; two grandchildren, Gabriella and Kelsey Starkweather; and two great-grandchildren lost before birth. Richard was a devoted Catholic his entire life and served in the Navy during World War II where he won distinguished honors. He worked for the Bendix Corporation in South Bend until 1974 and then for Union Carbide in Centerville, IA for 30 years. Richard was a 50-year member of the Knights of Columbus and served two times as President of the Centerville Association for Retarded Citizens. He also served on the State Board for that organization. An avid runner and an accomplished artist, Richard enjoyed teaching his grandchildren painting; listening to talk radio and talking politics; helping his wife with her own and community projects; and being resident artist at Starky's General Store in Lake George. He and his wife Dorothy raised their children to "do what is right, not what is popular" and was not afraid to stand up for any cause even if he knew his wife and God might be the only ones at his side. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, September 14, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, and one hour prior to mass on Monday, September 15, at the church. A Parish Rosary will be prayed at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, September 15, at Holy Family Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. A memorial has been established for the Association for the Retarded Citizens of Appanoose County in Centerville, IA; or the St. Mary's Parish, 828 South 18th Street, Centerville, IA 52544. To send condolences, or to sign the guestbook, please visit, www.kaniewski.com
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Published by South Bend Tribune on Sep. 13, 2008.