Obituary: Richard T. Owczarzak, 89, of Ridgefield

Richard T. Owczarzak
Richard T. Owczarzak

Richard T. Owczarzak, 89, of Ridgefield, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was the loving husband of Mrs. Grace (Pizzimenti) Owczarzak.

Mr. Owczarzak was born in Buffalo, NY on July 21, 1929; the first born of the late Anthony and Bernice (Bogdan) Owczarzak. He attended Corpus Christi Catholic primary schools (where he prided himself on staying left handed against the Nuns’ strong persuasion) and the Buffalo Technical High School.

He served in the US Navy from 1953 to 1959 as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate Second Class in Patuxent River, Maryland. During the time in the Navy, Richard suffered heart troubles that brought him back to NY and into the Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo as a patient in 1955. This is where he met his pretty nurse, Grace! They courted for two years and were married in July 1957. After serving in the Navy he and Grace settled in Cheektowaga, NY where they started their family. Richard attended Buffalo University before working for Bell Aircraft and then became a computer programmer for Remmington Rand Co. In 1967 the company transferred him to Connecticut where he and Grace built their home in Ridgefield.

Richard later worked for Pitney Bowes as a Senior Computer Programmer. He enjoyed many years at Pitney Bowes, teaching and training early computers to employees and traveling to help field offices with new computer education. He also volunteered much of his time to The United Way of Pitney Bowes. After his retirement in 1996, Richard became a career volunteer. The Connecticut Welcome Center in Danbury became his new passion to share the state he had come to love as his home. He spent many hours sharing information with hundreds and hundreds of visitors passing through. He also became involved in the Ridgefield chapter of the AARP where he planned and facilitated many wonderful trips and excursions. Founders Hall was a favorite spot for playing pool and learning a new hobby of woodcarving. His membership in the Ridgefield Men’s Club was of great pride to Richard, where he always enjoyed everyone’s company. His attention to detail gave him great pleasure in Stained Glass. He learned the craft at the Renaissance Studios in Westport where he created fabulous projects and beautiful stained-glass lamps.

Richard’s other passion was Sunday afternoons with the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres and the ladies of UCONN Women’s Basketball. Richard and Grace had a strong love of Bar Harbor, Maine. They vacationed there every year for over 30 years, where they enjoyed sunrises on Mount Cadillac, hiking and cliff walking in Acadia National Park and lighthouse touring.

Richard was a parishioner for over 50 years at St. Mary Church Ridgefield where he attended 7:00 am Mass and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Richard’s family was always his pride and joy. He loved to attend ball games, school plays, skydiving events, church happenings or whatever any of this children or grandchildren were involved in.

He is survived by his lovely wife of 61 years, Grace and their children; Christopher Owczarzak, Lawrence Owczarzak and his wife, Jura and Rebecca Owczarzak and her husband Denes Gutai. Mr. Owczarzak is also survived by 4 grandchildren; Mary Catherine, Zacharias, Evgenia and Lawrence; a brother, James Owczarzak; a sister, Patricia Golebiewski and her husband, Paul and a very special family friend, Mary LaRubbio. Richard will also be missed by his 2 special dachshunds, Piper and Luna.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 10:15 AM at St. Mary’s Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment with US Military Honors will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield. Friends will be received on Sunday, January 27, 2019 from 2 to 4 PM at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund or the Michael J. Fox Foundation.