Centerville --- Richard “Uncle Richard” Kolakowski of 9595 Findlay Road passed awaySunday, October 17, 2021. He was born on July 6, 1924, in Buffalo, the last remaining son of Polish immigrants, the late Edmund and Mary Lipska Kolakowski.
“Uncle Richard” was an intelligent, ambitious, industrious and productive farmer nearly all of his life. He took great pride in setting a standard for the newest farming methods of the day. He helped to launch the farming careers of other local farmers. Richard lived most of his life on the same beautiful farm on one of the windiest glacial hills in the area. He loved Centerville and the farms he developed there.
Richard had a mind that needed to be thinking, doing and creating. He was an avid reader of current events and could hold his own in any debate or discussion of politics, sports and especially history. Perhaps the most engaging discussions were those of the history of his family and its roots and childhood until the present. He enabled generations that followed to know their ancestors including the struggles of his Polish immigrant family’s way to build a life and thrive in America.
Classical music and poetry were two of Richard’s greatest loves. He was a skilled bowler in his youth and played catcher for the local baseball team. His nieces and nephews could engage with him for hours in lively discussions and that never changed until the very end of his life. He wanted his family to remember their ancestry and even passed down the family Polish recipes, insisting that they be prepared for him and ensured they would not be lost once he was gone.
Richard loved his huge family deeply and felt a commitment to all of them. In his resourcefulness he offered a solution for every problem or dilemma. Once his farming days were over he continued to plant fruit trees and help his niece Sandy care for a huge garden on his farm each summer.
Richard was loved and will be missed more than he could ever imagine. Having never had children of his own he became a mentor to his brother Fred’s girls and their husbands. His nieces and nephews, Anne and Duane Vaclavik in particular, along with constant support of his other local nieces and their husbands they enabled him to stay in the home of the farm that he deeply loved until the final days of his life; his lifelong wish. “Uncle Richard” will be in his family’s hearts forever.
Surviving are many nieces and nephews, too many to name, but especially close to him where his nieces, Anne (Duane) Vaclavik, Sandy (Peter) Allen, Sue (Ed) Evans, Debbie (Dick) Forkey and Janet (Michael) Campana who closely shared their lives with him.
In addition to parents he was predeceased by three sisters, Genevieve Kolakowska, Franny Otto, Lucille Malone, two brothers, Roman Kolakowski, Frederick Kolakowski.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Fillmore.
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