Richard (RJ) Palczewski, 92, of Bowman, formerly of Haley, passed away April 22, 2016 at the family farm near Scranton.
Funeral Services for Richard was at 10 a.m. on April 28 at the Peace Lutheran Church in Scranton. Pastor Mary Wiggins officiated with burial to follow in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Scranton. There was a Family and Friends service on April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Home Chapel.
Richard John Palczewski was born on April 5, 1924 on the Joseph Palczewski farm south of Scranton, the fifth of Joseph and Elizabeth’s seven children. Richard passed away April 22 at the age of 92, in the house he called home for many years, the Palczewski farm East of Haley. Richard had a hard and long life, but in his words “If I had to do it over again, I’d do the same damn thing.”
Richard growing up was like most young boys at the time, it was more important to work whether at home or earning wages for a neighbor. After his eighth grade graduation from Hammond Country School he attended two years in the Hettinger High School before deciding to work for some of the local ranches. He spent many years helping on the Edward A. & Monica Miller ranch herding sheep until he began working with Stuart Jett’s sheep ranch which has now become the Bowman-Haley Dam. Richard met Phyllis Thune, who was helping as a cook there and after a few years of dating, were married April 23, 1944 in Pensacola, Fla., only three days prior to his deployment on the USS Baxter to fight in WWII. Richard’s 18 months in WWII was spent operating a Higgins boat, a landing craft used to carrying soldiers to and from the Navy Ship and shore.
Upon returning from WWII in December 1945, Richard met with his former boss Stuart Jett and discussed his plans of starting his own farm/ranch operation. Stuart Jett wrote Richard a check to buy his first section of land and Richard always talked about how grateful he was for that first loan. Richard and Phyllis raised their four children: Mildred Jean, Deborah Irma, Dale Richard and Dennis Walton and continued to run their farm/ranch operation until Phyllis lost her battle with cancer in June 1987. In Jan. 1988, Richard married Bernadine Sipma and they soon moved from the farm to a house he built in Scranton. Richard and Bernadine shared a life for nearly 14 years before she lost her battle with cancer.
Richard was known to have spent most of his days working hard and putting in long hours. In his active years if he wasn’t working, he would be with a rifle in hand or casting a line into the river. He had many stories of outrunning the Game Warden or the “Big Fish” he had caught. When he lived in Scranton, he was known for his beautiful flowerbeds and well-producing garden. Richard was a Brother, Husband, Dad, Uncle, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa but most of all he was “The Greatest Man I Have Ever Known”.
Richard is survived by his four children, four step-children, 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren: daughter Mildred (Sid) Richardson with children Harrison and Kory (son Zaidyn), daughter Deborah (Dave) Thomason with their daughter Raedean (Ken) Naylor (son Ben), son Dale (Merlene) Palczewski with their children Nate (Lynae) Palczewski (children Kyler and Elli) and John (Tessa) Palczewski (children Isabelle, Jace and Sam), son Dennis (Amy Deibert) Palczewski with their children Thune Palczewski (daughter Emma) and Ari (Angela) Palczewski (daughter Rowan). Step-son Monte (Ellen) Sipma with their children Shaun (Keri Nelson) Sipma (children Maren and Jaxson), Shane (Tiffany) Sipma, Amanda (Owain) Schooling, Step-daughter Sue (George) Buckmeier with their children Jeff Buckmeier, Brad (Tracy) Buckmeier (children Lane and Lily), Janet (Jarret) Wanek (son Jude), step-son Miles Sipma with his children Marc (sons Leto and Damon) and Alex, step-son Stuart (Sandy) Sipma with children Justin (Sierra) Sipma (son Payton) and Trevor Sipma. Richard was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, his wife Bernadine, his parents, and siblings Frank, Mary Monson, Carl, and Isabelle (Izzy) Bruce.