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Richard James (Rick) Zelenka
May 24, 1945 ~ October 20, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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Richard James Zelenka, affectionately known as Rick, was born to his late parents Ladislav and Margaret (Svabek) Zelenka on May 24, 1945, in the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois. He peacefully left this world at his home in Fennville, Michigan, on October 20, 2023, surrounded by his family and beloved life partner Victoria (Vickie) Zeman of 29 cherished years. He was a proud and devoted father to his children Candi Schmuck, Mandy Zeman, and Brandy (Jeremy) Zachery. He was also a loving brother to his siblings Midge Bernard and Michael (Theresa Agius) Zelenka. Rick's joy was amplified by his grandchildren Ryan (Hunter), Jonathan, Breana, Brandon (Bri), Cassandra, Nathan (Lauryn), Andrew, Alexandra, Allison, and Emily, as well as his great- grandchildren Colton, Kaleo, Olivia, and Bennett. He also leaves behind his niece Kristen (Don Pinto) Bernard, and nephew Adam Bernard. Rick was a proud graduate of De La Salle High School in Chicago and went on to become the successful owner of Rick Zelenka Painting Company. His hard work and dedication to his craft allowed him to serve his community for many faithful decades. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to excellence were admirable and will long be remembered by those who knew him. Rick was a man of many interests and hobbies. He had a deep love for his dogs and cats, treating them as if they were his own children. His adventurous spirit led him to travel often to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and take numerous trips to Mexico. He was also a lover of nature, often waking up early to witness the sunrise and staying up late to enjoy the sunset. Rick was born and raised in Chicago and held a deep affection for his hometown. He was also an avid beachcomber, always on the lookout for unique and beautiful rocks to add to his collection. Most people who knew Rick would describe him as adventurous, funny, and loving. His great sense of humor was contagious, often lightening the mood and bringing smiles to those around him. His adventurous spirit was evident in his love for travel and exploration. He was also a deeply loving individual, as clearly demonstrated by the love he had for his family and pets. Rick's life was a testament to his strength, resilience, and love for life. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those he loved and who loved him in return. His bravery, humor, and love for adventure will continue to inspire all who were fortunate enough to know him.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Holland staff Nurse Andrea, Night Nurse Alicia, and Social Worker Hailey for their dedication with serving Richard 24/7.
The family will receive friends at Chappell Funeral Home on Saturday, October 28, 2023, with viewing from 12:00pm – 2:00pm with a funeral service starting at 2:00pm. Cremation will take place after Richard’s funeral service.