Richard was born Feb. 9, 1943, in Owosso, to Louis and Mary Lucille (McElroy) Zelenka. He married Diana Sue Sutter Feb. 1, 1964, in Chesaning. They had four beautiful children.
Richard had many younger siblings when their mother died at a young age. He felt, and assumed, many responsibilities for his siblings, including going to work at a young age to help support them. He was looked at as a tender-hearted mentor to them, always looking out for them. The same characteristics carried over when he began his own family.
Richard worked for a time at Woodard Furniture in Owosso, then began a long employment with General Motors in Lansing. He enjoyed his job, took great pride in it, and was always considered a very hard worker.
He was an avid walleye fisherman and was a member of the Lansing Walleye Club. He loved taking his family out on fishing excursions on their boat. The cottage in Holland was the site of many wonderful places. He also enjoyed playing cards, trivia, and in later years, Bingo with his grandkids.
Richard is survived by his daughters Rose Marchese and Brenda Titus; son John Zelenka; and grandchildren Cameron, Hannah and Dominic Marchese, Olivia (Jerret) Titus-Pate, and Abigail, Will and Grace Titus; great-grandchildren Jesse and Wesley Pate; brothers Ron, Don (Virginia), Phil (Kris), Ken (Lori), George and Louis (Cinda) Zelenka; sisters Noreen (Doug) Edwards, Donna (Ed) Ruppert and June Zelenka; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife Diana, daughter Terri, brother Bob and sister Janet.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at St. Gerard Catholic Church with the Rev. Prabhu Lakra as celebrant. A fellowship luncheon will immediately follow.
The family will greet friends beginning at 9:30 a.m. until service time.
For those who wish to, memorial contributions may be made to the Michigan Parkinson Foundation. Friends may send a condolence to the family at palmerbush.com.