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Burial Date November 13, 2015

Funeral Home Miles Funeral Home

Place of Service Worcester County Memorial Park

Section Garden of Valor II Lot Number: 368Grave Number: A#3

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Richard S. Bieksha, 73 Born and raised in Worcester, Dick was the son of Stanley (Steve) Bieksha and Sophia Blavackas Bieksha. A graduate of St. John’s High School and Worcester Junior College from where he received his Industrial Engineering degree, he did additional studying in engineering at Worcester Industrial Technical Institute and in photography at UNH.

During the Christmas season in 1960 on college break, Dick was working at Denholm & McKay and was ‘tapped’ to fill in for Santa Claus. Marilyn Prouty was an elf in Toyland and thus began their romance. Several years later they married and they celebrated their 50th anniversary this past June.

Always living in Rutland, they raised two sons, Steven and David. Constantly involved in their sporting activities, Dick served as the first President of the Rutland Youth Soccer League and as an umpire in the Rutland Baseball League. Two of his proudest moments were when Steven was drafted by the Seattle Mariners, and when David became a NH State Trooper. Dick has more recently been an avid supporter of his seven grandchildren’s sporting and school activities.

Dick served in the US Army Reserves as an infantryman from 1963-1969. His professional life began as a Draftsman for the Worcester Gaslight Co. and continued as an Engineer for the New England Telephone Co., retiring after 33 years of employment with Verizon. As a professional photographer he taught at Quinsigamond Community College and in the Worcester Public Schools Night Life program. He worked as a free-lance photographer for Casson-Foster Studios in Auburn and also in his own business, Photography Unlimited. Dick served several terms as President of the Rutland Lions Club. He is a member of the American Legion Post in Venice, Florida, of the Professional Photographers’ Association of New England (P.P.A.N.E.), and of the Bedrock Golf Club in Rutland.

Golf was his passion, but he also enjoyed target/trap shooting, fishing, trivia, crossword puzzles, reading, cribbage, cooking, and gardening. Dick and Marilyn wintered in North Port Florida for the past ten years where they became part of the Lazy River Village Community. They have a wide network of friends with whom for twenty years they have traveled, enjoyed monthly cribbage games, supported one another in times of need, and celebrated with each other in times of joy.

Dick passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family. They would like to thank the entire CCU staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital whose skills and compassionate care were extraordinary. Special thanks go to nurses Joan, Peg, Candy, Cathy, and Diane along with Dr.’s Rich, Amano, Lazaron, and Johnson.

Dick will be remembered as a man whose positive attitude, generosity, kindness, amazing wit, and vast knowledge have left an unforgettable impact. He leaves his beloved wife, Marilyn; sons, Steven and David; daughters-in-law, Gayla and Susan; seven grandchildren, Casey, Troy, Alison, Molly, Cameron, Jenna, and Maxx; two nieces, Kirsten Daigneault and Kristina Benoit; three nephews, Craig, Scott, and Dwayne Prouty, and their families. He is predeceased by his older sister, Joan Bieksha Carlstrom.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Dick’s family between 4 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, at the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 13, at St. Patrick’s Church, 258 Main Street, Rutland followed by interment at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton. Memorial donations in his memory may be made to the Rutland Lions Club, P.O. Box 608, Rutland, MA 01543.