On July 18, 2020, I went to be with my friend Jesus. His love and support for over 80 years was my miracle. I was born on June 12, 1937 in Chicago to Floyd and Gertrude (Omernick) Kaminski. We were a close family, living on 7 farms by the time I was 15. We then moved to the mountains of North Idaho to do logging. We lived in a small cabin: no water, no electricity. At 15, I was doing the log skidding with a large Cat. I also built the haul roads. At that time, logging was the most dangerous job in America. I was always thankful to Jesus. We worked 60 hours a week in the summer, as a young man, what an exciting way to start an adult life. I graduated from Orofino Idaho High in 1955.
I met a sweet young lady in school in Wisconsin when she was 12 years old. A few years later, after I had moved to Idaho, she decided to start writing to me from Wisconsin. We wrote letters back and forth for 3 years. This was a solid old-school romance. Betty came out to Idaho by train and we were engaged in the fall of 1958. We were married on April 18, 1959 in Green Bay at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Out of this union we had 3 wonderful children. We are so proud of them. They are of strong Christian faith, as are their children.
In March of 1959, I bought Rapid Soft Water Conditioning Company from the owner who was retiring. Betty and I ran the business until the year 2000 when I sold it to my son. One plumbing company has been getting softeners from us for over 50 years (Hi Jeff!). Our customers were our friends also. We lived in several new homes and ran the business in the Greenville area.
Betty and I loved to travel. We took a vacation every year since we were married, always taking the kids. We traveled to all 49 states and Europe; our favorite cities were Paris and New York. The highlight of my life was in 2000. We took our family, 14 of us and flew to Disney World. How precious watching those 6 grandkids.
I was a member of the National Guard in Orofino, Idaho and Neenah, Wisc. I was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis and served at Fort Lewis in Washington.
Now, as a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, a list I am very proud of. I am survived by my wife of 61 years, Betty. Son Rick (Lissa) Kaminski, daughter Sue (Tim) Diestler, and son Rob (Heather) Kaminski. AFS daughter Henrike (Peter) Kerckhoff in Germany. Grandchildren: Garrett (Vanessa) Kaminski, Matt (Hannah) Diestler, Jordan (Anna) Kaminski, Holly (Nate) Schauland, Lauryn (Dylan) Young, Alex Kaminski, Daniel Kaminski, Sebastian Bjerke, Zoey Kaminski, Ally Kaminski, Tim Kerckhoff, and Philipp Kerckhoff. Great grandchildren: Maxwell, Sophie, Josef, Greyson, Emilia, Elliot, Edison, Madelyn, and baby girl Evelyn due in October. Further survived by my brother Fred (Arlene) Kaminski, sister Carol (Alan) Duch, brothers-in-law Clarence Jr (Butch) (Bonnie) Merryfield, Darryl (Mary) Merryfield, William (Billy) Merryfield, and sisters-in-law Judy (Ned) Pilz, Karen (Roger) Pecard). I was predeceased by my parents, Floyd and Gertrude Kaminski, sister Judy Ramsey, parents-in-law, Clarence and Laura Merryfield, and sister-in-law Nancy Merryfield. Also predeceasing me was my special four-legged companion of many years, Sadie.
A memorial service for Dick will take place on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at Faith Community United Methodist Church N1966 Julius Dr. Greenville WI. Visitation will take place from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM with service to follow at 6:00 PM. All visitors are required to please wear a mask. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established.
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