Richard Eugene Staskon, 83, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2013. Beloved husband to Betty nee Wright; loving father to Lesley (Kevin) Connors, Karen (John) Heath, Eric (Anne) Staskon and the late Gregg Staskon; cherished grandfather of Christopher Connors, Meghan (Josh) Grant, Christian and Ian Heath, Michael and Matthew Staskon; adored great-grandfather to Connor and Kellen Grant; loving brother to Kenneth (Shirley) Staskon; beloved cousin to John (Lonna) Menzor. Visitation Wednesday, June 19, 9:30am-11:30am at St. Catherine of Alexandria, 10621 S. Kedvale Ave., Oak Lawn where funeral Mass will take place at 11:30am. Burial to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations are appreciated to CNS Hospice, 690 E North Ave # 100 Carol Stream, IL 60188. For info call (630) 964-9392.
When Richard E. Staskon walked into the room, those in his company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Richard was and how he impacted those around him. Richard was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Richard wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Richard was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve him well throughout his life.
Richard was born on March 28, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Charles J. Staskon and Anne Menzor. Richard was raised in Chicago, Illinois. Always at the ready with a good joke, he grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Richard might describe him as an idealist, his friends and family understood well that Richard was always in pursuit of life's endless possibilities and opportunities available to him.
Richard was raised with one brother, Kenneth Staskon. Richard was very accepting and supportive of his family. He was perceived as the central person in his family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Richard was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Richard well in his adult life and, along with his wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew him.
As a young boy, Richard was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew him into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Richard was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with his peers. He was almost always the first to jump in when it came to playing games or participating in other childhood activities. Richard took part in swimming and was a life guard. In his spare time he liked airplanes and traveling. Richard's memorable achievements included receiving his commercial pilot's liscense at the age of 16. Richard had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity he and the many childhood friends he shared might discover.
During his high school years, Richard responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. He graduated from St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois in 1948. Richard was a very good student, and generally did well in his courses. Richard absorbed as much as he could from all of his teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using his imagination to master his assignments. For Richard, school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to his ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered Richard a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to him to discuss just about anything. His favorite class in high school was his passion for aviation. He had his pilot license before his driver's license.
Richard did well in college, as a result of his comfort level with tackling new theories and his love of learning. He earned his attended Valpairso University for 1 and a half years. Richard was very adaptable, a quality that helped him make the transition from high school to college with little difficulty. As a result, Richard's problem solving skills and thirst for new knowledge almost guaranteed that he enjoyed virtually every class he took. Richard was always in quest of new things to learn and experience
With a talent for making acquaintances easily which in turn brought him an endless stream of friends, Richard was very sociable and could blend without effort into any social group. Assertive and outgoing, Richard was easy to know and demonstrated a deep concern for others. He always seemed aware of what was going on with people around him and throughout his life he made many, many friends. While growing up, some of his best friends were Ernie Kumas and Don Werch.
On April 7, 1951 Richard married Betty Jane Wright at Nativity Church, Chicago, Illinois. Richard's skill at "building bridges" played an important role in his ability to make his new family happy. He was quite sensitive towards Betty Jane's needs, showing his constant concern and fondness. Richard was tenderhearted and sensitive, qualities that served him well in helping to nurture his family.
Richard was a natural and creative parent who was willing to provide his family with all sorts of new and interesting experiences. For Richard, parenting was a particularly enjoyable and pleasurable part of his life. Every activity, from chores to bedtime routines, became a game in the Staskon home. Richard's skill at understanding his children's feelings, his sensitivity to their needs, and his gift for gentle persuasion enabled him to find novel solutions to any problem or situation that might crop up. Richard was blessed with four children: 2 daughters: Lesley and Karen and 2 sons: Gregg and Eric. They were also blessed with six grandchildren: Christopher, Meghan, Christian, Ian, Michael and Matthew.
Richard was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life's possibilities, traits that made him an exceptional worker. His primary occupation was owner of Prep & Pro sports for 28 years and sales for Fox Lumber for 20 years. Richard was enterprising, inventive and working against deadlines seemed to energize him. Richard had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of his gift for insight. Richard's fellow workers saw him as a supporter and a mentor.
Richard was an Army Reserve. His fellow soldiers could count on him for being able to make adjustments to any situation as needed.
Because Richard loved to have a broad variety of activities in his life, he took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. His favorite pursuits were Aviation, photography, music, skiing, ice boating, hunting, ice skating and scuba diving. Richard had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of his favorite pastimes. However, Richard's ever-present concern for others always took precedent.
Richard derived much satisfaction from participating in and watching sports. His charisma, supportive nature and ability to improvise when called upon to do so all made perfect attributes for enjoying a great many sporting activities. Recreational sports included Aviation. Richard was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were Hockey.
Throughout his life, Richard was actively involved in professional and community organizations. He was compassionate, accommodating and quick to move into action. Always able to build a consensus, Richard seemed to be the person smack dab in the middle of things, working to get things done. Those who had the opportunity to work with Richard usually agreed that when you were involved in an organization with him, it was as entertaining as anything you could imagine. In high school, Richard was a member of the Aviation Club. Throughout his later years, Richard was an active member of the EAA - Experimental Aviation Association.
Because Richard was constantly in the center of things and where the action was, he always seemed willing to join in and help, regularly getting involved in community activities. Richard's gift of planning and improvisation, along with a talent for rallying support, made him a great asset. Richard found new ways of getting things done in order to help make just about every activity more efficient and enjoyable. Richard was an active member of several community groups, serving on committees for the Knights of Columbus, Elks Club Member, President of Lawn Aqua Pool, sponsored and bowled in several south side leagues. He also taught scuba diving.
Richard was a man who was dedicated and devoted to his faith. He was a member of St. Catherine of Alexandria for 60 years. He was sympathetic and able to empathize with others and he used these qualities to the fullest while working tirelessly for his beliefs.
Richard's love of improvising in his daily life was a perfect fit for his enjoyment of traveling. His favorite vacations were ones that were not planned. Traveling in a casual manor fit his personality well. Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Richard took his vacations seriously, well, as seriously as he possibly could. Favorite vacations included Austin, Texas, hunting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Paradise Island in the Bahamas and visiting Ireland, Scotland and England.
Richard was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. Jessie a yorkshire terrior, was a best friend for 3 years. His family was rounded out by his Suzette, Bobby and Mr. T.
When Richard's retirement finally came in April 2013 from Fox Lumber, Alsip, Illinois, Richard handled it the way he usually did. He adapted and, like everything in his life, made it satisfying. Because he was such a flexible person and able to adjust to any situation, retirement was just another enjoyable change of pace for Richard to master. His new life involved relocating to Lisle, Illinois. Even in retirement, Richard continued to stay in touch with his old friends and like always, made plenty of new ones.
Richard Staskon passed away on June 15, 2013 at Villa St. Benedict retirement community in Lisle, Illinois. Richard fought a brave battle against cancer. He is survived by his wife Betty, his daughters: Lesley and Karen, his son Eric and 6 grandchildren: Christopher, Meghan, Christian, Ian, Michael and Marrthew. Also, his great-grand children: Connor and Kellen. Services were held at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church. Richard was laid to rest in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.
There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Richard. He was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. He had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While he was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Richard Staskon for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Richard was always more than willing to share life's experiences with his loved ones.