Richard P. Switala

Alger, Michigan
December 26, 1931 - December 31, 2017


Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Skidway Lake.

Service Location

St. Stephens Catholic Church


Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Skidway Lake

Obituary Notice

Richard (Pretz) Theophil Switala, age 86 of Alger, formerly of Bay City, passed away on December 31, 2017 at Saginaw Covenant Cooper. He was born December 26, 1931 in Bay City to Theophil & Mary (Wojciehowski) Switala. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War where he was the recipient of The Silver Star and a Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. On October 3, 1953, he married the love of his life Geraldine Liss. He was an accomplished carpenter and then the maintenance man for Visitation Catholic Church in Bay City. He remained there for over 28 years until his retirement in 1989. They moved to the Alger area in 1995. Richard was a member of St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church in Skidway Lake and the American Legion. He loved his family. One would often find four generations around the table playing 31 and enjoying his specialty, the best potato pancakes ever. He built beautiful bird houses which can now be found throughout the country. Feeding the birds in his yard and watching Jeopardy were always popular pastimes.

Richard is survived by his devoted wife Geraldine of Alger; children Eileen (Wayne) Kight of Panama City, FL, Gregory Switala of Bay City, Anne Switala of Alger, Philip (Lori) Switala of Panama City, FL, Mary (Timothy) Frank of Phoenix, AZ. “Papa Pretz” has 24 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 1 great-great granddaughter; his sister Janet Le Vasseur of Bay City, sister-in-law Joyce Switala of Kawkawlin, many loved nieces and nephews, special friends Rich & Jane Nietzel of Bay City and countless others. He was preceded in death by his parents; Theophil and Mary, siblings Victor Piesik, Edward Piesik, Norbert Switala, Dorothy Perry, Gertrude Macijewski, and Virginia Parker.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Skidway Lake. A funeral mass will be said at 11:00 am at the church with Fr. Joseph Ortega and Fr. George Serour concelebrating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Richard’s name to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. Online condolences may be made to the family at


In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital


Aunt Geri and family, There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. Uncle Pretz was one of a kind and I am so blessed to call him my Godfather. So many stories could be shared of how he loved unconditionally and lived his life to it's fullest. His smile, laugh, hugs and kisses on my forehead will always be special memories for me and my birdhouse a visual reminder of an awesome man. May God provide you strength for the days ahead. Love you all to the moon and back!!
— Deb Rosebush
This Dad was certainly one of the Greats! The kind of man everyone Loves and feels Loved back. It was my pleasure knowing you Pretz! RIP
— Renee DeShano Woodruff
God Bless and may comfort come to your family soon
— Frank Borucki
Uncle Pretz, you were always so good to me. I will never forget how you helped Dan and me with our first house. I would come homer from work and you were already there ripping out walls, making cabinets, laying floors. So loving. Thank you a million times.
— MJ Parker
Our thoughts and prayers are with Gerry and Family at the tragic loss of Dick. I have many fond memories of the years Dick catered to the many requests from those of us at Visitation.
Marilyn and Fred Hamilton.
— Marilyn Hamilton
This man was the most kindest and gental man I knew. He and his family were so close. Made everyone who came to visit very welcomed. He will be sadly missed by friends and family.
Prayers to the family.
— Stephanie
I was saddened to learn of the Dick's passing. As a long haired 19 year old hippie back in the early 70s, I worked as Dick's assistant custodian at Visitation Parish. Being an Army vet of the Korean War, it would have been understandable if he looked at me with some level of distain and distrust. But that was not in his nature, He always treated me with upmost respect. In the short time I worked under his watchful eye, he taught me the value of hard work and task focus. He was a knowledgeable and trusting mentor. Now, here I am, a 66 year old husband, father, and grandfather, who has had a successful life and career, thanks in part to the values instilled in me by Dick nearly 50 years ago. My condolences to his family.
— David Schultz
Heart felt prayers and condolences to the entire family.
— Joe and Rosanna Martin, Austin Texas
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who’s life he touched. You all know you will be in my thoughts and prayers. You all are a very special family to me and he was very special man. May God bless and walk with you through this time of grief and loss. Sending my love Malaya
— Malaya Suzzane Streeter McCraw
We're very sorry to hear about your loss. I have some fond memories of Dick, particularly of how he once had a panic attack when I tried to throw some scrap lumber into the back of his brand new truck. "What are you doing?" he yelled. "Well you told us to clean up" we said. "Not in MY truck!". Never made that mistake again! He was a man who took care of his things as well as he took care of his family. He will be missed by many and welcomed into Heaven by those who went before him.
— Russell and Marcie Burley
Bryan and I are so sorry for your loss. Prayers and hugs
— Karen Peters
I wish all of Dick's family and friends sincere condolences. My prayers are with you all.
— Debbie Kline
We are deeply saddened by the news of your Fathers passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
— Gary and Debra Fiting
I am just reading about Richard today, January 29th. I am so sorry for your loss. Please have Geri keep in touch with us.
— Karen Fleming (Carl Clemons daughter)

Leave Your Condolences (must be approved by staff)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *