Richard J. Sawatzke, 58

Richard Joseph Sawatzke, age 58, of Waverly, passed away Wednesday, June 11, 2014, following a courageous battle with leukemia.

The funeral service will take place Monday, June 16 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly, with visitation at 10 a.m., and Mass at 11 a.m. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Visitation was Sunday, June 15 from 4 to 8 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., at St. Mary’s Church.

Arrangements are being handled by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake.

Richard was born May 7, 1956, in Buffalo, the son of Robert and Audrey Sawatzke. He was baptized at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly.

He graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly High School in 1974, and completed meat cutting school at Pipestone Technical College.

Richard was united in marriage with Jan (Schmieg) April 24, 1976.

An entrepreneur who wore many different hats, Dick was a farmer, construction worker, butcher, maintenance manager, property manager, and even a custom fish house designer over the years.

Dick proudly built two homes for his immediate family over the years, and completed numerous projects for many family and friends. His talents as a contractor were admired by customers, who lent him a lifetime of word-of-mouth advertising that always kept him busy.

Dick enjoyed the outdoors. He especially liked ice fishing, deer hunting, and spending time with family and friends on Freeborn Lake. In recent years, Dick cherished his grandchildren. Times with “Papa” were some of the most important memories of the last five years.

Dick was preceded in death by his father, Bob Sawatzke; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mildred and Clifford Schmieg; and also by an infant brother.

He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Jan; mother and stepfather Audrey and Marvin Balgaard; daughter and son-in-law Tammy and John Anderson; son Eric; grandchildren Rayna, Gianna, and Grady; siblings and their spouses, Joan and Mel Laurence, Dan and Dawn Sawatzke, Chris and Rich Alverson, Doug and Jenell Sawatzke, Dale and Laura Sawatzke, JoEllen and Joel Fasching, and Carol and Dan Tongen; brothers-in-law and their spouses, Roger and Patty Schmieg, Wayne and Denise Schmieg, and Joel and Sue Schmieg; and many nieces, nephews, and close friends.

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