January 23, 2019

Richard T. "Pretz" Switala

Died Dec. 31, 2017


Richard Theophil “Pretz” Switala, 86, of Alger, formerly of Bay City, passed away Dec. 31, 2017, at Saginaw Covenant Cooper.

He was born Dec. 26, 1931, in Bay City to Theophil and 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 two oak leaf clusters. On Oct. 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 more than 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, Fla., Gregory Switala of Bay City, Anne Switala of Alger, Philip (Lori) Switala of Panama City, Fla., and Mary (Timothy) Frank of Phoenix, Ariz. “Papa Pretz” has 24 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one 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 and Jane Nietzel of Bay City and countless others.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Theophil and Mary; and siblings, Victor Piesik, Edward Piesik, Norbert Switala, Dorothy Perry, Gertrude Macijewski and Virginia Parker.

Visitation will take place Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, from 9:30-11 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Skidway Lake. A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. at the church with Father Joseph Ortega and Father George Serour concelebrating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Richard’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.


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