Dr. R. J. Stanchina
Richard Joseph Stanchina, 92, entered eternal life September 4, 2019, at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living Residence in Marquette, MI. He followed his wife of sixty-eight years, Alice, who passed away in April of this year.
Richard was born in Norway, MI on September 9, 1926, to Evelyn (Buckley) and John B. Stanchina, the first born of four children. At eighteen years of age he joined the U. S. Army and served during World War II with the 78th Division and the Army of Occupation in Berlin, Germany. He was discharged in 1946 after attaining the rank of corporal. Richard was proud to be included in the first Honor Flight from the U. P. to visit Washington D. C. and the memorials there.
Following his military service, he attended dental technology school in Philadelphia. Returning to Michigan, he was fortunate enough to marry Alice Solfanelli July 29, 1950 in Loretto, MI. After being employed in northern Wisconsin for several years, he attended St. Norbert College in Green Bay and was successful in being admitted to the Marquette University School of Dentistry. Richard graduated with a D. D. S. degree in 1961 and was awarded membership in the national Jesuit scholar honor society. He and Alice moved to Escanaba where he opened an office and practiced for over forty years, retiring in 2006.
He loved the art and science of dentistry, and spent countless hours in the clinic and dental lab to provide care for his patients. It was a fulfilling task for him, while also supporting his family. After retirement, he occupied himself with yardwork, golfed when able, spent time at camp, and strategized about projects he planned to accomplish. He relished being a Grandpa, and looked forward to every visit with his grandsons.
Richard had a lifelong interest in sports, enjoying both the competition in the field, and the camaraderie of the team. Alice often said, “He was born with a ball in his hand.” As a youth, football and baseball were foremost. When older, he coached the Eagles Club Little League baseball team and became an avid golfer. Bowling was a favorite throughout his life, and he participated in many of the local leagues. He was on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin State Bowling Association (which includes the U.P.), and claimed an individual city championship when in his seventies. His memberships included Cloverland District Dental Society, Escanaba Country Club, Escanaba Elks Club, and St. Anne Parish.
Dr. Stanchina is survived by his sons, Richard A. (Beth) Stanchina of Marquette, MI and Vincent (Elizabeth) Stanchina of White Bear Lake, MN; grandsons, Dominic Stanchina of Washington D. C. and Matthew Stanchina of Hancock, MI.; brothers, Willard (Viola) Stanchina of Norway, MI, and James Stanchina of Loris, S.C.; sister, Kathleen Taff of Appleton, WI.; nephews, John (Karla) Stanchina of Mooresville, N.C., Joseph (Diane) Stanchina of Norway, MI, Edward (Georgia) Chounard of Norway , MI, Robert (Judy) Opolka of DeSoto, TX., and Brian (Juana) Taff of Appleton, WI.; nieces, Maria (Michael) Degenaer of Norway, MI, Rosemary (Tony ) Kordowski of Naples,FL, Rita Harrison of Sault Ste. Marie, ONT., Jodi (Kurt) Cowling of Menasha, WI, and Jolene (Jason) Burke, San Antonio, TX.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
The family would like to thank the staff at Brookridge for their kind and compassionate care. We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Barry and U.P. Home Health and Hospice in providing care after he moved to assisted living. Thanks also to Dr. Raveesh who was his personal physician for many years.
A memorial gathering will be held on Monday, September 30th from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home, 302 South 13th Street, Escanaba.
It is suggested memorial gifts be directed to U.P. Honor Flight, c/o Crawford Funeral Home, in remembrance of Dr. R. J. Stanchina.
A message of condolence may be directed to the family by visiting crawfordfuneralhomes.net.