It is with great sadness that our family announces Richard’s passing on Thursday, February 9, 2023, after complications, while quietly and courageously battling cancer for the past 10 months.
Richard was born in Osterode, Germany on January 30, 1946. Richard graduated from Irvin High School in 1964 and enlisted to serve his country proudly in the United States Army for 22 years. Richard earned acceptance to the Airborne Jump School and completed 37 parachute jumps with the Special Forces/Airborne Infantry. Throughout his military career Richard served 2 tours in Vietnam, also served in Okinawa, Panama, Germany, Fort Bragg NC, Fort Bliss TX and Fort Sill OK. Retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant and worked his last 5 years of service with the Inspector General Office.
Richard loved his family and enjoyed being outdoors. He always took the opportunity to visit state and national parks to show his kids and grandkids. So many family memories include road tripping together to enjoy a beautiful hike, picnicking, splashing around at a lake, getting the grill and campfire going or falling asleep after watching a meteor shower. Richard camped all the way down the US west coast at one point and he accomplished his personal quest to visit all the New Mexico State parks as well. He was quick witted with captions that are enjoyed on his Facebook photos. He was a father figure and example to many, in giving opinions and advice in many areas of life.
Richard will forever be loved and missed by all that he left behind. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Janina and his brother, Jan. He leaves behind his wife, Mitsue Cieslik of 55 years, whom he met while serving in Okinawa, sons; Thomas (Miky), David (Beverly), James (Argelia), daughters; Jeannie (Robert) Parker, Janella (Shannon) Van Zee, Pamela (Jason) Dillow, grandchildren; Stephanie, Johnny, Samantha, Katherine, Mitsue, Michio, Maxwell, Daniella, Gabriel, Janina, Alexandria, Rene, Alan, great-grandchildren; Aiden, Genevieve, Jaxson, Ezri, Zoe, Brooklyn, Madilyn, Andrea, brothers; Thomas and James and sister; Jeannie Baird. A service honoring the life of Richard will be held on Monday, February 20, 2023 from 5pm to 8pm at Sunset Funeral Home Northeast- 4631 Hondo Pass Drive. Burial on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 10:30am - at Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors. Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions can be sent to: give.nationalparks.org as a tribute to Richard’s love for the outdoors. Click on donate to submit a tribute in Richard’s name and to send an e-card acknowledgment of your donation to Mitsue Cieslik, email email@example.com
Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Homes-Northeast. Please visit his online memorial at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net.