Rudolph R. Colich, 89, of Bellevue, passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, following a brief illness.
Born on May 16, 1923, in Willard, to Wit Anthony and Mary Elizabeth Colich, Mr. Colich is survived by his son, Rudolph Colich Jr., of Fostoria, Ohio; daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Jerry Stillinger of Blythewood, S.C; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Craig Lekutis, of Margate, Fla.; and daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Michael McFaddin, of Bellevue. He also leaves three grandchildren, Nathan Colich, Cory Colich and Molly McFaddin; along with great-grandchildren, Alex Colich, Hannah Colich, Morgan Colich, Samuel Colich, Austin Colich, and Andrew Colich; his two sisters, Rose VanLoo and Margaret Hardee; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise "Betty" Colich, in 2004; and four brothers and three sisters.
A viewing will be noon-2 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at Auxter Funeral Home, 1105 Castalia St., Bellevue, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m.
Immediately following the tribute in celebration of Mr. Colich's life, at 2:30 p.m. an Honor Guard presentation will be conducted by Bellevue VFW Post 1238. Graveside services will be at 3:30 p.m. at Green Wood Cemetery, 537 Central Ave., Willard.
Mr. Colich served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres during the invasion of Normandy and the battle of Iwo Jima, among other naval actions. Due to his keen eyesight he was a sought after crow's nest aircraft spotter.
A lifetime member of Bellevue VFW Post 1238, Mr. Colich was honored to serve as the 2011 Bellevue Memorial Day Parade Marshall.
He began his railroad career in Willard on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and then moved to Bellevue working for the Nickel Plate Railroad, which later became Norfolk Southern Railway, where he retired as a conductor.
In addition to being an avid and enjoyable conversationalist, Mr. Colich was known for his voracious appetite for reading — from historical treatises to contemporary novels.