Richard “Dick” Kathan
Richard “Dick” Kathan, of Prior Lake, passed away on August 12, 2015 at the age of 89. A Celebration of Life Service is Monday, August 17, 2015 at 11:00 AM with visitation from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Prior Lake. Pastor Rance Settle will preside. Pall bearers for Dick will be his grandchildren. Dick will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials are preferred and can be made to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Dick’s honor.
On October 16, 1925 George and Ruth (Webster) Kathan celebrated the birth of their son, Richard Webster Kathan. Dick was the younger of two boys, and he loved growing up in Youngstown, New York with his brother, Bud. Dick began working at a very young age to help support his family. His first job was helping out at his family home which his mother turned into a restaurant. It was called River’s End Restaurant, and they served all of the tourists who’d come to the Niagara River during the summer. Dick also worked in construction, picked fruit and delivered coal. Somehow he managed to support his family and graduate from high school all at the same time.
After school, Dick was inducted into the United States Naval Service. He served his country from September 21, 1944 until October 25, 1945 when he was honorably discharged. During this time Dick worked as a cook, and with the experience he had from working at his mom’s restaurant he was everyone’s favorite cook. He was eventually began cooking for the officers. This promotion kept him state side during his service.
When Dick returned home, he reconnected with a charming young woman named Charlotte. Dick and Charlotte dated on and off for a few years before exchanging wedding vows on September 15, 1951 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Niagara Falls, New York. Dick and Charlotte were blessed with two sons, Richard, Jr. and Kenneth.
When the boys were growing up, they loved spending time with their dad. Dick handed down a vast knowledge of woodworking to both boys, and they also inherited Dick’s ability to tinker with anything until it was fixed. But the most important thing Rick and Ken learned from their dad was the importance of service. Dick was a volunteer firefighter and first responder in Youngstown for 56 years. He served as the Fire Police Chief as well as the fire department’s president, treasurer and secretary. Dick was a founding member of the department’s ambulance service as well.
To support his family, Dick worked as a test deskman for the New York Telephone Company. Dick helped to establish the telephone lines throughout New York and was a member of the New York Telephone Pioneers. Dick retired in 1984 after 38 years with the company. In retirement Dick was able to pursue some of his other passions in life. He loved building things, and helped each of his sons build homes for their families. Once the grandkids arrived, Dick built two more houses… an elaborate doll house for each of his granddaughters. More than anything, Dick loved being with his family, and he would do anything for them. About eight years ago, Dick and Charlotte moved to Prior Lake, Minnesota to be closer to family.
Dick was a man of strong faith. He was an active member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Niagara Falls, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Prior Lake. Throughout the years Dick served as President and Trustee for his congregations.
Dick was a kind man with a great sense of humor. He was always happy and laughing. He was generous and always ready to lend a helping hand. Dick made friends quickly, and everyone loved being around him. He accomplished a lot and had much to be proud of, but he was always humble. During the early morning hours of August 12, 2015, Dick went to be with the Lord. He passed away at Arbor Lane Assisted Living in Burnsville with his family by his side.
Dick will be deeply missed and remembered always by his loving wife, Charlotte; sons, Richard “Rick” W. (Elizabeth “Beth”) Kathan, Jr., Ken P. (Chris) Kathan; grandchildren, Richard W. (Megan) Kathan
III, Thomas W. Kathan, Mary E. Kathan, Melissa J. Kathan; great-grandson, Connor R. Kathan; other loving relatives and many friends. There to greet Dick in Heaven were his parents, George and Ruth Kathan and his brother, George “Bud” Kathan.
The Kathan family is served with honor, care and compassion by Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation.Print Obituary & Condolences