Richard Sass, 86, of Battle Creek, died peacefully at home on Thursday, February 6, 2020 after a year-long illness.
Richard (Dick) was born in Lake City, Minnesota on October 1, 1933. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1951-1954 during the Korean War. After his service, he attended Winona State College where he met his wife, Jean Ann Kreckow. He graduated with his teaching degree and in 1960 moved his family to Battle Creek where he began his career at Dudley Elementary School. He later earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University, where he also did post-graduate work.
Dick served the Battle Creek Public Schools for 34 years, as a teacher, Community Schools Director and the long-time Principal of Franklin Elementary School. After retiring, he was elected to the Battle Creek Public School Board, where he served for 12 years as a trustee and Board President. He attended St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Throughout his life, Dick had a passion for U.S. History, always reading another book to learn even more. He instilled this love of learning and curiosity in his children, often engaging them in robust discussions of current events around the dinner table which fostered in them a respect for critical thinking and debate. He, along with his wife, Jean, had a love for travel and took their children on many summer camping trips to numerous national parks across the United States, including a memorable trip to Mt. McKinley (Denali) National Park in Alaska.
Dick was an avid golfer, and member of Binder Park Golf Course. He enjoyed playing golf with both of his sons-in-law on Charlie’s League for over 30 years, as well as golfing with his good friends. He also enjoyed hunting and scuba diving with his sons.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Leah Sass; his sister, Joanne Zuehlke; and brother, Daniel Sass. He is survived by his wife of over 64 years, Jean (Kreckow) Sass, their four children, Richard (Kim) Sass; Michael (Stephanie) Sass; Joni (Dr. Jeffrey) Jones and Tammi (Thomas) Lawrence as well as nine grandchildren – Trisha Sass, Carrie (Jayeson) Tkac, Paul (Kristina) Jones, Dr. Brian Jones, Andrew (Anna) Lawrence, Gregory Sass, Megan (Dan) Ribas, Dr. Sarah Jones and Matthew Sass. Dick is also survived by eight great-grandchildren – Riven, Lauren, Lily, MJ, Jack, Jimmy, Joey and Isla and by brothers James Harlan (Audrey) Sass, Lee (Kathy) Sass and Steve (Linda) Sass and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 4-7:00 p.m. at Bachman Hebble Funeral Home. A Memorial funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, February 13 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Following the Mass burial of cremated remains will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church or to First Tee c/o Binder Park Golf Course. Arrangements by Bachman Hebble Funeral Service Inc. (269)965-5145