At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Richard Chobey was a loving husband, dedicated father and caring grandfather. He modeled a lifetime of reverence and discipline as well as a nurturing spirit of compassion for others. His wisdom and guidance, as well as his humility and unconditional love, will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by his loved ones and many special friends.
Richard was born on October 17, 1933 in Throop, Pennsylvania as the middle son of John and Helen (Pesarcik) Chobey. Richard grew up in Newark, New Jersey where he attended school, but spent his summers working on the family farm in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania with his cousins. Years later, he would bring his own family to the farm to visit with his parents, aunts, uncles and cousins to make their own lifelong memories. Some of their fondest family memories include playing with the animals on the farm, jumping in the hay and going swimming at Lake Wallenpaupack.
After graduating high school, Richard enlisted in the United States Army. Being stationed in France allowed him to travel to many parts of Europe. While in the service he was trained in computer programming which opened many doors for him during his lifetime. After his discharge he and a friend set off for the Catskills in upstate New York for a little relaxation. There he met Rita Peters, the love of his life for 61 years. They met in June and married on February 15, 1958, at St. James Catholic Church on Long Island.
After moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Rita had family, Richard graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Western Michigan University. His career took him to Fuller Transmission, General Motors, Kellogg and a career change at Upjohn, later known as Pfizer before he retired in 2003.
Over the years he also became the proud father of five wonderful daughters. As a father, he instilled in his daughters the idea of taking advantage of all that life had to offer. He taught them that each and every opportunity was provided as a lesson or a path and to never let their gender be a barrier on their journey to success. He pushed them to think outside the boundaries and follow their passion. The girls valued his guidance. Richard modeled for them a strong work ethic, always be on time as well as live a life of integrity. Like every dad, he worried about his girls but was confident that they would turn out well. He just wanted them to be happy.
Richard held many special interests over the years and was never afraid of trying new things. He went downhill skiing for the first time in his 60’s. He rode his first motorcycle in his 70’s. He enjoyed participating in after work activities like softball and bowling. He believed in the importance of taking care of himself. He was diligent on keeping himself physically fit and always made time for working out. He enjoyed the sports his daughters’ were involved in. He assisted in coaching the girls baseball team in Milwood. As a grandfather, he enjoyed attending his grandchildrens sporting events, Michael’s football and wrestling, Helen’s swimming, Kristen’s volleyball and basketball, and Avery and Hanna’s gymnastics and any other sports that came along. He especially enjoyed attending “grandparents day” with the great-grandchildren.
His retirement years allowed him and Rita to spend their summer vacations in Cape May, New Jersey and Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania and many other interesting destinations. They enjoyed traveling in Europe back to the places he had visited while in the Army and spending winters in St. Augustine, Florida.
Richard was very sentimental and kind hearted. He was known for his thoughtful gestures like sending a funny card or gift just to let you know he was thinking of you. He enjoyed spending time with his family going out to eat, visiting Lake Michigan or just hanging around on the back porch at home.
When it came time for relaxation, he enjoyed listening to music, reading, working on his lawn or cheering on his favorite teams, Penn State, Notre Dame, and the Detroit Lions! Humble as well as devoted, Richard leaves behind a rich legacy of being the most caring person to know and to love. May his loved ones never doubt his unending love for them and may his bright light burn eternally in their hearts forever.
Richard Chobey, age 85, of Portage, Michigan passed away on Monday, March 18, 2019 at Rose Arbor Hospice. He was a longtime member of St. Catherine of Siena Church. Members of his family include his wife, Rita; 5 daughters: Deborah (Don) Hodson, Theresa Chobey, Renee VandenBerg, Daria Watson, Richelle (Carey) Seavy; 7 grandchildren: Michael, Jason, Helen, Kristen, Avery, Hanna and Christopher; 8 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Paul and his wife Delores; and sister, Diane Wolfkamp and her husband William. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Monday (MAR 25th) at St. Catherine of Siena Church (1150 West Centre Ave.) with visitation beginning at 10 AM. A lunch will follow in the church hall. Burial with military honors will follow the lunch at Ft. Custer National Cemetery.
Please visit Richard’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements by the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.