Dr. Richard J. Gelbuda, 79, of Ottawa, died on Sunday morning, July 29, 2018 at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 3, 2018 at St. Columba Church, with Rev. David Kipfer, Pastor, officiating. Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, at the Mueller Funeral Home in Ottawa. Burial in St. Columba Cemetery will be at a later date. Rich was born on March 18, 1939 in Sheboygan, WI to Joseph and Helen (Petraitis)… Read More » Gelbuda. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, and was a graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry O.D. He was a Doctor of Optometry in private practice in Ottawa for 54 years. He married Mary Ellen McDermott on January 31, 1970 at St. Joseph’s Church in Marseilles. He was a member of St. Columba Church, the Illinois Optometric Society, and the Ottawa Lion’s Club. Rich grew up in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side, resulting in a lifelong commitment to the White Sox and deep relationships with the Lithuanian community of his heritage and the Irish and Italian friends and families growing up nearby. He was a gifted basketball player and student at St. Rita’s High School in Chicago, earning a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University. He then attended the Illinois College of Optometry and moved to Ottawa to begin his optometry practice under Dr. William Greenspan, who was like a second father to him. His 53 years in Optometry made him known and beloved by patients of all ages; he respectfully helped the elderly and was quick with a joke or little game to make exams fun for his youngest patients. One of his frequent quotes was: “I love my life, I love my wife, I love my kids, I love my work.” He supported his family in every way — never hesitating to provide the education and lessons that have led to rewarding careers and notable contributions in music, writing, and art. Rich liked structure and order (a difficult thing in a big family) and loved taking beautiful care of his home and yard. Rich’s friends appreciated his generosity, his good-natured ribbing, his enjoyment of a cold Bud Light, his easy smile, his devotion to those he loved, his passion for sports, and his incredible ability to listen and be there whenever needed. His wife Mary Ellen (known as “Queenie” to Rich) was the love of his life, his hardest-working partner, and his beautiful, funny companion throughout their marriage of almost five decades. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen, 6 children, Mary Beth (Mark) Maziarz, of Park City, UT, Dena (Brad) Schmitt, of Libertyville, Billy Gelbuda, of Naperville, Laura Gelbuda, of Ottawa, Chris Gelbuda, of Nashville, TN, and Susan (Matt) Thompson, of Mount Pleasant, SC, and 5 grandchildren: Daisy, Quinn, Foster, Griffin, and Ashton. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sixth grandchild, Landon Richard Gelbuda. Pallbearers will be Billy Gelbuda, Chris Gelbuda, Mark Maziarz, Brad Schmitt, Matt Thompson, Joe Shanley, Joe McMahon, Tom Shea, and Chris Sipula. Honorary Pallbearers will be Tom Rooney, Tom Hartford, Bill Ragan, and Ed Wolfe. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Dr. Richard J. Gelbuda Memorial Fund at the First National Bank of Ottawa, to support causes dear to Rich throughout his life.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Richard J Gelbuda 2018.
Death notice for the town of: Oglesby, state: Illinois