Richard J. Essick, 97, of St. Peter’s Village, died February 5, 2023 at Pottstown Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Born September 11, 1925, in Pottstown Landing, he was a son of the late Norman and Oradella (Johnson) Essick.
He was a graduate of Owen J. Roberts High School, where he played football.
Richard grew up in the Pottstown Landing, which is now the site of the Coventry Mall.
Richard proudly served his country for 13 years, having served in the U.S. Navy Sea-Bees from 1942-1946; U.S. Marines from 1952-1956; U.S. Air Force from 1957-1960 and the Naval Reserves from 1951-1952. He was also an honorary member of the U.S. Army. Richard served during World War II and the Korean War. He received many service medals, including: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three battle stars for Vela La Vela, the Admiralty Islam’s and Old-nana invasions; the Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Good Conduct Medal; the Marine Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Longevity Medal, the Navy Expedition Medal with three invasions against enemy held fortifications; the Navy Occupation Medal for Okinawa, the National Defense Medal, the Korean War Service Medal, and the United Nations Medal. All four years in the Air Force, he spent in England, where he served as a Sergeant. Richard was a drill instructor at Quantico, VA.
He was also a former Revolutionary War reenactor, where he enjoyed his role as “Old Smoke.”
Richard was a member of the 58th Seabee Association.
After being discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1961, Richard came home to work as a welder at Bethlehem Steel in Pottstown, until it closed in 1976. Subsequently, he worked, in the same capacity, at Allied Tank, Collegeville.
Surviving are his nieces and nephews: Brandon Troxel, and his sons, Talon and Caiden; Tricia Evans, and her son, William; Michael Evans, and his sons, Ray Michael and Dalton; William Evans; Peg Cressman, and her daughter, Allison; Barbara, widow of Robert Troxel; Scott Sheetz, husband of Wendy, and their daughter, Desiree; and William Evans, widower of Nannette.
The youngest of eight children, he was preceded in death by all of his siblings: Robert, Leslie, Russell, Ralph, Lawrence, Margaret Troxel, and Cora. He was also preceded in death by his nephew, Leslie Essick, Jr.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, February 11th at 11 a.m. at Stitzel Family Funeral Homes & Creamtory, Inc., 423 Main Street, Oley. A visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Spies-Zion Cemetery, Alsace Township.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Memorial Fund at Zion Spies Evangelical Lutheran Church, 310 Spies Church Road, Reading, PA 19606, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516, or to (Disabled Veterans) DAV National Service Office, 5000 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144.
For online condolences, visit www.StitzelFamilyFuneralHomes.com.
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