Richard Elden Bartz, 88, of Rochester, formally of Viola, passed away Tuesday June 12, 2019, at Rochester East Health Services, where he resided the last eight and a half years.

He was born on Feb. 7, 1931, to Ruben and Anna (Kriesel) Bartz in the family farmhouse near Potsdam. In 1934, his family moved to a farm near Viola. Richard didn’t care much for school and quit just after he started the 9th grade to help out on the family farm. His passion was and always has been farming.

Richard, after being drafted, left to serve his 1-year, 11-month and 1-day deployment from 1952 to 1953 in the Korean War. He was an ammunition supply specialist in the 450th ammunition company in France.

After returning home in August 1954, he met Marlys Spring. After a whirlwind romance, they were married on May 28, 1955, in Elgin. They lived on the family farm, where Richard farmed until his son took over, and he continued to help him until 2011.

Richard was a member of the American legion for 66 years. He enjoyed playing cards, bingo, listening to old tyme music, Farmall tractors, auctions and attending Viola Gopher Count. Richard loved celebrating his birthday and considered it one of the major holidays.

Richard will be greatly missed by his family, his extended family at Rochester East Health Services, especially Ella Hanson, whom he considered one of his granddaughters.

Richard is survived by his wife, Marlys; a sister, Sharon (Gary) Goodwin of Belle Plaine; a son, Richard L. (Rosemary) Bartz of Elgin; his daughters, Susan Dieterich of Stewartville, Sally (Chuck) DeWitz, Shila Bartz, Sinde (Terry) Finnegan, and Sheri (Jeremy) Hart, all of Rochester; his grandchildren, Bob and Jeff DeWitz, Curtis Dieterich, Brenna and Troy Finnegan, Andrea, William, and Ethan Hart; three stepgrandchildren, Krista Johnson, Jasmine Klavetter and Isaac Staudacher; three great-grandchildren; nine stepgreat-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Kathleen McFarland.

The family would like to thank Rochester East Health Services, St. Croix Hospice and Pastor Terrill Bramstedt for comfort and care during this difficult time.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, with the Rev. Terrill Bramstedt officiating. The visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 17, at Schad and Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview, and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church. Burial will be at the Elgin cemetery with military honors.

Memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church, Rochester East Health Service activities department and Viola Gopher Count are preferred.

Schad & Zabel Funeral Home, 57 Third St. SW, Plainview, MN 55964; 507-534-2003; schadandzabelfuneralhomes.com.