Richard "Rich" Zapala

Age 68, passed away December 19, 2016, at Sparrow Hospital.  He was born March 5, 1948, in Grosse Point Farms, Michigan.  Rich was an attorney, working most recently in his private law practice.  A memorial service is not yet arranged.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Richard Zapala.

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18 Messages to “Richard "Rich" Zapala

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Marsha Tracy
December 19, 2016 at 9:46 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Rich was a great guy. I worked with him for 16 years at the Accident Fund as one of his attorneys. Rich was a very supportive boss. I owe my career to this man. All of the attorneys who worked with Rich at the Accident Fund missed him greatly when he left and always reminisced about the good old days working with Rich. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face…just a totally pleasant person. He will be greatly missed.

Abby Barr
December 20, 2016 at 8:39 am

I am so sorry. I met Rich 20 years when I interviewed for a job in his department. His willingness to take a chance on me will never be forgotten. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family. He was a good man, and he will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Karen Duffield
December 20, 2016 at 9:49 am

I am so very sorry. Rich was more than a boss to me, he was like an older brother. I will miss his infectious laugh and bright smile. He will always be remembered fondly. Leanne – I love you my friend! He is now out of pain and I’m sure he is already fishing in heaven and telling stories!

Shelley Cataline
December 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

The news of Rich’s passing makes me so sad. Leanne, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Some of my most cherished memories come from my time working for Rich at the Accident Fund….we had some fun times and I learned so much from him! You’re forever “out of your shell” my friend — fly (and fish) with the angels. <3

Lynne E. Small
December 20, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Leanne, this is such sad news. My heart is breaking for you. I hope you have so many wonderful memories to help you get through this difficult time. I will pray for our and your families.

judith blinn
December 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm

I was shocked and saddened to learn of Rich”s death . He was a dear longstanding friend..I remember many noon river walks , filled with trivial conversation an light heartedness as a break from work, his yearly treks in freezing weather to get the grunge work done so the boat could launch followed by the best weekend visits with Linda during the season.I’ll.miss his humor, loyalty and friendship
Sending heartfelt sympathy to Leanne, his daughter’s and all of his family.
Judy Blinn

Patrick O'Brien
December 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

I am very sorry for your loss. I first met Rich in 1977 in the Workers Compensation Division in the Attorney General’s Office. We were good friends and fishing buddies, going to Missanabe in Canada to catch the big walleyes. He is at peace. I hope that you, the children and grandchildren are comforted by friends and family during this difficult time.

Mary Zischke
December 21, 2016 at 12:29 am

I am very sorry to learn of Rich’s death. I first met Rich in 1974 in the Worker’s Compensation Division of the Attorney General’s office. He was one of the first attorneys I every worked with, and I always thought highly of him. Thoughts and prayers for his family … cherish your many fond memories and be comforted knowing he is at peace and no longer suffering. Godspeed, Rich.

Barbra Cross and Mary Chapman
December 22, 2016 at 6:58 am

We are very saddened to hear of Rich’s passing. It was an absolute pleasure and honor to know him. He always greeted us the a smile and took time to ask how things were. All though it’s been sometime since we have seen him we have thought of both him and you Leanne. His compassion and love for life, family, and friends was ever present. Sending prayers for comfort, and strength to his loved ones through this most difficult time.

Michele Mann
December 23, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Sending all my love and prayers Leanne and wishing I could be by your side during this difficult time. I’m just a phone call away and you are always welcome to come here whenever you need or would like to. I love you with all my heart and will cherish every memory of Rich – aka Ken doll……he was a wonderful person, husband and friend. With heartfelt sympathy to all who are grieving over our loss and warms my heart knowing he is in a beautiful place.


Steve Clisch
December 28, 2016 at 6:57 am

Leanne, very sad to hear. I enjoyed and looked forward to working with Rich at Accident Fund. He was a great guy. My thoughts are with you and your family.

December 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm

I just learned of Richard’s passing yesterday and am very sorry and saddened to hear of it. I just met him last year in Tulsa at meetings where he volunteered as an attorney member of NALA’s Certifying Board. I was a brand new paralegal member of the Board, and I was very intimidated and nervous. He, above everyone else, went out of his way to make me feel welcomed. He engaged in conversation with me even though he certainly didn’t have to, told great stories to easy my tensions, and was genuinely just a really nice and thoughtful gentleman. With heartfelt sympathy to all of his loved ones, please know that Richard was appreciated and admired far and wide.

Theresa Ross
December 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Leanne, I am so very sorry to hear this news. Fond memories of our time on the 5th floor at the Fund. Sending our love and prayers your way during this difficult time. xoxo

Katherine Zapala
December 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Thank you everyone for the very kind words about my father. While this is a very painful time, these comments have been comforting to read. I of course know he was a wonderful man. It is so nice to hear that you all thought so too. He will be greatly missed. Deeply by myself, and by many others.

Kim Blodgett
January 3, 2017 at 8:07 am

Leanne, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, Rich. He was a valued employee for so many years here. I enjoyed working with him and getting to know him and you here. We rejoice as he rests with his Lord in Heaven now.

Linda Flositz
January 4, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Our Pentwater neighbor Rich will be so missed! The condo will not be the same without him. Just really hard to find the right words to express such a loss of your husband, father and our friend. We will miss him big and never forget him! Love and prayers from Linda and Ginger.

Murray Feldman and Sue DeLong
January 9, 2017 at 8:42 am

Leanne, you are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

Bob & Mary Anzalone
January 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

I am so glad we got to spend time together at Gilmore in the Fall
I just found out yesterday
I was gone breeding my olden Rosie
Sorry we missed the Memorial
What a tragedy, we have always had a great time with you both
and loved working with you on the cars
You have had a vey difficult time in the last 2 years
Please keep in touch


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