Date of Death: November 15, 2022
The memorial service for Rudolph John Orisich will be held Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers. Food and drinks will be served.
Rudolph “Rudy” John Orisich, 97, of Three Rivers, was born in South Bend, Indiana to Frank and Pauline Orisich on July 4, 1925 and was the oldest of their 4 children. He passed away peacefully in his sleep the morning of November 15, 2022.
He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Rudy was generous without ever expecting anything in return. A truly independent spirit that lived life the way he wanted.
Quick witted with a great sense of humor, always punning, reading and solving crossword puzzles voraciously. Rudy had an impeccable memory and intellect which he enjoyed putting to use whether in conversation or telling stories with incredible detail.
Rudy attended Riley High School in South Bend, Indiana and enlisted in the coast guard Navy at 17. He was a signalman in World War 2, crossing the Atlantic and Pacific numerous times on the destroyer, U.S.S. Peterson.
He married Virginia Derda September 4, 1948. They were married until she passed away in 1984.
After the war he returned to South Bend, Indiana and joined the Fire Department where he eventually retired as riding chief. He was always working with friends and family at different jobs outside of the fire department. A work ethic that he instilled in both his children. After retiring from the Fire Department, Rudy and Virginia moved to a house on Pleasant Lake in Michigan where he remained for the rest of his life. This was his wife’s dream home and quickly became and has remained the epicenter for the Orisich family for the last 40 years.
Rudy has been very active his entire life. He loved nature, from hunting mushrooms and walking in the woods to fishing or ice fishing. His also enjoyed making, drinking, and sharing his own wine. He loved to make head cheese as well and I’m sure he would share it if anyone was brave enough to take him up on that.
Golf was something of an obsession for Rudy and he enjoyed playing for the last 50 years. He was still soundly beating his grandson even at 96 years old. It was a game he enjoyed and cursed but loved the time he got to spend with his friends while walking the back 9.
He has always loved to garden and was never afraid to get his hands dirty. When he wasn’t gardening, fishing, golfing, cooking or mushroom hunting, Rudy could be found at one of his favorite places, the Corey Lake Orchard. If you were lucky enough to spend time with him there, he would happily point out where to pick the best Fuji apples or lead you to the perfectly ripe cherries and strawberries. If you visited Rudy at his home, you were probably going to leave with a bag of apples that he had picked on his frequent walks there.
Rudy never wanted to bother anyone or ask anyone for anything, but he was always generous. Whether making sandwiches to give away at his daughter’s free store or shopping at yard sales only to donate the items he purchased. His generosity extended to his time as well, always helping friends and family whenever he was needed.
His home has been the family gathering spot for over 40 years and he loved hanging out with his 3 grandchildren from his son.
Rudy was preceded in death by his sister Paula Fodroci and his wife, Virginia Orisich. He survived by his brother, John Orisich and sister, Annie Nemeth; his children: William Orisich and Nancy Leland (Rick Leland), and his grandchildren Benjamin, Noah, & Ethan Orisich.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Rudy’s memory may be directed to Immaculate Conception School Trust Fund or Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church, South Bend.
Please Leave Your Condolences
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My Uncle Rudy was the best Uncle in the whole world, and he was also one of my closest friends. He always shared stories about my dad and mom and Aunt Virg and never repeated a story because there were so many. When my dad passed away I was 12 years old and Uncle Rudy was always there to help and guide me. He supported my mom and family through really tough times. I will never forget him. Love you Uncle Rudy, rest in peace.
Love. your nephew Tim
Mark Bidelman introduced me to Rudy in 2008. Rudy would stop by Mark’s house and leave us chicken popacosh a lot!! Mark and I enjoyed stopping over at Rudy’s on Sun afternoons for his homemade wine and cheese and crackers!! We would talk about politics the community and etc. and always had lots to laugh about too! Rudy thought us to have great love and compassion for the less fortunate. I’m so thankful to have been his friend! Blessings to his family during your time of loss.
Rudy was a 35 year long friend, mentor and calabash family member to both our family and me. Words fail at times like these to convey the depth of relationship and the impact that caring for others gives to life. Rudy enriched our lives, mine especially.
Rudy, your life was full and rich with the many blessings of friends and family and doing the things you loved.
When I think about Rudy’s last months I think of this story: “On his 80th birthday John Quincy Adams responded to a query concerning his well-being by saying, “John Quincy Adams is well. But the house in which he lives at present is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering upon its foundation. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out. Its walls are much shattered and it trembles with every wind. I think john Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon, But he himself is quite well, quite well.”
As Rudy was a man of profound faith I pray he is resting assured of these words from our Lord, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:21.)
Too much and too many … feelings, memories and thoughts rush through my being as I remember Rudy. He was quietly effective and the epitome of a faithful Christian. He worked his giving and helping others in secret … one of a kind, salt of the earth, a unique gift from God.
“To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of fake friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the work a bit better, whether by a heathy child, a garden patch, a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
THAT is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rudy became a “member” of our family. He attended our son Jonathan’s footfall games, baseball games and especially basketball games while he was a student at Hackett. He spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners with us when he wasn’t with his family. How we enjoyed exchanging his Crab Dip for Lemon Merinque Pie or Banana Cream Pie!! One of our last meals with Rudy was fresh seafood we purchased at D&W, what a delight! He was always loving and gracious to our grandchildren Joaquin and Isabella. During our many conversations, his eyes would light up and sparkle as he shared his thoughts, insights, ideas and history. He was extremely intelligent, kind, loving, humble and gracious – always with a smile. My life was richer because he was a part of it. I am so grateful.
For many bird lovers, the sight of a cardinal holds special meaning, or sometimes evoking emotional or spiritual feelings. They say the vibrant red bird is an uplifting, happy sign that those we have lost will live forever, so long as we keep their memory alive in our hearts. Many people believe when a cardinal lands in your yard, an angel is near. Thus, Rudy I believe will be with me forever.
I enjoyed bumping into Rudy while fishing on Pleasant Lake. Many times we would fish for bluegills and Perch and carry on conversations waiting for them to bite. I always enjoyed his humor.
Rudy was such a thoughtful brother-in-law. I remember how he would always have a little trinket or treat for me when stopping by for a visit. John and I looked forward to meeting Rudy for breakfast once a month. I especially enjoyed our friendly discussions and his dry humor. Rudy, I will greatly miss you. Sincere thoughts and prayers to the family.
My dear brother Rudy,
We were best man at each other’s wedding. We shared that close bond all of our lives. We hunted together, we fished together, we golfed together. Although there were a few miles between us, we always kept in touch by phone or our monthly meeting at the Farmer’s Market. I have many years of fond memories of our times together. I will miss you my dear brother.
So many of our experiences growing up in the Orisich family include Uncle Rudy. Whether it was visiting with him at family gatherings, spending the Fourth of July at his home on Pleasant Lake to celebrate his birthday, drinking his wine or being on the receiving end of the bounty of books, magazines, fruits and vegetables he always shared with our parents, we were intimately connected to him and he holds a dear place in our memories and hearts.
He will be dearly missed but, because we are also what we have lost, he will always be with us.
We honor his memory with a joke or a smile, with a walk in the woods, with generosity.
With sincere condolences to our cousins and to his many friends,
Lori, John, Mary & Shari Orisich
To acknowledge Uncle Rudy’s great appreciation of nature, we share this poem with everyone.
I am looking at trees
they may be one of the things I will miss
most from the earth
though many of the ones I have seen
already I cannot remember
and though I seldom embrace the ones I see
and have never been able to speak with one
I listen to them tenderly
their names have never touched them
they have stood round my sleep
and when it was forbidden to climb them
they have carried me in their branches
— W.S. Merwin
Rudy was a gentleman, compassionate and a great friend. I met him when I was the Administrator at Immaculate Conception School where we became friends. He would bring in books for the children and cared deeply about their education. I will never forget him and I learned a lot from Rudy. Rest in Peace dear friend, you will be greatly missed by so many people including me.
Rudy was such a caring and sweet person. He discreetly did so many things for other people. He had a huge heart and will be greatly missed by so many. May he rest in peace in the arms of our Lord.
Rudy often brought hot dogs for the United Community Assistance Program to distribute to its clientele, who very much appreciated them!