Stanley Zych, age 96 of Graceville died May 29, 2017, at his residence.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Graceville. Father David Breu will officiate and burial will be in the Graceville Consolidated Cemetery, with military honors.
Visitation will be Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. followed by a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Visitation will continue at the church on Friday, one hour prior to the Mass.
Honorary bearers will be Stanley’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Casket bearers will be his family members. Music will be provided by Deb Farwell, organist and the “Arens Girls”, vocalists.
Stanley George Zych was born May 11, 1921, in Beardsley, MN. He was the son of George and Louise (Wengelewski) Zych. He attended rural school through the eighth grade in Arthur Township, Traverse County, MN. He grew up on the family farm and was a “farm boy.” Stanley worked in Chicago before his enlistment to the US Maritime Service (Merchant Marines). He proudly served from February 14, 1944, until his honorable discharge on August 5, 1945. He was recalled into the Merchant Marines and was honorably discharged in 1947. He was awarded a Victory Medal, Presidential Testimonial Letter, Merchant Marine Emblem, Atlantic War Zone Bar, Mediterranean Middle East War Zone Bar, Combat Bar (with stars), and an Honorable Service Button.
Following his discharge, Stanley returned to Minnesota. He was united in marriage with Mary Margaret Arens on July 1, 1946, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Dumont, MN. Stanley returned to his farming passion, purchasing a farm north of Barry. He and Mary raised their family of seven children on the farm, teaching them the value and ethics of hard work. He farmed as long as his health allowed, even after his move into the town of Graceville in 1989.
Besides farming full time, Stanley opened a gas station, Zych Oil, as he wanted to offer less expensive fuel. He owned and operated a seed cleaning plant. He also sold cars, trucks, and even aircraft! Although Stanley did not hold a valid pilot’s license, he did all of his own aerial spraying.
Stanley was a faithful member of St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Barry, and later Holy Rosary Catholic Church. He was a 50 plus year member of the American Legion. Stanley enjoyed several winters in Arizona, but always returned to Minnesota when warmer weather arrived. His family will remember his positive nature and never hearing him complain.
Left to cherish his memory are his seven children: Thomas Zych of Graceville, MN; James (Teresa) Zych of Graceville, MN; Sandra (Richard) Steffes of St. Cloud, MN; Janet Zych (Dean Menge) of Silver City, NM; Joyce (Douglas) Wilson of Kimball, MN; Wayne (Diane) Zych of Beardsley, MN; and Dale (Christine) Zych of Beardsely, MN; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one sister, Mary Rothenbacher of Mobridge, SD; brother-in-law, Tony (Bev) Arens of Graceville, MN; sisters-in-law: Nancy (Jim) Murphy of Graceville, MN; Sister Jane Arens of St. Paul, MN; and Rita Ladiana of Buffalo, NY; a “special angel on earth,” Cindee Koll of St. Cloud, MN; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary; and his siblings: John, Henry, Ann, and Agnes.
In lieu of flowers, Stanley’s family suggests memorials be given to Rice Hospice or Centra Care Hospice, St. Cloud, MN.