August ‘Red’ Paul Rzanca

MUNISING, Mich. – August “Red” Paul Rzanca, age 92, of City Limits Road, Munising, died late Saturday night, March 9, 2013, at the Tendercare Health Center in Munising.

Red was born on June 29, 1920, in Munising to Kazimer and Mary (Broda) Rzanca. He attended school until 9th grade but had to help raise his eleven other siblings. He did go back later in life to finish his schooling and get his diploma in 1969. Red was enlisted in the CCC camp program when he was seventeen for two years. He was then drafted into the Army in 1941. He served in Arkansas and Alabama guarding German prisoners. He was never sent overseas due to having no vision in his left eye. Red married Helen Woodaz on September 27, 1941, and together raised their four sons Jake, Rick, Mike, and Ken. He worked at the Altas Plywood plant as a foreman until they shut their doors in 1954. Red then held many different jobs until he was hired by Munising Public Schools in 1962. He worked there until he retired in 1982 as Buildings and Ground Supervisor.

Red was a faithful member of Sacred Heart Church and a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was one of the founding members of the Polish Fun and Dance Club. Red was best known for playing his button accordion for anyone that would listen. He could never read a note, all his learning was by “ear.” He played at weddings in his early years and then later played at both rest homes with his friend Fred Cornish. Red enjoyed stream fishing all day with is friend Al and his brother-in-law Bruno. He also liked deer hunting, once bagging an eleven point 216 pound buck. Red and Helen enjoyed a few bus tours, one to Branson. They also took a trip to Poland where all their parents were from and met a lot of their long lost cousins. Red also enjoyed tinkering in his shed making picture frames and other wooden objects. He and Helen also enjoyed playing pinochle with friends. He also liked playing cribbage at the K of C hall and vegetable gardening.

Red is survived by his wife of over seventy-one years Helen Rzanca of Munising; their sons and daughters-in-law Rick and Elaine of Taylor, Mike and Anne and Ken and JoJo from Munising; eight grandchildren Janette, Joelene, Jason, Jennifer, Lisa, Carol, Hiedi, and Missy; ten great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brothers Joseph of Paw Paw, MI and Thomas (Lorraine) of Wales, MI; sisters Julia Cemate of Paw Paw, Irene Miazga of Wyoming, and Rosemary Hanover of California; sisters-in-law Pat and Nancy Rzanca; and numerous nieces and nephews. Red was preceded in death by his parents, son Jacob “Jake” August Rzanca, brothers Andy, Casimer, and Ed, and sisters Mary “Stella” Barker, Sarah Marsh, and Agnes Rzanca.

Services will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Visitation will be at the Bowerman Funeral Home from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. Father Chris Gardiner will celebrate August’s Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church at 2:00 p.m. A fellowship luncheon will take place at the American Legion following the funeral. Interment will take place at a later date at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising where the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guards will conduct military honors.

His obituary and guestbook may be found at