Cover photo for Richard L. Milewski's Obituary
1939 Rich Milewski 2023

Richard L. Milewski

January 19, 1939 — November 30, 2023

Niles, Michigan



Richard Leonard Milewski, age 84 years of Niles, Michigan; husband, father, grandfather, brother, honorable Veteran, proud teamster, and bowler died peacefully at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2023 with his family gathered around his bedside at Corewell Health Lakeland Niles Hospital following an extended illness.

He was born on January 19, 1939 in South Bend, Indiana to Leonard and Helen (Toth) Milewski, and was graduated from South Bend Washington High School.  He was inducted into the United States Army on February 6, 1962, and served with the Seventh Army, 28th Artillery in Germany for most of his tour of duty.  He rose to the rank of Specialist E4, and was honorably discharged on January 29, 1964 and transferred to the Reserve to complete his obligation on February 5, 1968.

Rich returned to South Bend, joined the Teamsters Union, and drove gasoline delivery trucks for Shell out of Tank Town, south of Niles.  One of his most frequent stops was the Legus Shell Station on Eleventh Street in Niles.  He retired after 30 years of driving – with no accidents – and took a job in the maintenance department of Brandywine Community Schools.  His position included walking the halls to secure the doors at the end of the day, and setting-up the game day equipment on the football field

He was active on area bowling leagues, often with his friend, Andy Legus.  He was an avid fisherman, often on area lakes, but also took a fishing trip to Canada, and went out on the ice for ice fishing.  He was a great fan of the University of Notre Dame football and basketball teams.  He is well remembered for his kindness and laughter, especially by his family.

On November 24, 1981 in South Bend he married the former Barbara E. (Kurzke) Kostielney with whom he celebrated just a week ago the forty-second anniversary of their wedding.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Helen Milewski, by a brother, Ronnie Milewski, Barbara’s daughter, Tricia Peters in 2015; and sadly preceded in death by the tragic deaths on September 18, 1998 of his son, Rick Milewski and 10-year old grandson, Aaron Milewski.

Surviving family includes his wife, Barbara Milewski; his children, Larry Milewski of South Bend and David (& Tonia) Milewski of Niles; Barbara’s children, Rick (& Sherri) Kostielney and Tina Orzel, both of LaPorte, Indiana; grandchildren Andrea Milewski, Bradley Milewski, Travis Milewski, Colton Milewski, Amanda Milewski, Nadia Milewski, Cody Milewski, Angel (& Matt) Lee, Lisa Jirtle, Alex Jirtle, Liz Jirtle, and Nicole (& Robert) Wescott; great-grandchildren Lenora, Carina, Drew, Rylee, and Hadley; Rich’s brother, Bob (& Sally) Milewski of South Bend, and several nieces and nephews.

The family of Richard Milewski will gather privately at a later date to celebrate his life.  Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

Rich lived a long and productive life, serving in the Army, refilling the tanks of gas stations, and supporting the activities of Brandywine.  The deaths of his son and grandson altered his view of life, but he persevered, and continued to fish and bowl, and love his family, especially Barb.
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