Kaatz, 82, devoted 60 years to field of mortuary science

TRI-CITY AREA — Local residents are mourning the loss of Richard “Dick” Lee Kaatz, who died on Tuesday, May 5 at the age of 82.

Kaatz, the owner of funeral homes in Capac, Yale, Acoca and Richmond, was a resident of Elk Township.

A 1956 graduate of Yale High School, Kaatz attended St. Clair County Community College, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, where he graduated with a Mortuary Science Degree in 1960.

He purchased the former Peters Funeral Home in Yale, in August 1960, where he began working in 1953.

Kaatz purchased the former Gillian Funeral Home in the early 1970’s; the Barnard Funeral Home in Capac in 1986; and the Rister Funeral Home in Avoca in 1991.

In 2001, he built a new funeral home in Richmond which opened in autumn of that year.

In 2017, he purchased the former William R. Hamilton Co. Funeral Home in Mount Clemens, which officially opened in 2019.

A longtime member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association; this year marked Kaatz’s 60th as a licensed funeral director.

He was a member of the Thumb Funeral Directors Association and Charter Member of Michigan Embalmers Society.

Kaatz was among the founders of the Yale Senior Center and acquired the Mitchell building for that purpose.

He was also a founding member of the Yale Lions Club and member of the Brockway Masonic Lodge #316 F. & A.M., where he served as secretary for several years; and was active in establishing the Yale Chamber of Commerce. Family and friends said Dick was widely known for his sense of humor and his “never-ending” jokes.

“He loved to work, golf, build and landscape with exquisite detail. Most of all, he loved his family.”

Kaatz’s family honors will honor his memory with visitation and sharing of memories on Friday, May 8, from 10 a.m.-noon at Kaatz Funeral Directors in Yale.

Due to COVID-related restrictions, only 10 individuals will be allowed in at a time to share their condolences. The family will have private funeral services in the funeral home to follow.

A public graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Elmwood Cemetery in Yale, with pallbearers, Scott Kaatz, John Kaatz, Todd Kaatz, Ryan Garnett, Sean Kaatz, Nathan Kaatz, Craig Baxter, and Kyle Schieweck.

Memorials are suggested to the Yale Food Pantry, the Capac Community Food Pantry, or the Richmond Community Pantry.

For further information and Guest Book, visit: kaatzfunerals.com

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.