Photography

Richard Przybylski

March 19, 2021

Tribute

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of
Richard, Jerry, “R.J.” Przybylski, longtime Downriver merchant, at the age of 92, March 19, 2021. Born in Wyandotte to Jerzy (Jerry), and Mary Jane Przybylski. Brother to Josephine and Mary Magdalene. He married Rosemary Bywaters in 1951 at St Patrick’s Church and together they had ten children. Beloved father of Beth (Paul), Jerome, Peggy (Ed), Richard (Heather), Peter (Ginny), Patrick (Kim), Nancy (Tim), Bruce (John), Rosemary (Rob) and Sarah. A generous and loving Dziadzia adored by his grandchildren: Eddie (Kim), Meg (Doug), Kevin, Ian, Kristin, Kara, Patrick, Jennifer Josephine and five great grandchildren.

He attended St. Thomas Academy and later college in St. Paul, MN. His U of D law studies were interrupted by the death of his father and the need to sustain the family meat market. In 1951, he purchased the Wyandotte business and later opened Jerry’s Butcher Shoppes in Trenton (1960) and Riverview (1970). Jerry was a builder of society - providing first employment opportunities to hundreds of young people. He retired in 1998 amid loving testimonials from longtime employees. His business philosophy was concise. For employee relations: “Everyone wants to feel appreciated”. For customer relations: “Meat, you can get it at Farmer Jack, but what we offer is friendly customer service”.

“Dad’s home!”, resounded through the house every day at 6:00 p.m. when RJ returned from work. He was a loving father and provider who kept relationships with his children intact during the cultural upheaval of the 60s and 70s. He gave them employment in his stores which provided early financial independence while transmitting to them his business sense.

Jerry skied and jogged well into old age. He loved live music and would travel with Rosemary to see big names such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. A loyal patron of local talent, he was a regular at Jazz nights at the Trenton Grande and in winter, the Fort Pierce Jazz Society. At home he would relish listening to Rosemary play everything from Bach to Gershwin on the piano. He conveyed this love of the arts and sports to his children by providing lessons in piano, guitar, coronet, drawing and dance as well as by funding the twin’s love of hockey.

He was quiet about his faith yet exhibited the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness and faith (Galatians 5:22). His charitable work was substantial yet discreet and only disclosed by chance, often years later. He was a loyal friend.
A funeral mass will be celebrated in June at St Joseph’s, Trenton.

“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 false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good-bye Jerry; husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather mentor and friend.       Jak szybko miają chwilę.

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