Obituary: Richard ‘Rick’ Gancarz, 71, of Free Soil.

May 18, 2021

Rick Gancarz

Obituary: Richard ‘Rick’ Gancarz, 71, of Free Soil.

Richard “Rick” Gancarz, 71, of Free Soil, passed away on Monday, May 17, 2021 at his home.  Rick was born on September 11, 1949 in Muskegon, the son of Joseph and Virginia (Feliczak) Gancarz and graduated from Free Soil High School with the class of 1968.  On October 1, 1977, he married Rebecca “Becky” Hasenbank at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Scottville and they have celebrated 43 years together.

Rick worked in maintenance for Martin-Marietta in Manistee as a welder mechanic for over 35 years, retiring in 2006.  During his employment, he was able to further his education at West Shore Community College graduating with a skilled trades degree, specializing in welding.  In his retirement he rarely stayed idle, helping his son-in-law in his construction business and working for his friends at Cold Stream Farm in Free Soil.  Having been raised on a farm, if Rick were driving by a neighbor during the summertime and saw them in the fields haying, he was quick to stop and lend a hand.  Rick was an avid collector of scrap metal and enjoyed tinkering with small engine repair, but mostly loved to spend time hunting, taking trips out west for Elk, bear hunts in the U.P., or tracking the mighty whitetail deer around his home.

Rick will be greatly missed by his wife Becky; his children Jeremy Gancarz (Miranda Kelley) of Manistee, David (Mandy) Gancarz of Custer, BethAnn (Adam) Kozicki, and Jennifer Gancarz all of Free Soil; his grandchildren Tori Gancarz, Aeva and Rylee Schafer, Christina, and Ethen Gancarz, Maximus Kozicki, Allie, and Ivy Gancarz; his mother-in-law Ann Hasenbank of Free Soil; his sisters and brother Patricia (Dick) Grigsby and Sally (Clayton) Sawyer all of Grand Rapids, and John (Nancy) Gancarz of Free Soil; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and great friends.  Rick was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Virginia Gancarz.

Becky would like to note her appreciation for the assistance Hospice of Michigan, especially nurses Laurie and Clayton were able to provide.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Rick at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20 at St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Free Soil with Rev. Daniel DePew as celebrant.  Burial will follow at St. John Cantius Cemetery.  Friends may visit with his family on Wednesday evening from 6 – 8 p.m. at Wyman Funeral & Cremation Services in Scottville, and on Thursday afternoon from 2:00 until time of mass at the church.  Those who wish to remember Rick with a memorial donation are asked to please consider Hospice of Michigan or the American Heart Association.

You may visit Rick’s memory page at to leave a tribute of Rick for his family, or to light a candle in his memory.

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