Obituary: Richard Beaver, 82, of Ludington.

September 16, 2022

Richard Beaver

Obituary: Richard Beaver, 82, of Ludington.

Richard Edward Beaver, 82, of Ludington, formerly of Sandusky, Ohio, passed away on Sunday, September 11, 2022.

Dick was born on December 27, 1939 in Rendville, Ohio, the son of Edward D. and Mary Ann (Gega) Beaver. He graduated from Margaretta High School, class of 1957 and received his bachelor of science degree in agriculture, majoring in zoology, from Ohio State University. On January 28, 1967, Dick married the love of his life, LaRayne Barbara Gimm-Prafke. 

While in college, Dick worked for the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Agriculture Laboratories to cover the cost of school. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1963, serving during the Vietnam War. He reported to US Naval Officer’s Candidate School in Newport Rhode Island. In 1965, he was promoted to photographer mate third class. From 1964-1965, Dick was the photographer for Operation Deep Freeze and assigned to photograph historical and newsworthy events. He was stationed in Seattle and received the Antarctic Service Medal. After his honorable discharge from the US Navy, Dick worked as a fisheries biologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for 32 years, finally retiring in 1995. He enjoyed 16 years driving for Ludington Mass Transit Authority (Dial-a-Ride).

Whether he was birding, hunting, fishing, or playing golf, Dick loved being outdoors! He spent his quiet time as an avid reader.

Dick is survived by his wife of 55 years, LaRayne Barbara Beaver; son, Lonn Beaver; stepchildren: Greg (Pam) Prafke, Jennifer (Steve) Klemm, Laurel Prafke, Caryn (John) Morin, and Randy (Tammie) Prafke; 13 grandchildren: Marissa (Nick) Clay, Toby and Bryce Prafke, Andy (Sarah) and Evan Klemm, Echo (Bill) Marson-Poore, Taryn (Craig) Hatch, Nick (Jaime) Prafke, Meaghan and Tyler Morin, Klaire (Brandon) Friedl, Rylan (Rebecca) Prafke, and Cole Beaver; six great-grandchildren; siblings: Joann Krawetzki, Tom (Karen) Beaver, and Amy Eastman; brother-in-law, Dr. DeArv (Alice) Gimm; sister-in-law, Patricia Gimm; and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Dick was preceded in death by his parents-in-law: Esther B. and Rudolph C. Gimm; brother-in-law, Richard Gimm; sister-in-law, Shirley Gimm; and nephew, Kevin Beaver. 

A memorial service with military honors will be held on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 2 p.m. at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington with visitation starting at 1 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Michigan Audubon; 2310 Scenic Parkway, Ste 200, Okemos, MI 48864.

Please share your fond memories and photos of Richie at 

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington. 

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