Celebrating the life of Richard Francis Sanok
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April 20, 1944-August 30, 2014
Richard Francis Sanok, one time self-proclaimed handsomest man in Orange County, died following a difficult battle with emphysema on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, surrounded by his loving family. He was 70.
The son of the late Jennie Kowalski and Edmund W. Sanok, he was born in Goshen on April 20, 1944. Richie was raised on his family’s onion farm on Maple Avenue in Goshen and remained firmly planted in the Goshen area his entire lifetime. He was a proud 1963 graduate of St. John’s Catholic High School in Goshen.
Richie found true love in the late 1970’s when he was introduced to his forever friend and life partner, Mary Ellen Knapp. They were married on July 12, 1980 at First Presbyterian Church in Goshen. Richie and Mary settled in the Village of Goshen in the house that quickly became the “spot” for all of their family and friends to gather.
Over the years, he worked for Ford Motor Company in Mahwah, NJ and eventually retired from Ford in Edison, NJ in 2000. He was a gifted mechanic and practical inventor, two talents that served him well during his time as the co-owner of Sanok Bros. Produce. After his true retirement from both the farm and Ford, he embarked on his late life career as hearse driver for Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc.
He played just as hard as he worked and leaves all who knew him with great memories of good times with Richie. He was a loving and loyal husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, Dzia Dzia and friend who could always be counted on for anything. Richie was an honest man of simple pleasures who found joy in a cup of coffee with family, a ride by the black dirt, a cold Coors light, watching the game or a quick trip to Monticello. He provided support, never judged and was a man of few words. He was proud of his Polish heritage, loved a good polka and spent his life rooting for the Yankees through good times and bad. Occasionally coerced into travelling to “escape the hum-drum world”, he favorite place was at home.
In addition to his loving wife Mary at home; he is survived by his daughter, Jodie Rocchio and her husband Stephen of Huguenot, his son, Richard Sanok McPhillips and his wife Michelle; his grandchildren, Grace, Carver, Ellis, Stephanie, Ayden and Richie; brothers, Edmund J. Sanok, and his wife Barbara and Robert Sanok all of Goshen, Ronald Sanok and his wife Judy of Leesburg, FL and sisters, Jane Richards and her husband Tom of Mystic, CT; Theresa Di Russo an her husband Tommy of Middletown; his sisters-in-law, Kathy Bertholf, Patti La Monda and her husband Danny and Nora Malinowski and her husband Scott and brother-in-law John Knapp and his wife Jennifer, the mother of his children, Mary Larkin McPhillips and nephew, Damian Dewitt whom he raised like his own. He was also a beloved uncle, treasured cousin and faithful friend to many.
He was predeceased by his parents, Goddaughter Sandi Schuler and brother-in-law Gordon Bertholf, sister-in-law Joan Sanok, beloved mother-in-law Lorraine Parra as well as his many of his close friends.
Visitation hours will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm on Tuesday, September 2nd and from 11:30 to 12:30 pm on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc., 130 Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 pm at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, 1349 Cottage Street, Middletown, NY 10940, Fr. Dennis Nikolic will officiate. Burial will follow in the family plot in Wallkill Cemetery in Middletown.
His family is grateful to the staff of Good Samaritan Hospital for providing the support and the care they needed during Richie’s final days. They would like to thank Dr. Dermigy, Dr. Schaffer, Orange Regional Medical Center and Helen Hayes Pulmonary Rehab for their care.
Because of his love of animals, memorial contributions can be made to Pets Alive, 22 Derby Road, Middletown, NY, 10940.
Visitation hours will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm on Tuesday, September 2 and from 11:30 to 12:30 pm on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc., 130 Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 pm at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, 1349 Cottage Street, Middletown, NY 10940, Fr. Dennis Nikolic will officiate. Burial will follow in the family plot in Wallkill Cemetery in Middletown.
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