West Haven Navy veteran loved his family, the Pittsburgh Steelers
MILFORD — Richard Louis Rettig died with his beloved wife Catherine by his side.
The couple met in 1952 at a bus stop in New Haven, and Catherine Talnose was the love of his life, according to Rettig’s obituary.
“They married in the same year and lived inseparably for 68 years.”
Rettig, 86, died April 10 at West River Health Care Center in Milford. His daughter said that he had contracted coronavirus.
“While his central focus was always his family, he was also a passionate sports fan devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers,” his obituary said. “He enjoyed playing golf and in 1988 he retired from the Postal Service after 35 years of service. He and Catherine later spent 25 years of their lives in Zephryhills, (Fla.) before returning home to Connecticut in 2011.”
Rettig was born August 9, 1933 in Butler, Pa. to the late Norman and Leona (Schnur) Rettig. “As a boy he lived on a farm, enjoying childhood with his three brothers and two sisters — a time he would share fond memories from throughout his entire life. He left the countryside in 1950 at the age of 17 to join the Unites States Navy. He, along with all three of his brothers, proudly served in the Korean War,” his obituary said.
The couple settled in West Haven, living on Richard Street. and then later on Central Avenue. “While in West Haven, he worked for the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier, and he and Catherine, a nurse, raised their four beloved children Richard, David, Judy and Cathy.”
Rettig was also proudly a West Haven volunteer fireman for 40 years, his obituary said.
“He was a good and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and he was a great friend to many. He was a genuine, kind and honest man and his quiet strength and gentle demeanor touched many.”
“A man of the highest integrity, he will be deeply missed by his loving family as a tremendous husband, father, ‘Poppy’ to his grandchildren, and ‘Opie’ to his great-grandchildren,” his obituary said.
In addition to his wife, Rettig is survived by daughters, Judy (Chris) Rettig of Orlando Fla,, Cathy (Larry Abrams) of Milford, and sons, Richard (Ellen) Rettig of Houston, and Dave (Laurie) Rettig of Branford, 5 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, a sister Margaret Hackett of Butler. He was preceded in death by his sister Norma Jean (Rettig) Cumpston and his brother Norm “Dutch” (Nan) Rettig, Lloyd (Peg) Rettig and Wayne (Natalie) Rettig, his obituary said.
The family thanks the staff and caregivers at West River Health Care Center “for their love and support over this difficult time.” Due to the current pandemic, a private memorial service will take place.
Contributions in his memory can be made to: American Parkinson Disease Association, 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, N.Y. 10305