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Richard Robert "Dick" Broecker

August 29, 1931 ~ October 11, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Richard Broecker Obituary

Richard Robert Broecker (“Dick”), age 92, died peacefully at home, with his family gathered around him, on October 11, 2023.   Dick was born in Detroit, Michigan to Robert W. Broecker and Marguerite Meinke Broecker.  He attended the University of Michigan, graduated from Valparaiso University, and went on to the University of Chicago for social work studies.  Dick taught evening courses related to government and social work at Valparaiso University while working at the St. Joseph County Department of Public Welfare; and he leveraged his university work to institute many positive changes at the Welfare Department.  Subsequently, he and his wife Erica co-founded Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center, where he worked until he was age 87.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Betty Jane; and step daughter, Karen Sullivan.

Surviving are his wife, Erica Olson Broecker; children Judith “Judy” Malley (Dan), Catherine “Cathy” Young (Bill), William “Bill” Broecker (Lori), Sarah Gorzelany (Jay), and Sean Broecker (Michelle); step son, John “Jack” Sardeson (Patty); step daughter, Sigrid Sardeson; 14 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and beloved cats, one of whom stayed by him until the end.

Dick was known as a kind and loving person that cared about people less fortunate than himself.  He also cared about animals and brought a number of cats home from the Humane Society.  After retirement, Dick became a supporter of Quilts of Valor In the Bend.  He attended many of the quilt presentations and subsequently befriended several of the veterans so honored.  He was an avid supporter of the St Joseph County Humane Society and the Northern Indiana Food Bank.  

Accordingly, donations can be made in Dick’s name to Quilts of Valor, at (with the notation “Indiana 47883”), to the aforementioned Humane Society and/or Food Bank, or to a charity of your choice.

There will be a Celebration of Life in the spring at the VFW Post 357.

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