Our loving Father and Grandfather Richard passed away peacefully on the morning of Wednesday March 4th at the age of 85. He is predeceased by his loving wife of 52 years, Mary Catherine Lipanovich in 2009, and daughter Joanne Lipanovich in 1998. He is survived by his sons Michael and John Lipanovich and daughter Lisa (Husband Jim) Garton; and seven grandchildren: Tony, Taylor, Luke, Rachel, Nolan, Jennifer, and Leah. Richard was born and raised in Oakland, Ca. His parents John and Rosina (Noni) Lipanovich came to the US through Ellis Island in 1912. He was the youngest of five with three brothers and one sister: Frank, John, Anne, and Tony. Richard graduated from Oakland High School where he ran track. He then joined the US Army where he served for two years. Richard then worked briefly at Southern Pacific Railroad until he took a job at Martinez Fire Department. Richard then got hired at Richmond Fire Department where he worked a long career and retired in 1986 as a Captain.
Richard and Mary moved to Napa in the late 1960s where they built their family home in east Napa. Richard had many interests which included his love for dogs. He started his own kennel, Vista Hills, where he trained and showed German Shepherds from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. In the 1970s, Richard acquired a Plumbing Contractors License where he plumbed many homes throughout Napa Valley. Richard also obtained a Commercial Fishing License and spent time fishing the Pacific coast and would sell his fresh catch on the San Francisco piers.
As an Oakland native, Richard was a lifelong fan of the Raiders, A’s, and Warriors. Late in his life, Richard dedicated his time to playing Bocce Ball at the Senior Center in Napa where he met some great friends. Richard had a passion for fishing. In retirement, he started a business, Richard’s Rods and Reels, where he built custom fishing rods of all kinds. He also repaired fishing rods and reels for many customers. Richard enjoyed fishing all over but especially loved fishing at Lake Pyramid and Eagle Lake.
Richard always dreamed of living in Baja when he retired. Richard and Mary followed that dream and bought a home in Los Barilles, Baja California Sur, Mexico in the late 1990s. They resided there about half the year Into the 2000s. Richard would fish for marlin, tuna, dorado, and other fish on a daily basis while Mary would spend time with friends enjoying the sun and beaches, just waiting for Richard to get back from fishing. They both made many friends in Los Barilles and cherished their time there. Richard also lived in Cool, Ca before returning to Napa in 2015.
Overall, Richard had a wonderful life and was loved by so many people. He will be missed but the family finds comfort knowing that he is reunited with Mary. A Celebration of Life Service will be held and the date is to be determined.
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