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Richard L. Farnstrom

November 28, 1928 - October 29, 2020
Livonia, MI



Sunday, November 1, 2020
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 525-9020

Scripture service at 7 pm

Driving Directions


Monday, November 2, 2020
11:00 AM EST
St. Edith Catholic Church
15089 Newburgh Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 464-1222

Instate at 10:30 am
Military Honors to follow Mass

Life Story / Obituary


He was a dedicated family man who sought moments of fun, love, and laughter. Richard L. Farnstrom was an amazing husband, a caring father, and a loving grandfather and great-grandfather. We will find peace remembering the moments we shared with him, and we will never forget him.

Richard began his life in 1928. The decade was still very much in full swing with the notable title, the Roaring Twenties. Walt Disney produced and released Mickey Mouse's debut into the cartoon world with "Steamboat Willie," while Amelia Earhart became the first solo woman to take flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The medicine of 1928 also changed the world forever with Penicillin's discovery, which later created today's antibiotics. In a world of marvelous discoveries and inventions, Richard was born in Springfield, Ohio, on November 28, 1928. Richard had three brothers: Donald, Ronald, and Norman.

Richard's parents, Charles and Bernice Farnstrom, worked hard to create a happy and comfortable home for their four boys. Their father was a tool and die maker, while their mother stayed home to keep track of the house. They eventually planted their family roots in Dearborn, Michigan, where Richard shared many wonderful childhood moments making memories with his brothers.

As he matured and found a desire to contribute to the world around him, he found work at the corner store, peeling potatoes and serving ice cream. Getting an ice cream treat while Richard was working would be in your favor, for he was known to heap a generous scoop on the cone! He also worked at the local bowling alley, where he manually set the pins before machines could do the job. He attended Henry Ford Trade School and took an apprenticeship as a tool and die maker just like his father.

In 1949, Richard joined the Michigan National Guard and became a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force during the Korean War. His military duties ended in 1952. Upon returning to civilian life, Richard worked at Murray’s as a die maker for 18 years. Eventually he went on to work for United Technologies which allowed him the opportunity to travel quite extensively, working as a troubleshooter. He eventually retired in 1991.

The 69 years he was married to the love of his life proved to be the best. Rosalyn came into his life through mutual friends. Before long, they made the joyful commitment to spend the rest of their lives together when they married on January 20, 1951, at the Sacred Heart in Dearborn, Michigan.

The newlyweds embarked on parenthood adventures with great enthusiasm, which resulted in 10 children. Richard, Karen, David, Deborah, James, Diane, Thomas, Theresa, Daniel, and Kathryn helped complete the Farnstrom family. Fun fact: their 10th baby, Kathryn, came into the world with great excitement, as she made her debut 3 seconds after midnight on January 1, making her and the family local celebrities! Her birth announcement went into the record books as the first baby born in the Detroit metro area in 1965. A depiction of this newsworthy information was on the Detroit News' front page the first morning of that year. A photo of the entire family, lined up in order from oldest to youngest, was also featured in the Redford Observer. Finally, they also adopted the family's cherished furry members Missy (the dog) and Gordy (the cat). Their hearts and home were plenty full.

The Farnstroms created such great family traditions throughout the years. Holidays were jubilant times featuring lots of beautiful chaos and fun. Thanksgiving was a massive affair that required the family ping pong table as an extra dining space. Christmas also needed an abundance of extra space, as the gifts for ten children took up the entire living room - from wall to wall. It was quite a sight to see every year! The whole family looked forward to heading to celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa Daly on Christmas day. Easter was always at Grandma and Grandpa Farnstrom’s.

Though the holidays took plenty of time to plan, the family also enjoyed many regular days together. Annual picnics, sponsored by the Henry Ford Trade School, included games, prizes, and the most memorable event of all: the egg toss contest! The whole family looked forward to this summer treat each year.

The family also shared many memories in East Tawas, Michigan. Photographs captured the family enjoying the Fourth of July Parade that went through East Tawas' downtown throughout the years. The summers provided plenty of instruction time out on the lake, as the kids learned how to water ski behind the wooden Thomson boat. Richard wanted everyone to give it a try - including neighbors and friends! Another cherished annual occasion included the trips to Grandma and Grandpa Daly’s cottage in Augres, Michigan.

The times spent at home were just as enjoyable. With such a large family, there was never a time without some excitement! The Farnstrom's family basement saw lots of action with the pool table and ping pong. The neighborhood kids knew the competition was fierce! Outside the home, friends and family enjoyed playing in the family pool. Richard had a way of making a splash - he would yell, "Everyone in the pool!" and everyone would jump in at once. He was no exception, as he loved to get in the water as well!

Life was full, but Richard made time to find moments he could cherish alone. He was deeply interested in the Stock Market and invested in it while regularly monitoring its progress even before the internet made it easier to do. Richard would create homemade charts and document his daily progress. He also loved to bowl and participated in many bowling leagues throughout the years. He spent some solo moments tinkering with household items in disrepair, fixing just about anything if he put his mind to it. Other times, he would settle in to enjoy an episode of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Hogan's Heroes, or All in the Family. A bonus to these quiet moments may have included a sugary treat, as Richard loved desserts and candy.

Later in life, Richard and Rosalyn enjoyed traveling together. They ventured to places like Italy and Australia. Michigan winters proved to be more difficult too, so they would spend time in the warmth of Florida's sunshine in the winter months. No matter where they landed, family and friends were always welcome.

Richard and Rosalyn celebrated the blessing of 25 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Each new life expanded the love Richard already had in his heart, and his grandchildren adored him.

In his 91 years of life, Richard thoroughly enjoyed each moment. His sense of humor and optimistic attitude was contagious. Sadly, he died on October 29, 2020. We will truly miss the place he made in our lives and the memories we created with him.

Richard L. Farnstrom died October 29, 2020, at the age of 91. Beloved husband of Rosalyn for 69 wonderful years. Loving father of the late Richard C., Karen (Carl) Rimatzki, David, Deborah (David) Hanlon, the late James, Diane (Ron) Peters, Thomas (Kimberly), Theresa (George) Gross, Daniel (Carrie), and Kathryn (Norman) Haro. Dearest grandfather of 25 and great-grandfather of 25. Father-in-law of Catherine Farnstrom. Brother-in-law of Judy Farnstrom and Roseann Farnstrom. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Charles and Bernice; and brothers Donald, Ronald, and Norman Farnstrom. Visitation Sunday, November 1, 2020 from 4-8 pm with a Scripture service at 7 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan. Instate Monday, November 2, 2020 10:30 am until time of Mass at 11 am at St. Edith Catholic Church, 15089 Newburgh Rd, Livonia, Michigan..