Richard J. “Dick” Utecht

Richard J. “Dick” Utecht

January 15, 1930 – June 6, 2021

Born in Munising, Michigan.  He is survived by wife of 71 years, Wanda; daughter, Greta; son, Rick; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren.

FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, June 12th at 11am at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S. 114th Street.  Memorials are suggested to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

To view a live broadcast of the Funeral Service, please go to and click on the “View Live Cast” button on our home page.


A great ride…

Richard “Dick” Utecht was born on January 15, 1930 on the shore of Lake Superior in Munising, Michigan.  Born and raised a “Yooper“, he retained his love of the north country and all things connected with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Up until his death Dick followed events in his old home town and was even able to point out his old elementary school and the first house he could remember living in as a child.  On January 21, 1950 he married his high school sweetheart, Wanda.

After running his own garage, Dick decided to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech University.  Upon graduation in 1959, he was hired by Sioux Tools out of Sioux City, Iowa and eventually became the national sales manager, selling electric and pneumatic tools designed for use in the auto and manufacturing industry.  Dick retired from Sioux Tools in 1996. 

Self-described as “an old car guy”, Dick restored several classic cars, including a 1936 Packard and his latest love, a 1948 Buick convertible special.  The sale of his 1936 Packard allowed him to buy his beloved Beechcraft Bonanza airplane in 1977, much to Wanda’s surprise.  He flew his bird for both work and pleasure for the next 24 years.  As a member of the “Quiet Birdmen” He also selflessly used his Bonanza to fly children with severe burns and injuries to Shriners Hospitals around the country.  Dick loved children, and he loved helping them.  His reputation throughout the community was one of quiet humble service. 




  • Bob WEAVER Posted June 9, 2021 3:25 pm

    Sorry for your lost We will miss him

  • Robert & Patricia Shimmens Posted June 9, 2021 4:34 pm

    We were saddened by Dick’s passing. Although we didn’t see him often, we often heard stories of his busy life, but not about his kind, gracious deeds to assist children who needed to be transported to a proper facility for medical attention. We will remember Bill with a big inviting smile on his face, brightening the whole room and the hearts of all who knew him.

  • Harriet Emley Longwell Posted June 11, 2021 7:23 am

    Please accept my sympathy and prayers for the loss of Mr.. Utecht. I was a student of Mrs. Utecht at Central High School. Although I never met Mr. Utecht, I could tell that they had a really great partnership, as Mrs. Utecht had a great spirit and zest for her job and helping us reach our full potential.

  • Irene Astleford Posted June 11, 2021 4:07 pm

    I am so sorry I can not be with you tomorrow. I will be out of town. You are in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend.

  • Cheryl and Joseph Martinelli Posted June 12, 2021 10:15 am

    We are so very sorry, Wanda and family. Dick will always be remembered with love and friendship. I have so many wonderful memories of many adventures of the Christensens and the Utechts. ❤️❤️

  • Lori Christensen-Brennan Posted June 12, 2021 10:36 am

    I am so sorry

    Wanda, this is Ruth’s daughter, he was awesome!!!!!!! Will miss him! Thinking of you. XO

  • Mary McGahan Posted June 12, 2021 10:38 am

    Dick was a wonderful man. How we loved to call him our friend. He will be missed, I know.
    My sympathy to you and your family.

  • Alice Bunz Posted June 12, 2021 4:27 pm

    Wanda. My sincere sympathy on the passing of your husband. He was such a gracious man, as I remember, from the times we met. Wishing you well at a very difficult time. It’s not an easy situation to grasp. Sincerely, Alice Bunz

  • Jim & Mary Couzens Posted June 12, 2021 6:38 pm

    We’re so sad to hear that Dick died. He was so full of life, whether it was working on his cars, flying his plan, golfing, skiing, spending time with his co-workers, helping children, he did it with enthusiasm. When he spoke of his beloved Wanda and his children Dick and Greta and all his family it was with joy, pride and love. We were so privileged to have maintained a friendship for years and treasure the memories of our times together. We enjoyed our last visit and hoped to get in one more……… it will have to be in heaven.
    Thoughts and prayers of comfort for those who loved him, especially Wanda and family.

  • Ruth Christensen Posted June 13, 2021 4:44 pm

    Dear Wanda and family, I’m so very sorry about Dick’s passing.He was a very wonderful person. I treasure all of the gatherings and outings our families did together. You are in my thoughts and prayers!
    xo Love, Ruth

  • Deb Gettner Posted July 5, 2021 9:01 am

    My condolences to the Utecht family. I enjoyed working with Dick at Sioux Tools.

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