Richard Paul Kudela, Sr.


Richard Kudela died peacefully on July 19, 2019 at the Niagara Hospice House after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 64 years old. Rich was born on September 18, 1954 in Niagara Falls, NY, to the late Benjamin and Frances (nEe Wnuk) Kudela.
He attended local schools and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1973. Upon graduating, Rich entered the overhead garage door service industry where he perfected his skills and eventually started his own business, Rich's Expert Door Service. Rich was an extremely skilled technician and took great pride in teaching his sons and his nephews the trade.
In 1986, he began his career as a fireman for the Niagara Falls Fire Department (Truck 1). He deeply valued serving his community as a firefighter and treasured the lifelong friendships he made with his fellow brother and sister firefighters. Hard work, helping others, family and friendships were the things Rich valued most in his life.
Rich was one of the biggest Buffalo sports fans you could ever meet, especially the Buffalo Bills. He owned a goal post that was ripped down on September 7, 1980 after the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins. Growing up in the 59th Street community of LaSalle, Rich created lifelong friendships with his fellow "59ers" that to this day still gather to celebrate the Bills home opener. Rich was an avid golfer and hunter. He along with his wife, Jean, built a house together in Franklinville, NY, where their family spent summers and holidays together.
As a final act of service to others, Rich chose to be a donor to the Anatomical Gift Program at the University at Buffalo. He hoped that his donation would help researchers understand more about cancer, and hopefully prevent others from suffering.
Richard is survived by his wife, Jean (Cook) Kudela; children, Richard, Jr. (Jessica), Paul (Danielle), and Katie (Terence) Pratt; grandchildren, Evangeline, Liam, Ryan and Zoe; siblings, Robert Kudela, Walter (Kathy) Kudela, and Bonnie Booth. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Richard will be dearly missed by others he considered family, especially Farzad Jalil. He was predeceased by his siblings, Kathy Kudela, Victoria Grizanti, Christopher Kudela and Benjamin Kudela.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life gathering at Zajac Funeral Home from 4:00-6:00 PM on Friday, July 26, 2019. A Celebration of Life Mass will take place at 6:00 PM.
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Published on July 20, 2019
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35 posts

Aug 12, 2019
Sorry for your loss. May the God that offers all comfort be with you and your family during this sad and difficult time.
Veronica Laughlin
Jul 26, 2019
I am so so sorry.
Thoughts and prayers to all of you.
With my sympathy,
Joel Mac Donald
Jul 26, 2019
Very sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry I missed the service.
Denise Burson
Jul 25, 2019
Katie, So sorry for the loss of your father.
Debbie Aloian
Jul 25, 2019
Jeanie and family, I am truly sorry about Rich I was out of town at the time of the service or I would have been there. I hope you are all doing well. My deepest condolences, and love to you.
Ocie C. Allen
Jul 25, 2019
Blue Caribbean was purchased for the family of Richard Paul Kudela, Sr. by Ocie C. Allen.  Send flowers
Jul 24, 2019
May the God of all comfort be with you and your family during this sad and difficult time.
Alexandra Filips
Jul 24, 2019
Fall Fantasia was purchased for the family of Richard Paul Kudela, Sr. by Alexandra Filips.  Send flowers
Chuck Kotalik
Jul 23, 2019
My condolences and prayers to all of Rich's family.
Lina Hitchcock
Jul 23, 2019
Dear Friends and Family of Rich, My Sincerest Sympathy on the loss of your loved one. I went to Jr High and High School with Rich. I moved away after High School, but always remember he was a shy and very kind person. My oldest sister Judy was best friends with Vicky. My heart goes out to all. Sincerely, Lina
Joe Greiner
Jul 22, 2019
We played the 59ers at La Salle Jr. High , basketball at the Salvation Army , and hung at Jayne Park.
My condolences to the Kudela Family .
God Rest His Spirit.
Lois M Murphy
Jul 22, 2019
Let Jim & I express our sincere condolences to the Kudela Family. We
will keep you you in our thoughts and prayers and hope you find peace and joy in your memories. Take care and God Bless . Jim & Lois Murphy
John Voelker
Jul 22, 2019
Jeannie and Family , I'm so sorry for your loss! May he rest in peace and know that he loves you all.
Patrice Sinatra-Fruscione
Jul 22, 2019
My deepest sympathy to family and friends. May he Rest In Peace and prayers for all.
Valerie Gott
Jul 21, 2019
Sending condolences to your family during this very sad time.
The Haney family
Jul 21, 2019
To the whole Kudela family, we are sorry for your loss. Richard was a good man and he'll be missed by many.
Lynette (smith)
Jul 21, 2019
So sad to hear of his passing. a sweet
Friend from high school days. Condolences to his family.
Frank and Irene Felicetti
Jul 21, 2019
Paul and Danielle ......So very sorry about the loss of you loved one... May God bring peace and comfort to the Family!!!
Barbara & Don King
Jul 21, 2019
We are so very sorry to hear about Rich. Our hearts go out to you and your whole family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this very sad time. You guys were great neighbors. Forever in our hearts.
Sarah Porter
Jul 21, 2019
Prayers and thoughts go out to the family.
Mike and Carole Iodice
Jul 21, 2019
To Paul, Danielle, Ryan and the entire Kudela family we send our love and prayers at this most difficult time. May our merciful Lord be with you bringing peace and healing.
Jerry Haynes
Jul 21, 2019
REST. So sorry.
Diane Spavento
Jul 21, 2019
Jean, my condolences to you and the entire Kudela family! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Terri (Brode) Friend
Jul 21, 2019
My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending hugs and prayers your way. God Bless!
Lawrence Ponzi
Jul 21, 2019
Paul, our hearts go out to you and your family during this saddened time. Rick was way too young to leave us. RIP Rick.