Richard “Richie” Okula, 87, of Riverhead passed away peacefully at the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Southampton on June 28, 2022.
Richie was born and raised on the Okula Farm in Calverton with his four brothers and five sisters. As a result, he instilled in all his children and granddaughters the love of gardening, the sea, fishing, boating, photography and, most importantly, his Polish heritage. Richie was a prominent figure at the Polish Town Civic Association, where he loved to be for the past 45 years. He was an integral part in keeping the Polish Town clock synchronized and working the Polish Town fairs (since its inception), and his love of polka dancing was evident when everyone would clear the dance floor for him and his lovely wife, Betty, to watch them glide across the floor.
The love of his faith shone through for over 25 years as he served as an usher at St. Isidore R.C. Church and volunteered at all the chicken barbecues.
Richie also had an extremely long career at Brookhaven National Laboratory, starting in the animal husbandry department; he aspired and excelled to a medical lab technician in tumor and cancer research, and ended his career as a cabinetry craftsman.
He was predeceased by his wife, Betty Okula; his mother and father, Leonora and Paul Okula; sisters Genevieve Graygor, Lottie Putzke, Helen Wesolowski Mauzara and Sophie Truskoloski; and brothers Joseph, Edmund, John and Stephen. He is survived by his children, Susanne Teuber (Timothy), Rick, Andrew (Elizabeth) and Kenn (Yoko); his granddaughters, Anna Hindman (Jess), Meagan Okula and Harmony Lim; his grandson, Shiloh Morse (Rebecca); and his sister Dolly Podlas.
The family will receive visitors Thursday, July 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, July 8, at St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead.
This is a paid notice.