Richard J. Venia
August 26, 1943-April 9, 2023
On Sunday April 9, 2023, Richard James Venia (“Rich”), loving husband and father of two adult children, passed away at the age of 79. Rich had been in declining health after suffering a stroke in 2019. He passed away peacefully at home, under the devoted care of his wife.
Rich was born on August 26, 1943 in Monroe, Michigan to Godfrey William Venia (“Jim”) and Leota Mary Venia (née Keeler). He attended St. Michael’s School, and graduated from Monroe Catholic Central in 1961. During the Vietnam War, Rich served in the U.S. Army as a specialist, 4th class. He was stationed at Fort Ord near Monterey, California, where he served as a carpenter on base from 1964-1966. Afterward, he returned to Monroe, and, in 1968, began a successful career as a residential and commercial contractor, eventually co-establishing Venia Boylan Construction Company with Dan Boylan, a local contractor and friend. On October 31, 1975, he married Sally Ann Calfee (née Williamson). They raised two daughters, Maris Lynn and Elise Marie.
Rich loved to fish, especially at the cottage that he built for his family on Timber Lake in Brooklyn, MI, where they spent 35 summers on the water. He could often be found doing yardwork, or working on one of the many household projects at his family home, the cottage, or, later, one of his daughters’ homes. He was known for his generosity in helping others, and he shared his knowledge of construction with many friends and relatives. Rich enjoyed traveling with his wife and children. They visited several states across the United States, and made a trip to Italy to tour Rome, Venice, and Florence. He appreciated the arts, and, with his family, attended a variety of plays, musical performances, and museum exhibits. Rich also loved a good game of craps and a cold Miller Lite after a hard day of work. During their married life, he and Sally had one dog, Freddy, and four cats, Sasha, Abby, Alex, and Michael, who were like members of the family, much to Rich’s joking dismay. Rich cared deeply for his entire family and his friends. He had a great sense of humor and a kind spirit. He will be sorely missed.
Rich was preceded in death by his father, Jim, and his mother, Leota. He is survived by his wife, Sally; his two daughters, Maris Miller (husband Eric Miller) and Elise Venia (husband Scott Varty); his sisters, Ann Margaret Duffy and Rita Mary Jarrait (husband Greg Jarrait); his granddaughter, Ada Ruth Miller; and several much-loved cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will take place on Sunday, April 16, 2023 at Rupp Funeral Home, 2345 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, from 11am-7pm with family sharing beginning at 6pm. A funeral mass will be held on Monday April 17, 2023 at 11am at St. Mary Parish Church, 127 N. Monroe St., Monroe, where Rich will lie in-state at 10am. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Catholic Central at www.smccmonroe.com, the American Stroke Association at www.stroke.org, or a favorite charity.
Online condolences to the family may be made through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com