Fishing 06


July 15, 1943 ~ April 27, 2020 (age 76)

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Richard John Vachula July 15, 1943 – April 27, 2020 

WESTFIELD-Richard John Vachula, 76, passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. 

Richard was born on July 15, 1943, in Hartford, CT to John Vachula and Theresa Jean Procaccini-Vachula. 

Richard (Rick) was truly blessed having married two amazing women throughout his lifetime. Gail in the first half and Pat in the second. The Vachulas, Penningtons and Wards all meshed into one loving family. As Melanie stated, “THERE ARE NO STEPS IN THIS FAMILY”!! 

Richard serviced his county in the United States Army stationed in France. 

Rick was an avid fisherman, with a passion for fly fishing. He mastered the art of fly tying, so much that he built his own fly tying bench at his home. Rick loved camping and boating in Otis and Salisbury and looked forward to his yearly trips to the Lake Champlain International Father’s Day Fishing Derby and Oneida Lake. He spent every fall hunting deer but was happy just to see them pass through his backyard. Rick enjoyed tinkering around the house in his spare time and had the natural ability to fix most anything including completing what family members called the “Ricky-Do List”. One of his favorite pastimes over the years was the love of his “scratchies”. Although many hobbies captured his time and attention, his family always came first. He was a true family man and has been awarded the title of World's Best Dad, Grampy and Papa Rick. 

Richard is predeceased by his parents John and Theresa Vachula, his first wife Ruth Gail Pennington-Vachula, his mothers-in-law Molly Ward and Bess Pennington and his fathers-in-law John Ward and Harvey Pennington. He leaves his wife Patricia Vachula of Westfield, MA, his daughters Vikki Vachula of North Granby, CT and Melanie Mantilla of Westfield, MA, his sons Jason Charest and his wife Jodie of Chatham, MA, and Michael Vachula of Providence, RI, daughter-in-law Bonnie MacKay, his brothers Roger Vachula and David Vachula and his wife Marlene, his grandchildren, Kyle Vachula and his wife Charlene, Alexis Charest and her fiancé Caleb, Gaby Mantilla, Christian Mantilla, Mollie Charest, two precious great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Addi Mae, nieces, Kim Fultz, Amy Ganci and nephew, Matt Vachula as well as many other beloved family and friends. 

In honor of Rick, please donate to as he always loved helping those in need.

The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.

Avalon Funeral and Cremation Services, College Hwy. Southwick, MA is assisting the family. To express condolences to the family or to share a memory, please visit Richard’s memorial page at


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