Colonel Richard Turek, 80

Retired Colonel Richard J. Dick Turek, 80, of Austin, TX, died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at the Americinn Motel in New Prague.

Born June 3, 1930, in Montgomery, He was a son of Frank M. and Anna (Flicek) Turek. He graduated from Montgomery High School in 1948. While there, he lettered every year in baseball, football and basketball. Dick attended Creighton University in Omaha, NE, where he played basketball on the varsity team. His first job as a full-fledged baker began at Franke's Bakery in Montgomery, where he worked for 11 years, from age 10, through his high school years and during vacation breaks from college. In 1951, he enlisted in the Air Cadets and spent the next 26 years as an officer in the Air Force, being stationed at nine bases in the states and others, stretching from Labrador and Greenland to Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Dick married Bonnie Novotny on June 24, 1952, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery. Dick was a flight instructor in the Radar Interceptor Program and Weapons Systems Operations. He trained U.S. Air Force officers, as well as officers from seven foreign nations, in the F4C Phantom Jet Fighter Aircraft. He was the Squadron Commander of a Combat Crew Training Squadron in Tucson, AZ, and the Chief of Fighter Training and Director of Exercises at 12th Air Force Hdqtrs. at Bergstrom AFB TX. His last assignments were as the Base Commander at Galena Air Base in Alaska and Cannon AFB in New Mexico. He flew low level reconnaissance missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and many other classified missions during the Cold War. Dick flew 150 combat missions in Vietnam, and during his career, he flew in 10 different planes and amassed over 10,000 flying hours. The demands of his job required Dick to move his family 12 times in 19 years. He retired with the rank of Full Colonel in 1976. His military awards included Legion of Merit w/1 cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/10 clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Outstanding Unit Award w/1 cluster, Expeditionary Medal w/3 clusters, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Medal. Following his Air Force retirement, Dick spent 27 years as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Department at Austin Community College in Austin, TX. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, Third Degree Knights of Columbus and Sacred Heart Parish in Austin, TX. He was also a youth group leader in Tucson, AZ, and a mentor for an at risk teen group in Austin, TX.

He is survived by his wife; children Vicki Ravenburg (and George Weynand), San Antonio, TX, Mark (Sharon) Turek, Austin, TX and Terri (Mack) Lindsay, Austin, TX; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sisters Eva (Harmon) Tracy, Plymouth and Harriet (Allen) Bartyzal, Shakopee; and sisters-in-law Ardis Turek, Montgomery and Carrol Turek, Santa Rosa, CA.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and 12 siblings Lillian Zelenka Valek, Alice Maruska, Ann Trenda, Catherine Donnelly, Irene Gaydon, Millie Kukachka, Steve, Benny, Alvin, Ray, George and Frank.

Services will be held in Austin, TX, with interment at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.

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