Richard Del Rey Ptak, age 83, died of natural causes Monday, June 12, 2023 at his home in Tyndall.
Services are pending.
Richard Del Rey Ptak was born on March 12, 1940 in Yankton, SD to Thomas K. and Ouida (Parks) Ptak. Rich grew up in Tyndall, residing most of his life in the house that was built by his grandfather. Rich attended elementary and high school in Tyndall. After graduating from high school, Rich attended Southern State College in Springfield, SD, earning a degree in business education.
In his high school days, Rich was a lifeguard at the Tyndall swimming pool. He was the quarterback on the football team, played basketball, and ran track. Rich would continue his athletic endeavors in football and track while attending Southern State College. Unfortunately, his college athletic career lasted only one year as an ankle injury from high school stopped him from participating further on the college team.
After college, Rich spent two years in the army with the US Infantry in Fort Carson, Colorado. Upon returning from the army, Rich began his career as a lumberman in the family lumber business which was started by his grandfather and his uncle in 1890. Rich worked with his father, Tom, at Thomas K. Ptak lumber until Tom retired. Rich bought the lumberyard from Tom in 1997 and the lumberyard became known as Richard D. Ptak Lumber. Rich was named the South Dakota Lumberman of the Year in 2014, an honor of which he was very proud. In 2016, Rich retired and after three generations of ownership, Ptak Lumber closed.
In his younger years, Rich enjoyed playing softball and participating on a bowling team. Throughout his life, he enjoyed watching sports, especially Oklahoma Sooners football, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Minnesota Twins. Highlights for Rich that he talked about fondly were going to Oklahoma with his father, his brother Jim, and his nephew Barry to see the Sooners play and a trip to Milwaukee to see his brother Andre where he was able to see Miller Park and attend a Milwaukee Bucks game.
Rich had a love of birds and spent time watching and caring for them. His many feeders around his yard, is a testament to his love of this aspect of nature. He especially loved cardinals, orioles, thrushes, and robins.
Rich was known for being smiley, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone, and loving to whistle. Among his family, he was known for his unique giggle.
Rich was a former volunteer firefighter and belonged to the Shriners. Rich is remembered by his family: brother, Jim of Jasper, MN; sister-in-law, Cellesteen of Menomonee Falls, WI; nephews and nieces, Greg (fiancee’, Jackie) of Grafton, WI, Deb (La Jerne) of Ithaca, NY, Thomas (Patricia) of Cedarburg, WI, Diane of Minneapolis, MN, and Barry (Katie) of Moorhead, MN; and eight great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Ouida; brother, Andre; sister-in-law, Dorothy; and nephew, Jay.