TRAVERSE CITY — Rick Penzien (The MAD WOODPECKER, Mr. No Eye Dee), died on Tax Day, Monday, April 15, in Traverse City.
He married Nancy Ballou in Newington, Conn., on Friday, Aug. 13, 1971, after a challenging courtship. He was further challenged by his favorite son, Joseph, who wrecked his Jeep, and his talented daughter, KC, who restored his faith in children. He is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Carrie (Fiebig); brother, Don; sister-in-law, Judy (Davis); brother-in-law, Bob; and five nieces and nephews.
During the Vietnam War Rick served two tours as a Navy Sea Bee, where he developed an appreciation for cool weather and informal attire.
After completion of his service Rick spent time in Alaska, panning for gold on the Kenai Peninsula and serving as a forest firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management. Later he worked as a contract painter in Denver, Colo., Howell and finally in Traverse City.
He loved golf throughout his life and continued to play with two prosthetic limbs, which he routinely wore out while constructing and reconstructing his own golf tee and green at his home. Ever on the lookout for strange, interesting and large rocks for his landscaping projects, Rick amassed a collection of thousands over the years, some of which he counted among his closest friends. He also enjoyed snorkeling in the Caribbean and was especially fond of water temperatures that were too cold for the locals.
His dry wit, sarcasm, stories, generosity and love will be missed.
A memorial ceremony will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 341 Washington St., Traverse City, on Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army.
Love you, Rick.