Published in the Askov American, Askov, MN Page 6, June 14, 2007
Richard Cletus Pionk, age 71, of New York City, passed away Tuesday, June 5, 2007, after a long battle with cancer in New York City at NYU Medical Center.
He was born April 26, 1936, in Moose Lake to Ignatz and Ether (DuFrane) Pionk. Richard was a renowned and respected artist in New York with works featured in many galleries across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. For the past 14 years he was the president of the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York and an instructor at the Arts Student League and received more than 100 awards for his dedication to his craft. Before moving to New York, he was in a monastery in Missouri to become a brother. He also worked and retired in New York from the U.S. Navy.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Robert Pionk; and special friend, F. Spielmann.
He is survived by his two sisters, Erma (Ted) Katchmark of Hinckley, and Audrey (Vernon) Rustad of Wrenshall; three brothers, Duane (Sandra) Pionk of Superior, Wisconsin, Erwin Varnes of Birmingham, Alabama, and Virgil Varnes of South Shore, South Dakota; and many nieces and nephews who will miss him deeply.
Visitation was held Tuesday, June 12 prior to the 10 a.m. funeral mass at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton, with the Rev. David Tushar as celebrant. Interment was at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Kerrick, next to his mother and father. Military honors were present by the Nicholson-Sellgren VFW Post 2962 of Carlton.
A formal memorial service will be planned for September 2007 at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
The family has selected Nelson Funeral Care of Cloquet to assist them with arrangements.