Thomas Richard Jelinek, 82

Published 7:01 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thomas Richard “Dick” Jelinek, 82, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 1, 2020, at his home in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, after a short illness with stomach cancer.

Thomas Richard Jelinek, 82

Dick was born on Jan. 3, 1938, in Austin, Minnesota, to Tom and Christy Jelinek. Dick was raised in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, where he resided most of his life. He graduated from Blooming Prairie High School in 1956 and loved working on the reunion committee. Dick met Connie Fread when she moved to Blooming Prairie in July 1951. They married Aug. 18, 1956. Dick served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed on the destroyer U.S.S. Daly in Newport, Rhode Island. They returned to Blooming Prairie, where he eventually became employed with Contel, working for them for 30 years.

Dick and Connie raised two daughters on a beef farm near Blooming Prairie. They enjoyed traveling and camping in their various RVs. They retired from farming and moved to the lake near Backus, Minnesota, in 1998 and spent 20 years wintering in Welton, Arizona. They moved to Pequot Lakes eight years ago.

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Dick enjoyed his old cars, woodworking and traveling. His past time was visiting with anyone he could strike up a conversation with.

Dick is survived by his wife, Connie; daughters, Ginger (Mark) Hoffman of Pequot Lakes and Tracey (Bob) Bengson of Litchfield, Minnesota; two grandchildren, Carley (Noah) Neuhaus and Kyle Hoffman; step-grandchildren, Renae (Joe) Schlechter, Robin (Tim) Hoffmann, Robert (Michele) Bengson Jr. and Bradley (Jackie) Bengson and their families; siblings, Jon (Sandy) Jelinek and Jerilyn (Lyle) Noble; sister-in-law, Harriet Fread; and many nieces and nephews.

No service is being held due to COVID-19. A graveside memorial service will be held later at the Blooming Prairie Cemetery. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home in Pequot Lakes.