Prayer Service: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm in St. Lucy Catholic Church, 3101 Drexel Avenue
Visitation: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm in St. Lucy Catholic Church
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Racine Community Outpost (for funding Community Policing Programs in the greater Racine area) or to St. Lucy Congregation
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Racine – Richard V. Polzin, age 74, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
Dick was born in Racine on January 24, 1942 to the late Vernon C. and Ruby V. (nee: Allert) Polzin. He was a graduate of Washington Park High School (where he was honored to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1998), Racine Technical College, Carthage College and the FBI National Academy.
On May 25, 1962 in St. Edward Catholic Church, Dick was united in marriage with Mary “Sheila” Carolan. He served our community with the Racine Police Department for over 36 years from 1964 until retiring as Police Chief in 2000. Dick was a member of the Racine County Law Enforcement Executives Association, Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, National Chiefs of Police Association, Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates, International Police Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Naval Academy Review Board, Treasurer of the Racine Community Outpost and was awarded the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Executive of the Year (1997). During his tenure as Chief of Police, Dick instituted the Community Policing model in the City of Racine. His efforts were responsible for improving the quality of life for countless residents in the Racine Community. He maintained that vision through his retirement as a member of the Racine Community Outpost Organization, a non-profit group dedicated to purchasing and maintaining COP houses in the greater Racine area. Those accomplishments often resulted in the opportunity to share Racine’s success with communities across the country. Among his other interests, he enjoyed riding his horse “Max” and golfing at Ives Grove and Johnson Park with retirees, as well as the annual FBI-NA Golf Outing with family members – where, in 2006 he shot a hole in one. Dick was an avid runner who participated in a number of marathons, including the Boston Marathon, and charitable running events. Dick also enjoyed coaching and attending the numerous activities in which his children and grandchildren participated. He especially enjoyed planning and taking family vacations, most notably time spent together at Walt Disney World.
Surviving are his loving wife of 54 years, Sheila; their children, Michael Polzin, Ann (Tim) Pettit, Mark (Elizabeth) Polzin and John Polzin; grandchildren, Michaela, Delaney and Callahan Polzin; Andy and Libby Pettit; Abby and Jack Polzin; Matthew, Meghan and Michael Polzin; sisters, Jeanette (Tom) Seefeldt and Sandy (Dave) Hansen; Sheila’s parents, Laurence and Betty Carolan; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Larry (Cynthia) Carolan, Mary Cronin and John Carolan; nieces, nephews, other relatives, as well as protective service family and friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, and brothers-in-law Tom Cronin, Robert Budney, and Richard Saynay, nephew David Saynay, and niece Jodi Doepke.
A memorial gathering at St. Lucy Catholic Church, 3101 Drexel Avenue, Racine, WI will be held on what would have been Dick’s 75th Birthday, Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. A prayer service remembering and celebrating his life will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Racine Community Outpost, which helps fund the Community Policing Programs in the greater Racine area, or St. Lucy Congregation have been suggested.
Special thanks to the members of the Racine Fire & Police Departments and ER staff at Ascension All Saints Hospital for their life saving efforts.