Cover photo for Joseph L. Rzanca, Sr.'s Obituary
Joseph L. Rzanca, Sr. Profile Photo
1935 Joseph 2023

Joseph L. Rzanca, Sr.

October 25, 1935 — May 30, 2023

Paw Paw, MI

Joseph Lawrence Rzanca Sr. passed away Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in Kalamazoo, MI. He was born October 25, 1935, in Munising, MI son of the late Kazimier and Marianna (Broda) Rzanca.

Joseph was raised in Cheyboygan, MI. He graduated from Cheyboygan High School in 1955. In 1970 he moved his family to Bangor, MI. He later moved to Paw Paw, Michigan where he lived out the remainder of his life.

If you took a walk through Joe’s humble home you would find a wall flooded with family photos. Joe took pride in his family and there was nothing more important to him in his life. There was such a sense of simplicity about Joe’s life, but he knew the treasure that he held when spending time with family. Each year the family Christmas celebration was hosted by Joe himself and it was a time full of laughter. There was one message that rang loudly in Papa Joe’s heart and that was to keep family together.

Even when Joe’s children had become adults and lived a life of their own, he would make each of their birthday’s special with a phone call, singing Happy Birthday and to let them know how much he loved them by saying, “I love yous.” And each daughter always heard him say, “you are the number one daughter.”

Joe was a man of few words, but when he did speak it was to encourage his children. He did not live a flashy life, but Joe enjoyed going to church, playing the guitar and singing (especially with his son Joe, and sons-in-law, Paul and Steve), deer hunting, golfing and going to the casino.

A man who lived his life and loved his children more than life itself. So, as we celebrate Joe may we remember all that his life left behind and all the special memories that are near and dear to each one.

Joseph is survived by his children, Penny (Dan) Carpenter, Pam (Paul) Valentine, Patty (Ron) Barringer, Joe Rzanca Jr., Peggy (Steve) Hunt, Polly Davis, and Cash Rzanca; 16 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Thomas Rzanca, Irene Miazga and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service to celebrate Joseph’s life will be held Sunday, June 25, 2023, at 1:00pm at the Bangor Church of Christ, 214 Walnut Street Bangor, MI 49013. A luncheon will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S. Kalamazoo MI 49009. To view Joseph’s personalized web page, please visit

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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