Richard “Dick” Pfaffinger, 87
Blue Earth — Richard “Dick” Pfaffinger, age 87, of Blue Earth, died March 19, 2008, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center, Blue Earth. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at 11 a.m., at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, with Father Mark McNea officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Blue Earth. Visitation time will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today, Monday, March 24 at Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 400 E. 14th Street, in Blue Earth, and one hour prior to services at the church.
Dick was born Nov. 2, 1920, in Blue Earth, the son of Joseph and Catherine (Birkeneder) Pfaffinger. He was raised and educated in Blue Earth where he was a 1939 graduate of Blue Earth High School. Following school he helped farm his family farm before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1943, at the age of 22. Dick was a top turret gunner and flight engineer in the Air Force. He flew missions from Naples, Italy and was forced down near Yugoslavia in the Adriatic Sea. He was interrogated in Verona, Italy and was a POW at Stalag Luth I in Barth, East Germany for 13 months. He received the Air Medal, 2 Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the Purple Heart. He returned to Blue Earth in November of 1945 where he continued farming. He was married to Agnes Bruns on August 16, 1973 in Pipestone. Dick was very involved with local clubs and organizations and always believed, and was often heard to say, “there is no place like home.” He was a lifetime member of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church and the Blue Earth American Legion Post 89. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4580, Disabled American Veterans and the American Ex-POW Chapter 32. Dick held many offices of the American Legion Post 89, including past post commander. He was a longtime chairman of the Minnesota Department of the American Legion Hospitalized Veterans Pheasant Dinners, raising thousands of dollars for hospitalized veterans across Minnesota.
Dick is survived by his wife, Agnes Pfaffinger of Blue Earth, his daughters, Eileen Luedtke of Minneapolis, Joan (Jon) Fering of Chaska, Cindy Gilstrap of Phoenix, Ariz., his son, Mike (Valerie) Blumenschein of Blue Earth, his brothers, Walter Pfaffinger and Edward Pfaffinger, both of Blue Earth, his sister, Helen Pfaffinger of Tucson, Ariz., his sister-in-law, Vivian Pfaffinger of Mankato, nine grandchildren: Jacob and Brandolyn Luedtke, Crystal (Brayden) Meverden, Brittney Blumenschein, Joseph Dorn, Christina (Mike) TenEyck, Emma Fering, Elsa Fering and Brad Fering, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Frank, John and Otto Pfaffinger and a sister-in-law, Kathleen Pfaffinger.
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com. Memorial donations are preferred to the Parkinson’s Research Association or to the American Legion Hospitalized Veterans Pheasant Dinner Program.