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U.S. Army veteran, drag racer

Published: July 9, 2014 12:00 AM

Richard J. Velek, 65, died May 31, 2014, at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.

Born in Detroit on April 13, 1949, he was the son of the late Joseph and Tillie (Brenda) Velek. A resident of the Mantua area the past 30 years, he had been employed as a foreman at Marlen Manufacturing in Bedford Heights for 41 years, retiring in 2012.

He was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Aurora and Mantua Knights of Columbus, and served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era.

He was a racing enthusiast at Summit Motor Sports Park in Norwalk, with his Pontiac GTO and Trans Am, as well as racing at the Pontiac Nationals the past 11 years with his sons and grandsons.

On Nov. 30, 1974, he married Carol P. (Simon) Velek, who survives at their home, along with his children Michael (Beth) Velek, Daniel (Toni) Velek and Melissa (William) Beatty, all of Mantua, Stephanie Velek of Streetsboro; and seven grandchildren.

Preceding him in death was his brother Ronald Velek and grandson Brian Velek.

Services were June 5 at the Green Family Funeral Home & Crematory Service in Mantua. Burial was in Westlawn Cemetery in Mantua Township with full military respects provided by a U.S. Army honor guard, assisted by members of Mantua American Legion Post No. 193.

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