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In Memoriam

Richard Arthur Fata 1929 - 2017

East Lansing Our beloved patriarch Richard Fata joined our heavenly Father on February 18, 2017 at the age of 87. He was a devout Catholic, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and a very proud Italian. He was born on November 5, 1929 to John and Julia (Coscarelli) Fata. He grew up in Lansing, MI and worked with his parents at the John Fata Confectionary where he honed his entrepreneurial skills and love of people. At the age of 25 Richard purchased his first bar on South Cedar Street. In 1966 he purchased The Pigeon Inn which soon became Richard's Food and Drink. Upon his retirement in 2001, his son James took over the business. He always loved the many stories he was able to share with his faithful patrons and employees. He married Marie Coscarelli, the love of his life, at the age of 31 and they began their life together centered around faith, family, Italian pride and Marie's amazing cooking skills. He had the most exquisite taste in music always stopping anything he was doing when he heard "Oh Marie". He always told his children, "the best day of my life is when your mom agreed to marry me". He was an example of love of family, hard work and commitment. He instilled in all of his children an amazing work ethic and kindness to all. As a father, Richard was an endless supporter in all endeavors and life events. As a grandfather, he cherished his time with all 12 of his grandchildren that he held near and dear to his heart. He was always available for advice, words of wisdom, a random piece of sports trivia and a great glass of Chianti. As a young adult, he served in the National Guard with his cousin Albert. He was a member of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce and Italian American Club, St. Gerard Catholic Church and at the time of his death, St. Mary Cathedral. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia Fata; and both his sisters Dolores Migaldi and Beverly Fortino; in-laws Pasquale and Jeanette Coscarelli; special cousin Albert Cascarelli; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marie; his daughters Julia (Tom) Heiberger, Jeannie Fata Cleary; sons John (Laurie) and James (Mary); and his 12 grandchildren that he adored, Erika, Laura and Daniel Heiberger, Anna, Maggie and Kathleen Cleary, Jonathon, Emily and Andrew Fata, and Richard, Marie and Gretchen Fata. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Orlando (Paul) Fortino; his "favorite" in-laws Joe Coscarelli, Judy (Darrel) Swain, Margaret (Ben) Weeks, Jerry (Sue) Coscarelli; special cousin Ernest (Teresa) Fata; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, February 23rd at 10:00 am at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, MI with the Rev. Msgr. Bernard Reilly and Rev. Msgr. George C. Michalek officiating. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, February 22nd at Gorsline Runciman, East Lansing from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm where the rosary will be prayed at 7:00 pm. Those desiring may make contributions to American Heart Association 2140 University Park Dr. # 210 Okemos, MI 48864 or St. Vincent DePaul Society, St Mary Cathedral Chapter, 219 Seymour, Lansing, MI 48933 in memory of Richard. "The song has ended, but the melody lingers on…." The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Chapel. On line condolences may be made at

Published in Lansing State Journal on Feb. 22, 2017- See more at:

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