OBITUARY

Richard Roy Kerzetski

March 16, 1948October 6, 2021

Richard Roy Kerzetski, age 73, of Las Vegas, Nevada passed away on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Richard was born March 16, 1948 in Perth Amboy, NJ.

Rich served in the Army as an M.P. while stationed in Bayonne, New Jersey and, later, Vietnam. He graduated in 1975 from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Moving to Las Vegas the same year, he worked for O'Rourke Plumbing and later joined Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. under then-owner Charles "Red" Englert. Rich later acquired Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. and has proudly run the company ever since.

While never one to boast, Rich has proudly served the plumbing industry in many capacities. He had been a third-year instructor for the local apprenticeship program for twelve years for the Plumbing Mechanical Contractors of Nevada (PMCN), now the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Nevada (PHCC), and served two consecutive terms as president. On the national level, he served on the PHCC National Association's Plumbing Curriculum Review Committee, the PHCC National Educational Foundation as a board member. He has also participated in legislative conferences, both local and national, apprenticeship competitions, conventions as well as many other endeavors to support the industry.

Throughout his life, he managed to run into celebrities such as Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Andre Agassi. However, nothing could top when, in 2018, Rich was invited to the White House to meet President Donald J. Trump, a thrill and an honor for him which may be considered the pinnacle of his life. Later that same year, when it was thought life couldn't become more fulfilling, he met O.J. Simpson at an In-N-Out Burger.

Richard is survived by Karen, his wife of 50 years, their 3 children: Brian and wife Dorothy, Sara and husband Rick Norris, and David and wife Channaly, 5 grandchildren: Ashlin, Benjamin, Wesley, Magdalena, and Alivia, as well as his brothers and sister: Charles and wife Rita, Charlotte and Husband Vince Hurly, and Gerald and wife Rena.

Richard took pride in his Ukrainian Catholic heritage and was never able to resist a cry of "Svioty Bozhe!" or "Christos Voskrese!" when the time was right. Now, we cry out for him: "Vichnaya Pamyat (Eternal Memory)."

A visitation for Richard will be held Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Palm South Jones Mortuary, 1600 South Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146. A funeral service will occur Friday, October 22, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 7260 W. Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89117.

Contributions in Richard's memory may be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.palmsouthjones.com for the Kerzetski family.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, October 22, 2021

Memories

Richard Roy Kerzetski

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Doug Williams

October 22, 2021

My heart goes out Karen, Brian, Sara, and David. I’ll add Vic as well, because he was truly ‘’Family’’ to one of the finest ‘’Families’’ I’ve ever known.

My name is Doug Williams. My Dad and I ran a little plumbing company, aptly named ‘’The Plumber’’.

Rich and I were fierce competitors for many years, actually, playfully fierce competitors, yet if we didn’t land ‘’the Project’’, I was always happy if Universal did.
I think he felt the same about our firm, which means a lot.

My memories of Rich are countless.
So many PHCC Meetings and luncheons and so many great conversations after the meetings, out in the parking lot. I’ve learned so much from Rich Kerzetski on the sidewalk after our meetings. We talked about Plumbing, we talked about various GCs, we talked about upcoming and current projects, and we talked about Life. I will forever cherish these memories.

Whenever Rich would call my office, my receptionist would say ‘’I’ll hold your calls for the next hour’’. I could always tell when it was time for Rich to hang up, as he would state (every time) “ UHHHH….. I think I have another call coming in’’. I would laugh and say ‘’Talk to you soon Rich’’.

Rich Kerzetski was one of the finest men I’ve ever known, and I’m blessed to have been able to call him ‘’my friend’’.
Thank You……

James & Olivia Kelly

October 21, 2021

It is with a heavy heart we send our deepest condolences to you Karen and family with much love. It was almost 27yrs ago Rich gave me a chance to make a career of plumbing and provide for my family. He was always a great boss, mentor, teacher, and friend. I have great respect and admiration for Rich could never figure out how he could make time for everything he was apart of. He will be greatly missed and a loss to the plumbing field that he so diligently tried to improve with everything he did.

Much love,
The Kelly's

Alan & Patricia Kochbarski

October 21, 2021

Sorry to hear of Richies passing. Sending our condolences to Karen, Brian, Sara, David and family. We remember fondly the family reunion and how distance and time away from each other disappeared on that occasion. The family bond is one of strength and commitment. We are thinking of you at this time. Sending prayers of comfort and peace.

Alan, Patricia & Lauren Kochbarski


Ron Miller

October 21, 2021

My deepest condolences to the family. Richie was one of my best friends. Richie was the first person I met when I moved to Las Vegas to start the Meadows Mall. He came into our office trailer and said "Ron, here's my change order and I'm not signing my sub-contract." All the time smiling that infectious smile and laugh. I knew this was a guy I was going to be friends with. He had a great sense of humor and always made time to talk with me about everything. I will miss our long phone calls. Thanks for always being there.

David and Shelly Troup

October 19, 2021

Our deepest condolences to the Kerzetski family, we have lost a great man, leader and instructor. Some of my first memories of Rich happened in the field regarding a minor gas piping issue. I was intrigued by his response, he was more interested in getting it right and stated he would like to do some research regarding my concerns and get back to me. The next day, in came Vic. Now Vic, Rich and I had a great discussion regarding this issue which led to several other thoughts and code interpretations. I recall several phone calls from Rich and Vic regarding my thoughts on a specific code issues which would ultimately decide who was buying the next "steak dinner". We later formed a lasting friendship with both of us becoming instructors in the Plumbing Apprenticeship program in 1995, he in the third year and myself in the fourth. Later Brian and David followed in his footsteps as instructors which is a great tribute to Rich as a father and mentor. Rich has always contributed to the plumbing industry in so many ways providing leadership, direction and helped pioneer a reputable and sustainable training program.
Yes we have lost a great man, but have gained a mountain of wisdom and knowledge. May God bless you well.

Respectively,

David and Shelly Troup

Jackie Schwartz

October 19, 2021

My deepest condolences on the passing of Rich. He was a wonderful man. I have fond memories of our years in Spring Valley Little League. I always enjoyed talking with Rich when we would see each other at the ball fields. He is gone way to soon, but may all your memories be a blessing. Love to Karen, Brian, Sara and David and your families. I know he will surely be missed.

Vic Poma

October 19, 2021

To my best friend,
The Poma Family has lost a dear friend. One that we always looked up to and are so thankful for everything that you and your family have done for us.
I have lost my best friend. Someone I have talked to on a daily basis for over 35 years. We shared a love for Universal Plumbing, plumbing in general, sports, our employees, our friends, and our families. We knew each other’s families as if they were our own. I’m not sure who owed who more steak dinners, but I would give anything to buy you one more now. As the saying goes if you enjoy what you are doing you will never work a day in your life. I wish I could tell you one more time that you were one of the main reasons that I have always felt that way.
We shared trips to PHCC events, to the White House, to see the Lakers, to see the Kings, to see the Golden Knights, to see the Dodgers, to see the Angels, to see the Raiders, our Universal Plumbing fishing trip, and to Edmonton to see a CFL game there and yes there are pictures of you and I on a roller coaster when we were there.
You created a legacy in our industry and we will keep your legacy and memory alive.
Our days blended into weeks and then into years. We shared a lifetime of laughs that I will always be forever thankful for. I still find myself leaving the office and picking up my phone to call you or I look at my phone waiting for you to call me.
I miss you my friend and I will forever be thankful for the time we shared.
Vic Poma

Manny Rios

October 18, 2021

Dave and Brian, my deepest condolences on the passing of your Dad!!
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at such a trying time.

I had the privilege of meeting him on numerous occasions, as you guys know, it was mostly on projects Universal had with the ClarkCounty School District.

He was full of knowledge and would at times challenge me, I guess just checking to see how I would react. I really enjoyed meeting and talking shop with him.

May Mr. Kerzetski Rest In Peace!!

Susan Mazzola

October 18, 2021

The Gallas family siblings were sad to learn of Richie's passing. Given our 13 year age spread, we each have fond and different memories of Richie when we were growing up in Perth Amboy.

The oldest, Henry, is a contemporary of Richie's sister Charlotte, so to him Richie was the little brother. Susan is a contemporary of Richie's brother Gerry. They palled around together, so to Susan, Richie was the older brother. To Marty, the youngest Gallas sibling, Richie was really an older brother. He remembers how wonderfully Richie and Karen opened their home to him so many decades ago on his way to California.

Judy, however, was Richie's contemporary; they went through grade school and Perth Amboy High School together. Judy has warm memories of their times together especially when she and Richie rode their Schwinn bikes all around Perth Amboy (when your parents said "go out and play," the cousins walked and rode from Florida Grove Road, down New Brunswick Avenue, past the ivy-covered high school, to the waterfront).

We didn't get to know Richie as an adult. But from reading everyone's writing, we missed knowing a wonderful father, husband, cousin and friend. We send our condolences to Richie and Karen's family.
Love, Henry, Judy, Susan and Marty

Charlotte Hurley

October 17, 2021

My brother Rich has left me with many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. My earliest memory of Rich was the day a woman (midwife) walked out of our parents' bedroom, in our small backyard house (w/o a bathroom) carrying a baby. She announced that we had a new baby brother! Chuck and I wanted to name him Roy Rogers* (1948). My parents compromised with us and Richard Roy's life began. From that moment on, Rich's infectious smile would light up every room. I will always remember his generosity and kindness he extended to everyone. Whenever I think of the great trips and family reunions we shared, my tears are joyful.

Rich, you may be gone from sight, but my memories of you will always brighten my day.

Love, Charlotte

*Richard Roy married Karen Rogers

FROM THE FAMILY