Thursday, April 22, 2021

Richard Bruce Sapa

| March 10, 2021 6:00 AM

Richard Bruce Sapa, 78, of Columbia Falls passed away peacefully at his home with family by his side on March 4, 2021.

Richard (Dick) was born in Fargo, North Dakota to Walt and Catherine Sapa on Feb. 20, 1943. Dick was raised in Moorhead, Minnesota with his four brothers, Tom, Jerry, Mike and Pat. Dick was very active as an athlete and was an all-state running back in football, and played basketball and baseball through high school. Dick taught himself to play guitar at the age of 9 and started his own rock ‘n’ roll band at age 15, called “Richie Wynn and the Tornadoes.”

He played the Tri-state Arena with rock ‘n’ roll legends Bobby Vec and Bill Valino. Later he would play with legendary cowboy and singer Chris Ledoux at the Blue Moon. During this time he met the love of his life, Charlotte Hanson, from Devils Lake, North Dakota, on a blind date.

They were later married on June 13, 1964 and stayed together for almost 55 years until Dick’s passing.

They were blessed with three children, Charlene, Jimmy and Billy. Dick sold insurance for his

father at W.C. Sweeney Insurance and Real Estate until 1972. Then in April 1972 they moved their family to Columbia Falls and purchased a bar. They purchased the Blue Moon Night Club on April 1, 1972 and have operated and grown the business for 49 years.

Dick loved the outdoors and horses and cattle, so in 1982 he purchased a ranch just outside of Columbia Falls and started raising cattle, horses and hay.

Dick was also an avid outdoorsman, traveling all over North America hunting and fishing with his family. Dick was recognized for obtaining numerous record book animals, a grand-slam of North American wild sheep, grand slam of North American bears and moose, and was able to harvest all North American big game animals. Dick was very proud of his grandchildren. He watched them compete in athletics, work in the family businesses and follow in the family footsteps of being in the outdoors with family and friends, hunting and fishing. Dick was very active with the local sports and donated money every year for 49 years to kids sports. He also set up a scholarship in memory of his late son Jim Sapa called the Sapa-Johnsrud to help high school baseball players with college expenses.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Wolf and Catherine Sapa, his brother Jerry Sapa and son Jim Sapa.

He is survived by his wife Charlotte Sapa; daughter Charlene King of Columbia Falls and grandchildren Chris King, Calie King, Colin King; son Bill Sapa of Columbia Falls and grandchildren Hailey Sapa, Lane Sapa, Reggie Sapa; brother Tom (Patty) Sapa of Park Rapids Minnesota; Mike (Heidi) Sapa of Lindstrom, Minnesota; and Pat (Tammy) Sapa of Whitefish.

A funeral service will be held Friday, March 12, at 11 a.m. at St. Richard’s Catholic Church. A celebration of life will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at the Blue Moon. Columbia Mortuary is caring for the family and will have a public viewing from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.