Richard R. Zabransky, a resident of Oak Park for over 30 years, died on July 1, 2021. Born in Chicago on Dec. 3, 1950 to Marion and the late Milton Zabransky, he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University, where he received his undergraduate degree in English then attended San Francisco State University, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree.
He began his successful teaching career at Evanston High School. After several years, he found his academic home at Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he prospered as a teacher of English until his retirement in 2010. Soon after, he became an instructor at Benedictine University, where he taught writing and composition for several more years.
Throughout his long and fruitful professional life, Richard challenged, supported, and inspired his students with his wisdom and creativity. His kindness, humor and razor wit endeared him to generations of students.
An accomplished writer and poet, talented musician, avid runner, cyclist and tennis player, with a black belt in martial arts, he was well-traveled, especially in central Europe. He spoke French fluently and was a serious student of film. He was a Renaissance man.
Above all, he was a devoted, caring son and a loyal, loving friend. He was man of integrity, imagination, and quiet character — authentic, open-faced, kindhearted. Until betrayed by his inner struggle, he embraced life, gave deeply of himself, loved, and was dearly loved by those blessed to know him and keep him in their hearts.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity on behalf of Richard.
Funeral services and interment at Bohemian National Cemetery were private.
Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.