Cover photo for Richard Joseph Ference's Obituary
Richard Joseph Ference Profile Photo
1949 Richard 2023

Richard Joseph Ference

June 15, 1949 — June 7, 2023

Winter Garden, Florida

Richard Joseph Ference, 73, of Winter Garden, Florida, took his final breath on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 while surrounded by his family.


Richard is survived by his daughters: Monica A. (of Apopka) and Reneé M. (of Winter Garden; son-in-law, Jeremy E. French (of Apopka); and granddaughter Ainsley P. French (of Apopka); as well as a niece and nephew. He was predeceased in 2018 by his wife of 44 years Marilyn.


Born June 15, 1949 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to Joseph S. Ference and Elizabeth Evan. He had two brothers, Raymond F. and John J.  He graduated from St. Mary’s High School and was a member of the First Catholic Slovak Union, both in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.


After high school, he joined the United States Air Force in 1969 and was stationed in Marquette, Michigan and Duluth, Minnesota. Upon honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1972 he returned home to New Jersey. He was a volunteer member of the Perth Amboy Fire Department in the Humane Hook and Ladder Co. 3, attended Lincoln Technical Institute where he earned a certificate in Refrigeration-A/C and Heating Technology all while dating and eventually marrying longtime friend Marilyn Janice Murray of Rahway, New Jersey. In May 1974, just after getting married, they moved to Bradenton, Florida.


After working in the Air Conditioning field for a few years he joined Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida and worked in the Maintenance Department at their distribution center. On April 26, 1984 he was promoted to Warehouse Maintenance Foreman at the Sarasota Distribution Center and on May 28, 1985 he was promoted to Warehouse Maintenance Superintendent and relocated to the Orlando Division, where he retired after more than 30 years of service.


Known to his family as a jack-of-all-trades with a nickname of “Mr. Fix-It,” there wasn’t a project he couldn’t accomplish.  During his free time he enjoyed fishing, woodworking, watching auto racing, attending concerts, and restoring vehicles, with his latest being a ‘67 Oldsmobile 442 muscle car for his granddaughter.


A Funeral Mass will be held at Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden, where the family has been parishioners since they moved to Central Florida. Richard’s final resting place will be next to his wife at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest with Full Military Honors. While visitors are encouraged to pay their respects, the family has requested his inurnment be a private event for family only.


The family would also like to thank the staff of Cornerstone Hospice for aiding in making his final days as comfortable and memorable as possible.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Joseph Ference, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Collison Carey Hand Funeral Home

1148 E Plant St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Private Service

Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

5525 US-1, Mims, FL 32754

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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