Frank A. Karwoski

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Frank Anthony Karwoski, age 85, of Gaylord, Michigan, passed away on September 4, 2022.

Frank was born on September 22, 1936, to Anthony and Rose (Masonovich) Karwoski in Orient, Illinois.

He and his mom, Rose, came to Gaylord in 1948. She married Clarence Lehmann, and together they owned and operated The Chatterbox Restaurant, at 610 South Otsego Ave. in Gaylord.

Frank was a four-sport athlete throughout high school; three years in Gaylord, and one year in New Athens, Illinois.

In college, Frank spent summers cooking with his stepfather, Clarence Lehmann, at The Chatterbox. He graduated from Western Michigan University, where he played baseball. During this time, Frank’s team participated in the College World Series, achieving 3rd place in 1957 and 1958.

Frank tried out for minor league baseball with the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Braves. He signed a contract with the Houston Colt 45’s (later known as the Astros). After only two months, Frank was hit in the left eye by a hot ground ball by Joe Torre. This injury ended his dream of a baseball career and began his teaching career. He taught history, biology, phys ed, and driver’s ed, at public high schools in Eaton Rapids, Frankfort, and Cheboygan. Throughout his career, he loved coaching baseball, basketball, and football.

After teaching in public schools, Frank accepted a position at Hyde Park Baptist School in Austin, Texas. He later moved to Red Bud, Illinois, where he coached the girls’ basketball team to the District Tournament.

In 1978, Frank came to know his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Frank was passionate about Christian ministry and teaching, with a local congregation. He was also very involved with the prison ministry.

Frank enjoyed listening to old-time gospel music, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Marty Robbins, and he loved playing Kingston Trio songs on his guitar.

He is survived by his children, Kathy Alston and Kevin Karwoski; his grandchildren, Madeleine (Bryan) Galvani and Michaela Alston; and his brothers, Gordon “Butch” (Peggy) Lehmann and Gary (Dana) Lehmann.

A celebration of life will be held at Nelson Funeral Home on September 16, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m. A private burial for the family will be held afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that in Franks memory, you do something nice for a loved one, a friend, or a person in need.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

19 comments on “Frank A. Karwoski”

  1. You will be missed, my “Polish Uncle”. Rest in Peace, now. You are free from dementia and the sufferings of this world. Always loved and forever in my heart, you will be. You loved me and taught me throughout my life….. I will never forget you. 💔

  2. Brenda Moore (Walsh)

    Our dear family friend….you will be missed. You held a special place in my son’s life and he looked up to you. A lot of people did. Thank-you for sharing a small part of your life with us. (Say hi to my mother for us, as I know where you both are🙏🏻❤💙).

    1. Rest now, my “Polish Uncle”….. you have earned your Peace. Free now from the pain, the dementia, the struggles and heartaches of this world. Thank you for your love, kindness and understanding, the laughter and support, in good times and the bad. Our families were blessed to have each other. You taught me many things throughout my life and will always be remembered. Forever in my heart, Uncle Frank. You were loved, respected, and appreciated.

  3. Kathy,Kevin and Kay, I have soooo many fond memories of “Uncle” Frank. From chocolate chip pancakes to High School BB, Cheboygan was always a tough competition. I always enjoyed our talks in later years of God, Jesus and our salvation. The “Field of the Dreams” lives on. ❤️🙏

  4. Mr Karwoski, you were the best! Your warmth and encouragement will be missed by many.

    My deepest sympathies to your family. 🙏


  5. Rhonda Ziegler Finn

    Mr. Karwoski,. You were my favorite teacher when I started at Cheboygan High in my Jr. year. You always seemed like a very caring person, in addition to being a good teacher. RIP

  6. Rudy and Roxanne Slavich

    Rest in Peace Frank.
    You will be missed by all your friends and family.
    It was our pleasure to enjoy your company when traveling in our area.
    Sad our family didn’t get together as much as we would have liked.
    You are at rest now, good and faithful servant, with our Lord.
    Cousins, Rudy and Roxanne.

  7. Sorry to hear of this sad news. Haven’t seen Frankie, as the cousins called him, in quite some time. Sympathy to his children and grandchildren
    Cousin Cindy Lee

  8. Coach K! After my parents, you were the first to believe in me, that I could be more! Look forward to working with you to improve my game when I see you again. : ) Love you!

  9. Shirley Kassuba Samkowiak

    To Franks Family. Frank was a classmate of mine and was such a Great Guy! Everyone enjoyed being around him. So sorry for you loss.
    Shirley Samkowiak

  10. Frank was the boy’s basketball coach at Cheboygan High School when I began my sportscasting career at WCBY in 1976. You couldn’t meet a kinder and more cooperative man than Frank, and I still remember him fondly after all these years. I’m just sorry we never had the chance to reconnect after we both left northern Michigan, but I’m glad to see he enjoyed success and happiness after leaving Cheboygan. I still feel bad that he was not able to get me that Chiefs’ practice jersey he promised me. I can still remember Boyne City coach Russ Harvey telling me, “If there was one game you had to win, you would want Frank Karwoski coaching your team.”

  11. A high school friend fondly remembered. Never missed one of his sporting events. Remember fun times playing cards, croquet and eating cookies while my Mom taught him to play canasta. Seems my help with book reports got him somewhere

  12. Frank will be dearly missed. I will miss the many wonderful conversations I had with him. He always had a kind word and a wonderful hug for me every time we crossed paths. Rest in peace Frank, I look forward to seeing you again in heaven.

  13. He was a favorite teacher of mine and a favorite coach. Always fair, compassionate and humble. One of my inspirations that lead me to teach. So sorry for the family’s loss.

  14. Kristi (Burkhart) O’Neill

    I hope Coach K got an opportunity to see the value he added to his athlete’s lives.
    Rest In Peace, Coach.

    I found a photo of the 1995 Red Bud Girls Championship team with Coach K in it, if any family would like to contact me.

  15. I continue to be blessed by the comments, cards, and letters our family has received. You are all a part of the tapestry of my Dad’s life and I am so appreciative of your sharing. As he is now in Glory I know he looks forward to hugging every neck and, likely, playing some ball!

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