John Lewandowski

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John Lewandowski, age 76, of Gaylord, Michigan, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at McReynolds Hall, with his family at his side.

He was born a twin, with Jane Kobylinski, on August 23, 1942, in Gaylord, Michigan and was one of thirteen children.  John lived in Gaylord all his life and married the love of his life, Barbara (Kucharek), in May of 1962.  This year is their 57th wedding anniversary.

As they started out in marriage, John worked at O.W. Rowley & Sons and then went on to work as a propane delivery driver, retiring in 2005.  John and his wife, Barbara raised two daughters, Diane and Jacki.With John’s love of polka music and his polish heritage, he joined the Gaylord Polka Kings.  They played for many area weddings and anniversaries.  In his later years, he would play at McReynolds Hall and at his grandchildren’s school. John also loved to camp, fish, and spend time with his grand- and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret (Stryzinski) Lewandowsk; father, Joseph Lewandowski; brothers, Benard “Bernard”, Edmund, and Casimer and sisters, Clara, Teresa, Regina, Nancy, Rita, and Irene.

John is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Diane (Jeff) Purgiel and Jacki; grandchildren, Sandra (Jay) Maufort, Jim Purgiel, Nick Purgiel, Ross Sewell, and Rose Dull; great grandchildren, Trenton and Ainsley Maufort; sisters, Sophie, Mary, and twin sister, Jane and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. from St. Mary Cathedral.

Visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home on Sunday, March 17, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  St. Mary Altar Rosary Society will offer a rosary, at the funeral home, Sunday afternoon (March 17th) at 4:00 p.m.  Visitation will continue on Monday, March 18, 2019, at the cathedral from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Cathedral Schools.

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

10 comments on “John Lewandowski”

  1. John and Jan Lake

    Aunt Barb, Diane, Jackie and family,

    We are so saddened to hear of Uncle John’s passing. We have many fond memories of much laughter at our family gatherings. Of course, growing up, we always loved attending the Polka Kings rehearsals! We are sorry we aren’t physically able to wrap you in our arms but pray you feel our love from Hawaii right to the bottom of your heart! We love you all so much❤️

  2. Steve and Kathy (Koblinski) Heintz

    Aunt Barb, Diane, Jackie and Family,

    We are sorry to hear about the loss of Uncle John. Uncle John was a warm, kind person to me with always a welcome smile. I remember many outdoor outings in your backyard as a child, getting to listen to Uncle John play music, and a particularly fun camp out with all of you at Jellystone Park. These good memories and the love and closeness we have shared will help us through our sadness. Our thoughts, prayers, and love are with all of you.

  3. We have such warm, fond memories of sharing stories setting around the camp 🔥 fire with their family. I loved Johnnie like a father as he taught me many things working with him delivering propane for several years. His family opened up their hearts and home regarding me as family. We love you and miss you. He will always remain in our hearts. Love, Scott & Becky.

  4. Les & Flo Dowker

    So sorry for your family. We spent many week-ends together when our kids were growing up. Good times were always assured. Praying for you.

  5. Jodie & Tim Samkowiak

    Barb, Diane, Jackie and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss. John was a wonderful man and will be missed much. Lots of great memories. Our prayers are with you all.

  6. Aunt Barb,Diane and Jackie,

    Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you, Uncle John played small part in all our lives yet, It meant so much to us. If it wasn’t his music it was his great sense of humor that would leave you better off. Remembering getting together at family gatherings and how it would not be complete until we heard some or all of the Polka Kings.We are all lucky to have a wonderful feeling shared with Uncle John and I will treasure mine always.May God keep you all in his arms.

  7. Kathy Sobocinski

    Barb & family, I am so sorry to learn of John’s passing. I went to school with John & Jane at Big Lake, just a few years ago. And my folks were your neighbors for many years, danced many times over the years to the music of the Polka Kings! May God comfort you during this difficult time.
    Kathy Weaver Sobocinski

  8. Uncle John:

    I was always so proud to call you my Uncle & especially Godfather! You were the cream of the crop as uncle’s go & I felt so special to be chosen to be your God-daughter! At family gatherings, I would always look forward to seeing you there. (I wasn’t the only one) Your charisma & stigma of being the “hip” uncle made you the life of the party! Your charm & fun personality made people want to be around you! Your presence made the party complete.

    You were always so handsome all the way up to the last time I saw you, two days before you passed away. I think it was because you had a light in you that drew people to you.

    I loved to hear you play the accordion & I will never forget playing drums with you and the band for Aunt Sophie’s 80th birthday party! I also remember when I was little & you played your “cherry” guitar & would sing Elvis & Chuck Berry songs.

    Uncle John, we will all miss you so much! There is a hole in our family that will never be filled, because you are irreplaceable!! I love you so much & look forward to seeing you when my time on earth is done. ❤️

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