Obituary for Anthony Nowak
Dzień dobry! That’s Good Morning, in Polish. I am Anthony Thomas Nowak, 82 years old, of Milwaukee, WI. People called me Tony, Ontosh, or Stash—I answered to all of ‘em. I died Thursday, September 24, 2020 from a brain hemorrhage at Aurora Medical Center in Marinette, WI. I’m the oldest child of Josephine (Lepianka) and Stephen Nowak born on May 9, 1938 at home in the Town of Beaver. I felt honored to be the oldest grandchild of my grandparents Stanley and Theresa Nowak, and Antone and Anna Lepianka. My parents and my beautiful wife Dorothy died before me. I called her Liz, like Liz Taylor, that’s how beautiful she was and how grand she made me feel.
I was a bony kid, pumped water and worked with scrawny horses on our small plot of sandy farmland near Crivitz, WI. Gotta tell you, it didn’t pay much. I graduated in 1958 from Coleman High School in Coleman, WI and then went to Milwaukee and worked for American Motors, in sewer construction, and for the Milwaukee Public Schools. I was proud to be a lifelong member of Milwaukee Laborers’ Local 113 and went to their meetings—in snow and ice, rain or shine.
I always felt connected to my roots in Crivitz. As the saying goes, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” I made some hay “in the hills,” drove an Oliver tractor, let some lead fly, did a little shady moonlight logging, and made firewood until my eyes closed for the last time. With lots of help, I built a house near Crivitz I thought would be my retirement home, but that didn’t happen. Through all this, people thought I was a little odd, even foolish. Maybe I was. I know I was rough around the edges, but I believed in God, spent time on my knees, worked hard, recycled everything I could, helped whoever needed it, told some good stories, and raised a few cheers.
I am survived by two special sisters, Jennie Petrack and CeCelia (Wayne) Zorn, four brothers, Wenceslaus (Joan), Simon (Mary), Walter (Janice), and Andrew (Julaine), and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There’s a bushelful of us. I have two stepdaughters, Mary Jo Regan, who preceded me in death, and Patricia (Ralph) Schlass. I have three step grandchildren, Ralph, Amy, and Brandon, and eight step great grandchildren. I am also survived by Georgia Ermis, my dear friend for the past six years.
There will be a funeral mass at St. Mary Catholic Church, 808 Henriette Avenue, Crivitz, WI 54114, on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:00 am with a visitation in the church one hour before mass. To protect everyone’s health affected by the current coronavirus pandemic, and in alignment with the church policy, six feet social distancing will be maintained and wearing a mask is required. If you are sick, stay home. Jelacic Funeral Home, Milwaukee, WI (414-466-2134), is handling my arrangements.
Thank you for all the time you spent with me. Now, instead of giving me flowers or your hard-earned dough, please spend your time and share your stories, some spirits, and your kindness with others. I leave you with the flowers and the stones. I leave you with the hills and I leave you with all the trees. Do Widzenia i Dobranoc…Good Bye and Good Night
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