Gene Edward Wawrzyniak, age 67, of Silver Lake, passed away Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Cedar Crest in Silver Lake.
He was born Dec. 8, 1949, in Hutchinson, the son of Edward and Sophie (Millerbernd) Wawrzyniak.
Gene graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1967.
He honorably served his country in the United States Army, and was a Vietnam War veteran.
Gene was united in marriage to Burnett M. Chmielewski April 18, 1998.
Gene worked as a mechanic for local garages in Silver Lake. He also owned and operated Gene’s Towing.
He enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s athletic events, making firewood with his sons, and his morning coffee “clutch.”
Gene was a fireman for over 40 years. He was assistant fire chief for Silver Lake from 1986-1987; and served as fire chief from 1988-2011. He was also a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake.
Gene is survived by his loving wife, Burnett M. Wawrzyniak; children: Kyle (JoAnna) Wawrzyniak, Kelli (Jeff) Monahan, Kendra (Robby) Motzko, and Karl Wawrzyniak (Megan Kleve), Gordon (DeAnn) Chmielewski, Cory Chmielewski, Brenda Chmielewski (Bob Wraspir), and Jeff Chmielewski; grandchildren: Justin (Brittney) Wawrzyniak, Brianna and Ashley; Maddie, McKenna, Miah and Mylea; Evan and Owen; Jack, Mya and Abby, Tanner, Morgan and Christian; and Keijanna and Karsen; great-grandchildren Jeremiah, Macie, Dane, Bo and Luke; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward, Sophie and Bernice; great aunt and uncle, Ernest and Delphine Mallak; and a granddaughter, Mileka Sae Hall.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place Friday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake, with Father Paul Schumacher as the celebrant. Interment with military rites followed at Holy Family Cemetery.
There was visitation Thursday, March 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continued Friday morning, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the funeral home.
Casket bearers were JoDale Miska, Dale Kosek, Pete Swartzer, Frank Nowak, Lee Monahan, and Larry Prochaska.
The Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake served the family. Online condolences may be made to www.mareshfuneralhome.com