John W. “Jack” Lewandowski, age 91, of Norwood Young America passed away Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Center in Waconia.
John was born July 22, 1929, in Hale Township, Cokato, the son of John and Clara (Pawlak) Lewandowski.
John was baptized July 23, 1929, at St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church in Silver Lake. His sponsors were Edward Lewandowski and Joan Jurek. He was also confirmed at St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church in Silver Lake.
John lived in Hale Township and worked on the family farm until he left for the Army, in 1953. He served within “Company K 5th Regiment Combat Team,” during the Korean War. He travelled to Japan and throughout Korea, spending two winters in the mountains of Korea, including many days on the DMZ Line. Winters were brutely cold and unforgiving, freezing both his hands and feet.
John suffered a chest wound, spending a month and a half on the hospital ship, USS Haven, in Inchon Harbor. Given the choice to return home, he finished his tour and was honorably discharged, in 1955.
After the war, he found work where he could, as jobs were scarce for veterans returning home. John was united in marriage to Dorothy Ann Miller at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in Renville, June 5, 1956 .
In 1958, John started working at Pioneer Telephone, now known as CenturyLink. He worked at CenturyLink until he retired in 1991, after 33 years of dedicated service and being one of the first, if not the first, in Minnesota to work with fiber optic cable.
Upon retirement, John could be found at Midtown Family Restaurant early in the morning, where he enjoyed coffee and conversation. Often, he travelled to Arizona for the winter, visiting a few sites and casinos along the way.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, playing cards, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. He was also a taxidermist, a skill he learned quickly.
John was a long-time member of the American Legion Post 343, and Knights of Columbus at Ascension Catholic Church.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Brenda Merriman; son-in-law, Chuck Kerzman; an infant son; parents, John and Clara Lewandowski; brothers, Leonard (Delores) Lewandowski, Phil (Mildred) Lewandowski; sisters, Delphine (Ed) Kaczmarek, Antoinette (Marceal) LaMott; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Victor (Armella) Miller; sister-in-law, Shirley Vorlicek; brothers-in-law, Robert V. Miller, Clarence Pulkrabek, Joseph Hayek; nephew, Mark Hayek; and niece, Janelle Wertish.
John is survived by his loving family: daughter, LuAnn Kerzman of Norwood Young America; son-in-law, Michael Merriman of Delano; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Darlene Hayek of Danube, Marie Pulkrabek of Fargo, ND, Henry “Hank” Vorlicek of Silver Lake, Mary Miller of Renville; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
A Mass of Christian burial took place Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m. at Church of the Ascension in Norwood Young America, with Father Abraham George as celebrant, and with interment in Ascension Catholic Cemetery. Visitation took place one hour prior to the Mass at church Tuesday.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia, 952-442-2121, www.johnsonfh.com.