John Thomas Pawielski
May 3, 1918 — Nov. 3, 2018
John Thomas Pawielski, 100, died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning of Nov. 3, 2018. He passed at home surrounded by his loved ones.
John was born on May 3, 1918, in Munising, Michigan, to Polish immigrants Stanley and Blanche (Chmielewski) Pawielski. He attended Sacred Heart School in Munising. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and helped supply his 10 siblings and parents with food, when possible, during the Depression Era. He then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and did forestry projects during WWII in the Upper Peninsula. After the war, John joined the Michigan State Police, retiring in 1965 in Niles. John was a “by the book” cop but used common sense a lot to help people when “The Book” was not right.
John married Wanda Vinkemulder on Feb. 12, 1945, in Grand Rapids. Wanda preceded him in death on Nov. 29, 1974.
John then met Peggy Kolberg of Hinchman, Michigan, and were companions for 35 years. They enjoyed traveling in Northern Michigan and collecting lots of beach glass. At home, they fed birds and enjoyed their beautiful flowers.
In their later years, they enjoyed watching TV. John was a big Lions, Tigers and U of M fan, where he worked traffic and crowd control at the “Big House” in the 1940s. He and Peggy were also avid Cubs fans and listened to country music almost daily.
John is survived by his longtime companion, Peggy Kolberg; sons Bruce and Barry (Lori) Pawielski; grandchildren, Christopher (Keri) Pawielski, Andrew (Spenser) Pawielski, Todd (Nikki) Pawielski, Sarah Pawielski, Scott Klotz, Andrew Medlin and David Medlin, great-grandchildren; Myla, Ella, Bennett, and Archie Pawielski and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Wanda, his parents and siblings; Tom, Anthony, Joe, Edward and Chester Pawielski, Jenny Carlson, Sophie Miller, Adeline Baldwin, Justine Johnson and Cecilia Schuck.
The family would also like to thank Hospice at Home and the home care health givers as well as John’s neighbors. Special thanks to granddaughter Nikki Pawielski who helped John more than anyone on a daily basis.
Visitation for John will be Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception 219 S. State St. Niles. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. in the church. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. A celebration meal will follow the burial at the church hall.
Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services 615 E. Main St. Niles is assisting the family.
Memorials in John’s name may be made to Hospice at Home lakelandhealth.org/caring-circle/hospice-at-home-cares/hospice-at-home-cares.
Condolence to the family can be made at halbritterwickens.com