Estelle (‘Stell’) H. Lewinski, 91, of N17045 Co. Rd 551, Wilson, Michigan – passed away at home, peacefully and without pain – on Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, 2015, after a long and courageous fight with cancer.
She was born in Perronville, MI on Nov. 22, 1923, the daughter of Stanley and Julia Wienckowski. She married Henry F. (Hank) Lewinski of Chicago, on Nov. 27, 1946. She attended school in Perronville.
After her life on the farm in Perronville, during tough, depression-era times, and absent the loving presence of her mother Julia, who passed away when Estelle was still young, she moved to Chicago in the early 1940’s – during the difficult years of WWII. She work at various jobs (a true ‘Rosie the Riveter’), in support of the war effort, and met her future husband, Hank – marrying shortly after his return from the European theater of operations where he was a combat infantryman, earning two bronze battle stars for his participation in the infamous ‘Battle of the Bulge’. He preceded her in death in January of 2001.
She was employed at Motorola for many years, where she worked as a radio-repair girl, on special radio equipment for fire, police and other related public service departments. She earned several awards of recognition for suggestions and methods to improve the reliability of Motorola’s radio products.
After leaving Motorola, she worked for the Chicago Public School system for more than 20 years as an assistant cafeteria manager at Brian Piccolo Elementary School, retiring in 1992.
Upon retirement, she and her husband moved back into the Wilson area to enjoy time with their families, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors.
She enjoyed her family, particularly the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many, many nieces, nephews and others who affectionately and sincerely also referred to her as ‘aunt Stell’ or ‘grandma’. She was caring, giving, unselfish – and had a knack for knowing how to make things fun, out of little to nothing. She took the grandchildren on many cross-country trips and had them ‘up for the summer’ at their place here in Michigan, frequently. She was a talented gardener, cook, baker and crocheted many beautiful ‘afghan blankets’ for her family and friends. She loved playing ‘rummy tile’ with all who visited, and won more often than she lost. She liked playing slots and seeing an occasional show at the casino. She enjoyed the many visits by the ‘Around the Lakes’ (ATL) motorcycle group, who made ‘Breakfast at Grandma L’s’ a highlight to cap off their annual trip around lakes Michigan and Superior. She presided as ‘chief roaster extraordinaire’ over the Lewinski family annual Pig Roast – a tradition started by Hank and Estelle in the 1960’s, that carried on uninterrupted at her son and daughter-in-law, Chick & Diane’s – from 1975 thru 2012.
She was the loving mother of Robert ‘Chick’ (Diane) Lewinski of St. Charles, IL, and Stanley ‘Skip’ (Gladys) Lewinski of Wilson, Michigan. Devoted grandmother of Kurt (Susan), Brian (deceased) (Betty Becola), Christopher (Celeste), Michael (Michelle), Laura (James) Lewinski-Center, Jeff (Steiner), and Karen (Ken) Lacosse. Beloved great-grandmother of Henry, Ryan, AJ, Luke, Michael, Matthew, Kai, Gabi and Sophia.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; brothers, Robert, Kenneth, Marion, Victor, Louis, Florian, Walter (Emil) and Henry Wienckowski; sisters, Cecelia (Dragosz), Tillie and Violet (Jackson), and her beloved grandson Brian Lewinski. She is survived by her brothers, Ray (Lee), Tony, and Christopher (Dorothy); and sisters, Mona (Mavetz), Amelia (late Ray) Valzano and Gloria (Soulak).
Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 8th from 3pm to 7pm (EST) at the Crawford Funeral Chapel in Bark River, with a short service at the chapel at the conclusion of the viewing. A dinner buffet at the Island Resort & Casino in Harris, MI will be held immediately following the chapel services.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Lewinski family with arrangements.