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Martin Mowinski Martin Mowinski
In Memory of
Martin
Mowinski
1926 - 2018
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Obituary for Martin Mowinski

Martin  Mowinski
Martin Mowinski, 92, of Johnston City, Illinois, went to his Lord and Savior on December 25, 2018, at 2:15 p.m. Marty passed away suddenly at home. “Marty Darling,” as he liked to be called, was born in Chicago on November 6, 1926, to Walter and Anna (Rogus). He married Lorraine Polzin in Chicago and they were gifted with a son, Gregory, in October, 1949. He moved to Johnston City, Illinois, to begin the last chapter of his life with his son, Gregory, and daughter-in-law, Roberta Szymanowski, in May 2016.

Marty joined the Navy in February 1945 and served off the Philippine islands aboard the destroyer escort, USS Daickenko, APD-123, as a Fireman First Class manning the anti-aircraft guns as well as the boilers. His brother, Andy, was fighting on land in the Philippines at that same time, and he would say how he wished he could have seen him. Although his time in service was brief, he was extremely proud of service to his country, in addition to his looking quite the “handsome young man” in his uniform. He had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC in October 2017 along with 50 WWII and Korean War veterans as part of the Veterans Honor Flight accompanied by his daughter-in-law who had the honor and privilege of acting as his Guardian.

Marty was a very kind and generous man who loved to make people laugh. He was the youngest of 7 (known) brothers and sisters (5 brothers and 2 sisters), as well as a step brother to Frank Nietupski. As the youngest in a large family he quite reasonably grew up to be a bit of a prankster and quite the joker and spoke often of the trouble he got into with his sisters. He had many aunts, and uncles, nieces, and nephews, but he spent much of his childhood in the company of his step-niece, Delores Gruzynski (Nietupski) of Niles who was just a few years his junior. He was able, just two months before his passing, to travel to Niles to visit Delores after being separated for 45 years! It was a grand and tearful reunion and the years apart quickly faded as they relived all the fond memories. Delores brought together as much of the Gruzynski family as she was able to meet the eldest remaining member of the Mowinski clan. He was accompanied by his daughter-in-law who will always cherish the memory of seeing family reunited after such a long time and she is very grateful for the new family who embraced her as one of their own.

Marty loved animals of every species and was frequently to be found sitting on the porch of the Johnston City home watching the critters scamper and play and grapple with each other for the treats he would leave. It wasn’t unusual for him to come into the house quite excited and filled with stories of the critters he saw that day. Pipe or cigar in hand, either Princess I, his beloved Pomeranian (whom he lost in October 2018), or Princess II, also a Pomeranian, always by his side. Marty doted over both Princesses as well as all the other dogs and cats who shared his life in Chicago. After his move to southern Illinois he and Princess I were welcomed by 6 dogs (Hope, whom he nicknamed “3-Legger,” and with whom he was particularly fond, Selah and Bella “the Sausage Dogs,” Brynleigh “Big Guy,” and Murray, a Silkie, Marley, a Chihuahua, and Makanda, the cat, none of whom he ever managed to find a suitable nickname for). The house was always filled with sounds of joy, laughter, his cane thumping off the floor surface, barking, and the pups’ nails clicking.

Marty’s pastime was playing the instant scratch off lottery tickets, and he always had the best luck, although he would be quick to add that his luck improved after moving to southern Illinois! He was very creative and resourceful, always looking to build something from whatever he found discarded in the house. Cardboard, tape, wire and permanent markers were big favorites, and he would create custom-made containers and lidded boxes to serve every purpose. The house also had banks fashioned from bottles, jugs, or jars, and pads of paper galore that he crafted from cardboard and scrap paper. The neighbors were not to be left out as they would find a gift of a handmade pad of paper, a painted rock, or some other token of Marty’s affection in their mailboxes. If there was any kind of a problem around the house, Marty was sure to fashion a solution using whatever tools and materials that were available at that moment. One of his inventions of which he was most proud was his “Cigar Plucker” that was used to take the small butt out of the cigar holder without burning his fingers. He was also very proud to have brought the peanut butter and banana on toast sandwich to the world. His daughter-in-law carefully avoided mention that Elvis popularized this years earlier. He also fashioned his own canes from either tree branches or aluminum clothes rods and was quick to show them off, particularly to medical staff since he knew there would certainly be interest and appreciation. His daughter-in-law was delighted to have captured many special “Marty Moments” on Facebook. He never quite understood how he could have become a southern Illinois celebrity in his own right with many people knowing him that he had never met.

He was preceded in death by both parents, his wife and son, all his brothers and sisters, as well as his step-brother. He leaves behind his daughter-in-law and a great many nieces and nephews and step-nieces and nephews scattered throughout the world. He will be sorely missed by many.

In accordance with his wishes, Marty will be cremated with his ashes retained by his daughter-in-law to be scattered at a later date along with his son’s, daughter-in-law’s, and his beloved dogs. As he would say, “if a cinder blows in your eye, you know Marty passed by.” Memorials made be made to Project Hope Humane Society in Metropolis, Illinois, for the animals who filled his life with such joy, comfort, and meaning, or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of his love for children.
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