Our Dad, Edward L. Gnivecki, 93, formerly of Mishawaka and South Bend, passed away peacefully in the early morning of Saturday October 12th.
Dad was born in Mishawaka on January 25, 1926 to the late Perry P. and Victoria (Sayo) Gnivecki. He was preceded in death by his wife June (Stoner), brothers Henry, Louis and Stanley Gnivecki and Sisters Joann Gnivecki and Pauline Kwiatkowski.
Dad married Mom on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1953 in Mishawaka. Surviving are his Daughter Kathleen (Mark) Goepfrich, Son Patrick (Candy) Gnivecki, Grandson Kevin (Tracy) Gnivecki, Granddaughter Kelly (Andy) Kominowski, Great-Grandchildren William Jaquess, Kaylee and Ethan Edward Gnivecki, Mila June Kominowski, Special Niece Loret (Michael) Steinberg, Family Friend Donna Fonseca, Sisters in Law Loretta and Rosemarie Gnivecki, Laura Miller, Janet Culp and Lois Scott, Brother in Law Bill Scott, and several Nieces and Nephews.
Dad attended Kindergarten at Battell School, 1st thru 8th grades at Saint Monica’s School and Mishawaka High School. Dad left High School to join the US Navy and was a very proud veteran of both World War II and The Korean War, and served on the highly decorated Ship the USS Henry A. Wiley.
At 16 years old Dad was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion and enjoyed watching this sport his entire life. He was also a Gold and Silver Medal Winner in two Weight Lifting events of the Senior Olympics held in South Bend.
Dad’s greatest joy in life was being Grandpa to Kevin and Kelly and Great Grandpa to Will, Kaylee, Ethan and Mila. When Kevin and Kelly were in school, Dad never missed attending events they were involved in, he was their biggest supporter and cheerleader. Spending time with Kevin and Kelly was Dad’s biggest joy no matter what they were doing, playing games, playing poker, doing homework, picking apples, watching movies, they always had a great time together. Dad also enjoyed attending his Great Grandkids events such as their birthday parties and sporting events.
Dad was especially proud of his Son Patrick following in his footsteps by becoming a Mishawaka Firefighter and when Grandson Kevin joined the Mishawaka Fire Department, Dad was there for Kevin’s swearing in. Dad was also proud of Kathleen and her long time career and accomplishments in the insurance industry. Another very proud moment for Dad was when Kelly
Graduated from IU, the first in our family to graduate from college and of course he was there for her graduation ceremony.
A testament to being wonderful grandparents is that Kevin and Kelly both chose to give their children middle names after Dad and Mom. Kevin’s Son Ethan Edward and Kelly’s Daughter Mila June.
Over his life Dad had a wide variety of hobbies and talents which included cooking, playing the saxophone, playing the harmonica, singing, playing word games, solving difficult crossword puzzles, standing on his hands, walking on his hands up and down stairs, swimming, diving, fishing, weight lifting, watching classic movies, Cubs Baseball, Notre Dame Football, collecting and selling baseball cards and other sports memorabilia.
After his service in the Navy, he also served his City by joining the Mishawaka Fire Department, retiring after 21 years of service, achieving the rank of Assistant Chief.
From the Fire Station, Dad went on to work at Wheelabrator-Frye as a Security Guard, working his way up to Chief of Security Guards until Wheelabrator-Frye closed. Dad liked to say that he was the last one out, that he locked the door when they closed.
Besides being devoted Grandparents, Dad and Mom spent their retirement years traveling by car throughout the Midwest and Southern United States. Mom said Dad planned the best trips. The only time they flew in a plane for a vacation was to visit Kathleen when she lived in Anchorage, Alaska in the late 1970s, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
Our Dad was a great teacher, he taught us how to ride bikes, to drive, to give change, to solve math problems, to play cards and board games, to make and follow a household budget, and the importance of saving money. As we became adults, he was always there to lend a helping hand, he was someone you could go to with a problem and ask for his suggestions in how to solve it.
Many thanks from our family to Dr. Janet Galanes for many years of her gentle care and respect she showed our Dad. Also thank you to the staff at Hamilton Grove Assisted Living and East Unit Nursing Home for their loving care and assistance with a special thank you to Renee Meyers.
Visitation will be held on Thursday October 17, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm in Hahn Funeral Home 505 W. 8th Street Mishawaka, with a sharing of memories of DAD. Service to be held at 7:30 pm that evening. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday October 18th at 10:00 am in St. Monica’s Catholic Church Mishawaka with Rev. Jacob Meyer Officiating burial will follow in St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park Cemetery Granger. VFW Post 360 / American Legion Post 191 burial squad will conduct Military Rites. Memorial Contributions may be made in his honor to “Hoosier Burn Camp P.O. Box 233 BATTLE Ground, IN 47920
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