Albert Zurawski, 91
Albert Zurawski, 91, of Plover, died peacefully at the Care Partners Assisted Living facility in Stevens Point, surrounded by family on Nov. 30, 2014.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Stevens Point. Burial will follow in the Guardian Angel Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM Wednesday, December 3rd at the Pisarski/Dzikoski Funeral Home in Stevens Point, with the rosary being recited at 7 PM and from 9:30 AM Thursday until the time of the services at the church.
Albert was born February 28, 1923 in Stevens Point, a son of the late Stephen and Helen (Zywicki) Zurawski. Albert was the youngest of 10 children, and the last surviving member of his family. He grew up on the family farm and entered the US Navy on May 18, 1944. He received the Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal. He was honorably discharged May 13, 1946 after serving in the Navy in the Pacific on an LCT (landing craft – tank).
Albert married Bette (Elizabeth Fredach) on Oct. 26, 1946 at St. Adalbert Catholic church in Rosholt. From there, the couple opened a root beer stand in Plover that eventually transformed into “Al & Bette’s Bar” (currently Post Road Pub). Though he never attended high school he was determined to provide his family comforts he himself had not experienced as a child. He had found a partner in Bette who not only played a major role in raising a family but helped him on the canned milk route and run the tavern as well. They were a team that benefitted from each other’s strength and fortitude when life presented challenges.
One of the biggest challenges was when their daughter Bonnie contracted diabetes at 13, and died at the young age of 47 due to its complications. His lack of mobility due to health complications had him confined mostly to his home but he did enjoy family events such as birthdays, weddings and holidays. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and had also served proudly in the Honor Squad for the American Legion at veteran’s funerals. Albert especially enjoyed when his son Mark would take him to the South Point Restaurant to eat on Sundays.
Besides being preceded in death by his daughter Bonnie, Albert lost Bette to a long struggle with Alzheimer’s on Nov. 26, 2008 and an infant son, Steven, who had died shortly after birth. Also preceding him in death were seven brothers: Peter, Barney, Alex, Nick, Ed, John and Felix and two sisters: Katherine (William) Weser and Clara (Edward) Marquard.
Albert is survived by four sons, Alan Zurawski of Stevens Point, Mark (Kathy) Zurawski of Plover. Kurt (Mary) of Custer, Kevin (Mary) Zurawski of Stevens Point; daughter-in-law, Debbie Zurawski; eleven grandchildren, Jennifer, Nicole (TJ) Wood, Blake, Aaron (Jennifer), Erika (William) Martinez, Adam (Amy) Zurawski, Matthew, Todd (Lindsey) Zurawski, Rebecca (Timothy) Clark, Jason, Nathan; great-grandchildren, Mateo, Ava, Yaritza, Alexis and an unborn great-grandchild due in May to Aaron and Jennifer Lynn Zurawski.He is also survived by sister in laws Regina Sieber, Jane Fredach, and Mary Ann Zurawski and many nieces and nephews.
The Zurawski family would especially like to thank Albert’s caretakers; Dawn, Joan, Inetta, Pat and Melody; who played an important role in allowing him to remain at home until a few month ago. Their kindness, love, and compassion provided great comfort to him and his family. They would also like to thank the staff at the Portage County Health Care Center and Care Partners, whom allowed the family to feel both confidence and comfort in the care that he had been provided at those facilities.