James J. Preczewski
A Mass of Christian burial was held March 13 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, with Father Rolando Silva officiating.
He was born Jan. 30, 1934, in Detroit, to Joseph and Anna (Zitny) Preczewski. The fifth of seven siblings and the youngest son, he was called “Jimbo” in his younger days.
He attended St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Hazel Park as a youngster and was a graduate of the first graduating class of Fitzgerald High School in Warren. He began his 44-year automotive career with General Motors as a tool and die maker for Fisher Body at the Hastings & Piquette Avenue Plant, then retired as a product engineer for Chevrolet at the Warren Tech Center.
On June 11, 1955, he married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Stolarski. In 1956, Uncle Sam insisted he have a brief stint in the U.S. Army. He was a private first class and one of his duties was bartender in the Officers Club even though he did not even drink beer.
Mr. Preczewski enjoyed the outdoors, camping and traveling around the U.S.A. and he was an avid hunter. He loved playing baseball and at one time envisioned himself being a professional ball player. The ever consummate athlete, he joined bowling leagues, golf leagues and walked three miles a day before his illness.
He was proud that he was able to walk the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk for the past six years.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a board member of the Lake James Homeowners Association. One of his duties was posting information on the association “billboards.’” He enjoyed adding quotes or bits of humor. One of his favorite quotes: “The scenery never changes unless you’re the lead dog.”
He was extremely proud of the fact that he was a 40-gallon American Red Cross blood donor and encouraged everyone to be a blood donor.
Preceding him in death were his parents, two sisters and one brother.
Besides his wife of 61 years, Lorraine, survivors include their four children, Lori (Alfred) Ulman, Andrew Preczewski, Janice (Edward) Frederick and Keith Preczewski; four grandchildren, James Frederick, Lynn Frederick, Timm Preczewski and Jacob Preczewski; two great-grandchildren; brothers, Ed and Joseph Preczewski; sister, Alice Seiner; and 18 nieces and nephews.
The family expressed its appreciation to the staff at Munson Manor in Traverse City, as well as Kristina, Stacey, Carol and Holly of Munson Hospice for their care and concern. Family members are also appreciative to “guardian angel” Al Walker for his devout friendship and advice, as well as Kathy Walker, Frank and Dorothy Yakes, Mary Wakeen, Pastulas, Krunitzers, the parishioners of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and the many friends who supported Mr. and Mrs. Preczewski during the most trying time of their lives. Throughout the debilitating disease, Mr. Preczewski retained his sense of humor and playful flirtations with his family, friends and his healthcare staff.
The family also expressed its gratitude for those who visited, made phone calls, sent gifts, prayed or brought over dinners and their kindness and generosity.
Memorial donations may be sent to Munson Hospice of Grayling, 1105 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684, www.munsonhealthcare.org, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitals in Memphis, TN, or Capuchin Monastery, Mt. Elliott, Detroit.
Christler Funeral Home, Prudenville Chapel, handled the arrangements.