John Michael Okrzesik, 81, of La Porte, IN passed from this life on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at Northwest Hospital La Porte.
John was born March 25, 1939, in La Porte, Indiana, to Frank and Rosalie (Cebrat) Okrzesik. John was the youngest of seven children.
John is survived by his cherished wife, Shirley (Jones) Okrzesik, loving children, Pamela (Phil) Miller of La Porte; Gregory (Vickie) Okrzesik of Atlanta, GA; and Regina (Gary) Kriadis of Sanibel, FL; and grandchildren Amber, Jeremy and Matthew Noel; Haley (Jeremy) Gazerro; and Gregory and Alexandra Kriadis, all of whom he was immeasurably proud.
He was proud of his Polish heritage and took great pride in being an amphibious reconnaissance Marine Corps veteran. His proudest achievement was marrying his wife Shirley on June 25, 1960, whom he still referred to as his bride after nearly 61 years of marriage.
John retired from Modine Manufacturing Company after 39 years of service, where he served as President of their union. After retirement he never slowed down; he was always working on home projects out of his love for Shirley.
Family was the pivotal essence of John’s life. He was proud and honored to be the Patriarch, Father, and Grandfather of a very loving family. Fondly referred to as “Unkie”, he has been a major presence in the lives of nieces, nephews, extended family and many good friends.
He was always intellectually ahead of his time and a forward thinker. John was fascinated by astronomy and eagerly followed celestial events. Another love of his life was music of all genres; and he entertained family and friends while strumming his guitar and singing around a summer’s eve outdoor fire. He loved pinochle club, mushroom hunting, fishing and all things nature.
John was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important. He had an acute awareness of the importance of a life lived with the ones you love over any material possession. John cared about people in the purest way. He loved them for who they were and always wished the best for them.
John was a member of First United Methodist Church in La Porte. He had a long-standing relationship with God and was very blessed with his faith to his dying breath.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joseph, Walter (Barbara), and Frank (Margaret) Okrzesik; and sisters Margie (Ralph) Cannan, Helen (Amel) Draves and Virginia (Elbert) Harness.
His family would like to thank all the health care professionals for their great care in the last years of his life; and are sincerely grateful to the wonderful staff at Northwest Health, Duneland Dialysis; especially Dr. Brady and his nurse, Sky for their comfort, compassion and care for him in his last days.
John will be remembered for his ever-present smile and the warmth, depth and intelligence behind it. Most of all we will remember the sheer pleasure of being in his company, how good he made us feel, how free we were to be ourselves around him, and how much we will all miss him. Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven watching over us.
Family and friends are invited to attend his services which will be held at Haverstock Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 19th from 11:00am to 1:00pm followed by a memorial service. Military Honors will be presented with burial in Oak Grove Cemetery.
The service will be “Live Streamed” on the Haverstock Funeral Home Facebook page.