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1949 David 2022

David W. Grzelak

November 5, 1949 — December 26, 2022

Davenport, Barrington

David William Grzelak passed away peacefully at home December 26, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.  He was born November 5, 1949 in Erie, PA to Edward and Christina Grzelak and grew up in Lawrence Park, PA. He graduated from Iroquois High School and was inducted into the Legends of Iroquois Hall of Fame. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1971. Dave worked at GE Transportation Systems for 20 years, during which time he earned his MBA from Gannon University. In 1991, Dave and Diane moved their family to Chicago to begin Dave’s career with Komatsu where he advanced to Chairman and CEO, serving as the longest standing CEO of Komatsu North America.

Dave’s excellence was celebrated throughout his life including induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame for tennis at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College and reception of Penn State’s Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award.  He was also honored as a Penn State Behrend Alumni Fellow and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Gannon.

Dave’s service to his profession continued into retirement with his service on several boards including Alamo Group, Sun Hydraulics (now Helios), STET Advisory Board, and Penn State Leonard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education.

While Dave's success stems from the value of hard work instilled in him by his parents, they also taught him the value and importance of family. His family was always his top priority.  He adored his wife and cherished time with his children, grandchildren, and extended family.  Dave was a man of great faith with a positive outlook on life, a contagious laugh, and a heart of gold.  These attributes were easily noted by all who met him.  Dave enjoyed his world travels, loved meeting new people, and had a passion for tennis.  He played competitively in tournaments, became a USPTA certified teaching pro, and took pleasure in sharing his passion with friends and family.  And of course, it would be remiss of us if we failed to mention his unwavering love for all things Penn State!!

Dave is survived by his wife of 43 years, Diane; children, Michael (fiance Renee) Grzelak of Elgin, IL and Meghan (Liam) Dwyer of Lewisburg, PA; grandchildren, Talia, Ainslie, and Rowan Grzelak and Mason and Melody Dwyer; sister, Linda (Rick) Graziani; sisters-in-law, Norma Rumberger and Diane “Dee” Grzelak; nieces, Jackie and Lacey Rumberger, Kristen Pecar McGill, Pamela Kuhar, Paula Cathone, and Paige Estrada; and many great nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Edward Grzelak, Jr.; niece, Penny Reeves; and mother-in-law, Arleen Helsel.

Visitation will be 4-8pm, Friday December 30 at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 149 W. Main St. (Lake Cook Road) Barrington. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11am Saturday. December 31 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 33 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich.  There will be visitation at the church from 10am until the time of the mass.  Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Barrington. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund will be established at Penn State University in Dave's honor.  Checks can be made payable to the Dave Grzelak Fund, PSU-Behrend Attn: Kevin Moore, 4215 Station Road, Erie, PA 16563.

Please call the funeral home at 847-550-4221 for a local florist for same day flower deliveries.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David W. Grzelak, please visit our flower store.


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