Paul J. Rogawski, of Crystal Lake, IL, (formerly of Elmwood Park, IL and El Paso, TX) passed away peacefully in his home on August 8, 2021. He was preceded in death by Alicia, the love of his life and his wife of 65 years. Paul is survived by his children, Ronald (Karen) Rogawski, Mark Rogawski, Annette (Kevin) Miller, and Elaine (James) Pontone. He was “Papa” to his beloved grandchildren, Jessica, Veronica and Rachel Rogawski, Brandon and Marissa Miller, and Maya, Cleo, Lana and Carter Pontone.
Paul served in the Air Force during the Korean War from 1951-1955. He was stationed in various locations, including Guam, London and ultimately El Paso, TX. While stationed at Biggs Army Airfield located at Fort Bliss military base, he met Alicia and grew to love the people, desert and culture as much as she did. Upon his discharge, the two moved back to Chicago where they settled in Elmwood Park and raised their family.
Paul was employed by the Chicago Tribune as a photoengraver from 1963 until 1992. He loved working at the Tribune Tower and looked forward to giving tours and explanations of the behind-the-scenes operations for field trips.
Paul had many hobbies and interests and was active in numerous activities throughout his life. He was a member of the Holy Name Society at St. Celestine’s Church as well as a Lector at the 9:15 am mass for years. He helped with the annual Pancake breakfast, Parish picnic and participated in the Showboat performances that were produced every year. He had many wonderful memories of performing with his wife and close friends.
The son of John and Anna and the younger brother of Chester and Raymond, Paul was extremely proud of his Polish heritage. He loved to share traditions with family and friends. Oplatki at Christmas and the blessing of Easter baskets as well as Polish cuisine at holidays were de rigueur.
Very much a lover of the outdoors, Paul served as a Boy Scout leader and enjoyed many camping and fishing trips with his family, friends, nephews and brothers. He loved anything water related as evidenced by his many boats over the years and his membership in the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club. Paul always looked forward to smelt fishing at the harbor in the spring, and it was more special when it coincided with his birthday. Always wanting to try something new, he took scuba lessons at the local YMCA and would go ice diving in Wisconsin in the dead of winter!
Dad was fiercely patriotic and dutifully attended to his flag pole and the flags that were raised. He loved the Fourth of July and rode a motorcycle as an Elmwood Park parade marshal for many years. This past Fourth of July he actively cheered along the parade route and cruised alongside in his motorized scooter.
One of Paul’s bucket list items was to attend an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with other veterans. Even though his health presented challenges, he was determined to make this goal a reality. He attended Lake County Honor Flight #16 on August 17-18, 2019. The trip was very special to him and proved to be a trip he truly treasured.
Paul will be remembered for his determination, devotion to Mom, love of family and church, generosity and humor. He remained a very social person, maintaining contact with friends throughout the country via email, phone calls and texts. He was in the habit of starting each day by saying “Good morning, world” before asking Alexa for a joke that he could forward to family and friends. He was a very proud man who always wanted to call the shots and not to burden anyone. One of his favorite phrases was, “I’ve got it all figured out!”
A funeral Mass will be held to celebrate both Paul’s and Alicia’s lives at 10 am on November 6, 2021, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located at 451 West Terra Cotta Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL. A zoom link will be posted here the morning of the service to join in if you are unable to attend in person.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: Lake County Honor Flight .
To send flowers to Paul's family, please visit our floral store.