Richard J. Gronowski

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Richard J. Gronowski

October 08, 2018

Richard Joseph Gronowski transitioned from this life to eternal life on Oct. 8, 2018. With Richard, what you saw is what you got, there was no pretense about him. He had a wonderful dry sense of humor, was unabashedly Republican, pro-life and lived long enough to see Judge Kavanaugh become Associate Justice Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court and to vote by way of absentee ballot.
In his 81 years, he experienced traveling around the world as a member of the U.S. Air Force for 21 years. While in Vietnam he helped to keep the jets flying and in doing so inhaled both toxic fuel and Agent Orange which were two contributing factors which caused Pulmonary Fibrosis which took his life.
Richard loved serving in the military and fell in love with London where his taste for old things became a passion. After retirement, he became an avid member of the Ebay Society, buying and selling both large and small items including toys, magazines and miniature trains.
My brother had an uncanny gift of being able to discern a treasure from junk and was brutally honest and blunt with those who would take advantage of others who knew next to nothing about their treasures. He was an honest guy and fair in his dealings one on one, over the internet or with other dealers. He believed in karma.
In the most difficult of times Richard's faith gave him strength. He loved his Catholic religion in which he was reared in spite of her flaws, bumps and bruises. Often he would say: "I was baptized a Catholic and I will die a Catholic", and he did. It's difficult to estimate the number of Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses who heard him utter that sentence as they knocked on his door, but were always greeted with respect for their personal beliefs. He listened, but always remained firm in his Catholic faith. Hours before his death we talked about heaven. We both gave our versions of what we thought heaven would be like and I'm quite certain we were both wrong, for no mind can imagine what God has ready for us. However, his one hope was that he would never have to hear another "My Pillow" advertisement. For Richard the question of heaven has been resolved, for the rest of us, we live in faith, in the words of Scripture and our own imaginations.
When Richard was unable to attend weekly Mass at St. Francis Church, he would say: "I went to daily Mass with mom for years, and I think the Lord understands." Indeed the Lord does as he welcomed him into eternal life. Now it is catch-up time with those who have gone before him. So many hugs kisses for Matka (Tillie) his mom; his dad, Matthew; brother, Robert and his wife Linda; grandparents, school buddies, friends from the military and those he met on life's journey. Heaven is forever and it will take forever to experience all the joys prepared for those who die loving the Lord. Richard has died and he loved the Lord.
Those temporarily remaining in this world are his brother, Rev. Ronald Gronowski; three nieces and their families, Gayle (T.J.) Higgins, Judy (Matt) Kollmorgan and Heather (Robert) Dawson; along with many good friends especially the guys from Kurtz Car Stereo, neighbors from Manitou Woods and Glen Eagle where he resided, and his newly made friends from Munson Medical Center.
During his hospital stay he would sing the praises of the techs, nurses, residents, doctors and even phlebotomists who were so gentle. Munson staff all received a five star rating without exception. Finally, Richard gives thanks to Deacon Rene Hoenscheid and the Eucharist Ministers who brought him the Body and Blood of Jesus daily, food for his journey.
"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." Richard's body will be cremated and one day will be reunited with his soul.
A celebration of his life will take place next summer when family and friends will gather to give thanks, remember, laugh and rejoice for their brother in the Lord, Richard Gronowski. At his request music from Bob Dylan and Enya, his favorite artists will be incorporated along with military honors and of course his Catholic liturgy.
Richard's last words to us are those of a Saint: "Rejoice with me and be glad, for I have taken my place with all the saints in the Kingdom of Light."
Published on October 9, 2018
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3 posts

Cindy
Oct 12, 2018
Richard was one of my favorite Veterans!! I have had some great conversations with him. Rest in peace, my friend
Fr. Robert Nalley
Oct 10, 2018
Fr. Ron, Becasue of your beautiful reflections, saying "I'm sorry for your loss" or "condolences" would not be appropriate. The faith expressed demands .... demands a faith filled response affirming your and Richard's faith. "The Battle's over, the Fight is done, NOW is the Victor's Triumph Won" .... Alleluia.
Bob
Helen
Oct 09, 2018
Dear Fr. Ron.. we are sending our sincere sympathy and prayers to you . It was so great to talk to him on Sunday nite and 8 hours later he got his wings. HE WAS SO READY TO GO TO HEAVEN ..may he RIP Love Helen and Pooja Botschka Newaygo, Mi.