Joseph  Janik


The earthly life of Joseph Janik that began in Siekierczyna, Poland, on March 18, 1927 came to its peaceful and godly completion on May 10, 2019. He was transported home following a short hospital stay, and when he arrived to his beloved home in Cedar he was told, "Joe, you're home." He smiled and said, "Good!" and calmly closed his eyes. He spent his last few days surrounded by family and friends and played one last game of cards shortly before passing.
His life's biography is divided into three chapters. The first chapter, his childhood through early adulthood, began in Poland, where Joe was born shortly after the end of World War I as the youngest son to Wawrzyniec and Stanislawa (Kadziolka) Janik. He was preceded in birth and death by three brothers, Stanislaw, Jan and Wladislaw, and one sister, Antonia. His teenage years were spent surviving the ravages of World War II. He clearly remembered many painful experiences that Poland suffered during that time. After the conclusion of World War II, he served two years, 1947 and 1948, in the Polish Army. His life completely changed when he met a beautiful young lady, Irena Lis, who survives. They were married on July 9, 1955, in Kanina, Poland. Their son, Czeslaw "Chet," was born in 1957 and daughter, Grazyna "Gloria" was born in 1960. Both survive.
The second chapter, his immigration and career, began in 1959 when his namesake, Uncle Joe Janik, from Cedar, returned to visit family in Poland for the first time since his departure in 1910. On this trip, the elder Joe asked his youngest nephew, Joe, if he would consider emigrating from Poland to Michigan. It was an extremely difficult time in Poland and the promise of a beautiful and plentiful farm offered a hopeful future. Joe and Irene made the faithful decision to leave family, friends and all their belongings and move to the magical land of America with their two young children. On Oct. 22, 1961, with $20 in their pockets and unable to speak a word of English, they arrived in Cedar. Life was very challenging the first couple of years. Joe and Irene took odd jobs to make ends meet, including picking cherries and working on a chicken farm. Life improved when in 1964 they proudly bought their own home in Cedar, and Joe got a great job at Munson Medical Center. He enjoyed working there for nine years until he took a maintenance position with Sheffer Collet Manufacturing, where he worked for 21 years, retiring in 1993. In addition to their jobs, Joe and Irene also purchased three adjacent homes in Cedar as rental properties. The area in now congenially known as "Janik's Corner." In 1997, after both were retired, Joe and Irene purchased a condo in Cape Coral, Florida, and spent every winter enjoying the warmer weather, entertaining family and friends, and making many close friends with fellow "snow birds" from the Midwest and Canada.
"Family" titles the third chapter of Joe's biography. He loved his family. They spent much quality time together. Throughout their lives, he supported and encouraged his children in their education. Education was very important to Joe and Irene, as neither one of them was able to get an education beyond elementary school due to World War II. There was no doubt in their minds that their children had to be well educated and complete college degrees. They were proud parents when both children received college degrees and had successful careers in education and engineering.
Joe and Irene also had the privilege of watching both of their children get married at Holy Rosary Church in Cedar, Gloria to John Lyon in 1981 and Chet to Jane Schmidt in 1984. However, their proudest and most enjoyable years were spent interacting with their seven grandchildren, Claire (Kyler) Hudson, Joel (Amber) Janik, Bethany Janik, Christopher Lyon, Matthew (Shannon) Lyon, Daniel (Katie) Lyon and Ariel Lyon. Joe also became a proud great-grandfather to Sophia Marie and John Thomas Lyon. All of them survive.
The Janik family feels truly blessed to have "Grandpa Joe" with us for all these years and cherish their many memories. He survived serious health issues in 1995, 2009 and 2016 and proudly witnessed the college graduation of all seven of his grandkids, the marriage of four grandchildren, the birth of two great-grandchildren and the celebration of 63 years of marriage to Irene.
Joe was always active in the community, including the Cedar Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus and Holy Rosary Church. He loved the Cedar Polka Festival, where he could be found serving beer and, of course, twirling on the dance floor. He was a man of strong Catholic faith, and we are convinced when the Lord greets Joe in Heaven he will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Visitation is at Holy Rosary Church in Cedar on Sunday, May 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. with a rosary recitation at 7 p.m. Lifelong neighbor and friend, the Reverend Kenneth Stachnik, will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial Monday, May 20, at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10 a.m., at Holy Rosary Church.
Donations in Joe's memory may be made to Holy Rosary Church or to Munson's Cowell Cancer Center, specified for children.
The family is being cared for and served by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
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Published on May 14, 2019
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3 posts

David and Donna Finch
Jun 05, 2019
We just found this website where we could leave a memory. Sorry it’s so late. We sure enjoyed having you and Joe over for dinner in April before you left to go back to Cedar. We sure had a great night. Joe had a cocktail and ate good and we had a good night of card playing. A time we will always remember.
Schally (Gatzke)mauk
May 14, 2019
I am so sorry for the lose of joe. He was like a dad to me in my early years as a neighbor. What a wonderful man. I do believe that when joe arrived in heaven. God was impressed with his all around kindness and love of all of God’s blessing. We are all blessed for him
Kay Sattler
May 14, 2019
Joe along with Irene were very special neighbors to Carroll and for many years...I am so blessed to call them my "special friends"
Joe will be missed by myself and so many others. He is in God's safe arms now....Rest In Peace Joe...