April 8, 1928 – May 9, 2023
Michael was born on April 8, 1928, in Lodz, Poland to Bronislaw and Helena Slawinski. As a young man Michael enjoyed swimming and kayaking near his family’s summer home in Sheratz, Poland. In 1939 after the German army invaded Poland, Michael went to live with his older brother in Krakow, Poland. In 1943 at the age of 15, Michael was forcibly conscripted in the German Army supply regiment in Russia. After escaping from the German supply regiment in 1944 he joined the polish underground army and fought bravely in the Battle of Warsaw. He was taken prisoner and transported to a POW camp. During the transportation to the POW camp via train he and many of his fellow Poles escaped when the train was attacked by a British spitfire plane. Michael and his fellow Poles made their way to Yugoslavia where they joined the Yugoslavian partisan army. He fought until the end of the war in May 1945. Michael was awarded a medal and a commendation for his service and participation in the Battle of Warsaw at the 50th anniversary in 1994 by the Polish government.
After the war Michael, immigrated to England where he completed his high school education and worked in a dental office. During his time in England, Michael learned how to ballroom dance which became a lifetime passion for him.
He then joined the Merchant Marines where he worked for several years before immigrating to the United States. During his time with the Merchant Marines Michael became a champion ping-pong player winning several Marine tournaments. He passed this talent on to his beloved children and made a ping-pong table in 1963 that still resides in the family home today.
In 1952, he immigrated United States after congress allowed Polish veterans to come to the United States. Michael married Florence Piarowski on February 4, 1954, and they resided in Chicago for 20 years before moving to Dyer, Indiana, where Michael has been a resident since 1974.
While working several jobs Michael attended Roosevelt Trade School in Chicago, Illinois, and became a diesel mechanic. He joined the IAMAW Mechanics Union Local 701 in Chicago on October 1, 1958, where he was a member in good standing until his death. Michael became shop steward and worked for improved pension, health benefits, and safety measures. Michael retired at the age of 63 in 1991 from Hertz Penske after 15 years. He worked as a diesel mechanic for 35 years including with Eastern Express for 17 years. Michael was also an inventor and received a patent from the U.S government at the age of 87 for his bidet invention.
He loved to write and tell stories to his family. He enjoyed dancing, ping-pong, and golf. He will be sorely missed by all his family who loved him dearly. We thank him for his service and being a great dad.
Michael is preceded in death by his mother and father, his older sister and two older brothers in Poland. Michael is survived by his former wife Florence Slawinski whom he loved and his oldest daughter Arleen Watkins (husband Robert), grandson Micah Currier (wife Chelsea) great-granddaughter Seeger and great-grandson Dashiell, granddaughter Anya Furano (husband Calvin) great-grandson Miles, and great-granddaughter Bianca. He is also survived by his second daughter Susan Slawinski. He is also survived by his son Robert Slawinski (wife Anne) and his granddaughter Gabrielle Tharp (husband Mitch), great-granddaughter Vera, grandson Robert Jr., and granddaughter Noel Lutes (husband Jacob). In addition he is survived by his companion and caregiver Susan Sanchez for several years with thanks and gratitude from his family. Also we express our thanks to White Oak Home Care and his caregivers Vonda, Angie, Crystal, and Brianna for their exceptional service.
Memorial visitation Wednesday, May 17, 2023, from 3 – 8 p.m. with a prayer service to be held at 6:30 p.m. at Smits Funeral Home 2121 Pleasant Springs Lane, Dyer, IN, with Deacon Gary Blue officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the American Legion appreciated. For further information, please contact 219-322-7300.
What an extraordinary life Mr Slawinski had. I did not know him….only from reading his obituary. There should be a book about his life’s tribulations and accomplishments. An exceptional human being.