A creature of habit, one could count on Chuck Ceralo to be in the mix at Brewed each morning for a few cups of coffee and good conversation. He was also a main fixture at Three Holy Women Parish at St. Hedwig’s Church where he was involved with the Hospitality Gathering each Friday morning. A mainstay at Pitch’s Restaurant, he enjoyed getting together there with friends for a little socializing and good times. Most importantly, Chuck loved being surrounded by people and getting involved. He was always willing to help others, and in turn, it was a joy to have him as company. Dearly missed, he will be fondly remembered as his seat remains empty at the landmark places for which he gathered so frequently with friends.
1943 was a time of mixed blessings. Although the Great Depression was finally declared over, citizens throughout the nation came together during the tumultuous times of World War II. For Joseph and Marion (Pokrzywinski) Ceralo, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the future looked bright as they welcomed the birth of their son, Charles Joseph, born on April 25, 1943. The oldest of two children in the Ceralo household, Chuck later welcomed younger sister, Mary Ann when he was six years old. His family made their home on Milwaukee’s Eastside where Chuck attended Bartlett Avenue Grade School. A typical young boy for the times, he enjoyed great adventures and found his share of mischief, too.
Life as Chuck and his family knew it became very difficult when his mother sadly died. Chuck was ten years old, and his little sister was merely four. They went to live with their “Polish Grandma”, Sophie Pokrzywinski, who helped raise them. Chuck enjoyed baseball and music, yet the mischievous ways of his younger youth soon found him getting into more serious trouble. He was once even kicked out of class for flying paper airplanes at his teacher! He attended Riverside High School, but never made it to graduation, as he had plans for joining the military. In 1960, he served for a brief time in the U.S. Navy.
Chuck went to work for Bostrom Manufacturing, and later at the Bay Shore Shopping Center as a janitor. In time, he retired due to health issues. He remained living on the Eastside of the city, making a home for himself at the Cambridge Apartments. There he enjoyed community with fellow residents. After developing more health issues, he struggled with his heart and diabetes, and in 2007 suffered a stroke. Over the last seven years of Chuck’s life, his family was ever grateful for the care, support and concern Brenda Buchannan afforded him. At the age of 69, Charles J. Ceralo died at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital on Friday, May 18, 2012.
Chuck was preceded in death by Sophie Pokrzywinski, his “Polish Grandma”. He was a loving brother to Mary Ann (Larry) LaViolette; dear cousin of Karen (Bob) Wiza and Jim (Ken Lassa) Wanta. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Visitation will take place Thursday, May 24, 2012 at Suminski Family Life Story Funeral Home, 1901 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee from 10:00 AM until the time of his funeral service at 11:00 AM. Interment at Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory of Chuck and to sign his online guest book.
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