Gerald Gajewski was a man of great strength, integrity, and character who took each day and made it his own. He valiantly fought for his country during a time of need while selflessly setting his own plans and dreams aside for a time. Gerald worked hard throughout his life, yet found time to enjoy his journey along the way. He leaves behind a colorful tapestry of memories that will be forever cherished by those whose hearts and lives he touched.
The twenties were a vibrant time in America as our nation’s emergence from WWI as a world leader along with advancements in technology fueled expansion within the industrial and business sectors. Prosperity was the dominant force during this time and it was in 1922 that the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated, over 500 commercial radio stations were in operation, and the first United States Aircraft Carrier, the USS Langley, was commissioned. This was an exciting time for the family of Stanley and Sally (Jankowski) Gajewski as they welcomed the birth of their son, Gerald, on October 23rd. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gerald was the middle of three sons including his older brother Edmund and his younger brother Donald. The prosperity of the twenties gave way to the hardships of the thirties as the Great Depression blanketed our nation throughout the entire decade and beyond. Families did whatever they could to survive and learning to make due with meager resources became a way of life that greatly affected the lives of those who lived during this unprecedented time.
For his education, Gerald attended local schools and graduated from high school in the early forties. He continued his education at Marquette University located in Milwaukee. After he was one-and-a-half years into his college career, Gerald entered the United States Army. WWII had been raging on overseas since Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, but it wasn’t until the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, that America became engaged. Gerald fought in New Guinea during the war.
Life was forever changed for Gerald when he met the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. She was from Clintonville, located in the central region of the state, and her name was Joyce Link. After dating for a time, the couple was married in 1950. They settled in Milwaukee where he worked as a book binder. The couple was thrilled when they were blessed with the births of two daughters, Ann and Nora.
Later in life, there were both peaks and valleys in Gerald’s life. He was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved wife in 2000. Gerald remained a lifelong resident of Milwaukee until he relocated to Madison in 2005.
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Gerald Gajewski brought so much joy to those around him. He answered the call to serve his country and worked hard to support the family he shared with the love of his life for 50 years. Gerald was a hard worker, a dedicated family man, and a true patriot who will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
Gerald V. Gajewski died at the HospiceCare Center in Madison, WI on Friday, June 25, 2010. Gerald’s family includes daughters, Ann (Dan) Powell of Madison and Nora (Len) Sanculi of Denver, Colorado; brother, Donald (Katie) Gajewski of Shawano WI; grandsons, Brad (Kelly), Eric (Krystal), Danny, grand-daughter, Niki, and six great-grandchildren. Gerald was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce in 2000, toddler son, Tommy in the early 1950’s, and older brother, Edmund. Visit with Gerald’s family and friends on Tues, June 29th at 9 a.m. at St Dennis Catholic Church, 413 Dempsey Road in Madison, WI , followed by Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Inturment Services 2:15 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7301 W. Nash St. in Milwaukee (please stop in at office for directions to the appropriate chapel). Please visit www.lifstorynet.com where you can leave a favorite memory or photo, sign the online guestbook, or make a memorial contribution to HospiceCare Foundation, 5395 E. Cheryl Pkwy, Madison WI 53711. Arrangements provided by Suminski Family Funeral Home, 414-276-5122.