Suzanne "Sue" M.
Although her journey ended much too soon, Suzanne “Sue” Sakwinski made a significant impact in the lives of those around her. She was selfless in everything she did, even when engaged in the fight for her life. With unending devotion to her family, Sue was blessed to share much of her life with her true companion and loved her daughter more than anything in the world. Successful in a rewarding career, she also served those within the community she loved. Truly remarkable in every way, Sue will be deeply missed while her memory remains a lasting treasure in the hearts and lives of all who were within her reach.
The decade of the 1950s was a colorful time in American history when we were going places we had never been. Civil rights gained momentum when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus while the Korean Conflict raged overseas. The first United States satellite was sent into space, and by the end of the decade we welcomed Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1954 that was filled with unspeakable joy for Stanley J. and Emerence L. (Polczynski) Sajdak as they celebrated the birth of their healthy baby girl on February 27th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Suzanne was the younger of two children in her family and was raised in the family home alongside her brother, Jim.
In many ways, Sue, as she was most often known, experienced an upbringing that was filled with numerous positive experiences that greatly shaped the woman she became. Her parents were successful business people who founded Stan’s Bootery. Sue enjoyed dancing and performed in numerous dance recitals, and she also developed a love for art and was an avid reader. Times spent together as a family were always times that Sue treasured, and she looked forward to family vacations in Door County, which were moments that she considered priceless throughout her life. She attended Our Lady Queen of Peace during her elementary years, and she graduated from St. Mary’s Academy High School. A firm believer in education, Sue graduated with a bachelor degree from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, majoring in sociology and journalism. She later attended the Patricia Stevens School of Beauty Culture and received a certificate in fashion merchandising.
Throughout her working days Sue was an integral part of the Sajdak family business, Stan’s Bootery, which would later be called Stan’s Fit Your Feet and grew to consist of five stores. She held various office responsibilities, working beside her brother for 33 years. Sue was highly loved and appreciated by her coworkers, and she was known as the company meteorologist who kept everyone informed of the changing weather. This allowed her to not only ensure that everyone would be safe, but that they would also have an idea of how the weather may affect their sales.
Life was forever changed for Sue when she met the man of her dreams. His name was Gregory Sakwinski, and they met while she was attending her parents’ 30th wedding anniversary celebration at Alexander’s Restaurant. Sparks flew right from the start, and with a desire to build a life together Sue and Greg were married on May 17, 1980, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Milwaukee. They made their home in Greendale, a community she absolutely loved, and Sue was active in supporting Greendale in a variety of ways. On March 31, 1984, Sue and Greg were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Crystalyn. There was nothing she loved more than being a mother, and it was no secret that she loved her daughter more than anything. Later in life she welcomed her son-in-law, Zachary Leonard, into the family with open arms. They got along great, and Sue enjoyed his sense of humor that always had her giggling.
The things Sue enjoyed most over the years were things that were shared with her family and friends. Because she and her brother saw each other every day for 33 years through work, their families were very close with one another. They enjoyed vacationing in Door County together in addition to celebrating holidays or having barbeques. Holidays were always special times to Sue, and she loved using the variety of arts and crafts that she made to decorate her home in new and unique ways. Whether Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, Sue’s home was always a sight to see, and she did plenty of entertaining. Every event she was a part of was always carefully planned with meticulous notes that laid everything out. As her family and friends can attest, Sue’s Christmas cookies were legendary, and her cooking skills were equally fantastic. Priceless memories were made in Door County alongside family and friends where Sue particularly enjoyed Lake Michigan, taking in art galleries, restaurants, and shopping, shopping, and more shopping. As a crafty person with her own creative flair, Sue enjoyed painting and also made jewelry. Birdwatching, meteorology, and making her house a home were additional interests that kept her busy.
Sue and her loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of 2013. She fought the disease courageously with everything she had, but the fight was too much for her to overcome.
Thoughtful, loving, and genuine, Suzanne “Sue” Sakwinski was a blessing to those around her. She effortlessly thought of others ahead of herself and treasured her family each and every day. Sue was a constant presence in the lives of her extended family members and was genuinely concerned with what was going on in their lives. A dear woman to many, she will be deeply missed and forever remembered.
Suzanne “Sue” Sakwinski died on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Sue’s family includes her husband, Gregory; daughter, Crystalyn (Zachary) Leonard; brother, James (Susan) Sajdak; nephews and niece, Andy (Natalie), David (Vesper), Megan, and Ben (Paula) Sajdak; in-laws, Brian and Jane Leonard; and other relatives in addition to dear friends, Eileen and Jeff Depka, Jeanne and Don Lovas, and Sandy and Bob Grosz. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 8, 2014, from 4:30 p.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass at 7:00 p.m. at St. Alphonsus, 6060 W. Loomis Rd. Greendale. Private Entombment Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials can be made to Make-A-Wish, Pius XI Art Department, or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Home, Suminski / Weiss 414-276-5122, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.
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