John A. Grabowski, 84, passed away on Saturday, November 21, 2020 fulfilling his final wish to die at home with loved ones at his side.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 29, 1936 to Estelle and Victor Grabowski. After graduating from Our Lady of Consolation Elementary School in Williamsburg, John’s family moved to Maspeth in Queens and he attended Grover Cleveland High School. He was very active in the All-City Chorus performing the lead in his high school’s production of Finian’s Rainbow. He graduated from St. John’s University in 1958 with a degree in Business Administration and was a member of Phi Delta Epsilon Fraternity.
John served with the US Army in Japan at the end of the Korean Conflict and while Vietnam was gearing up.
It was in Japan, that John married his sweetheart and best friend Elizabeth (Liz) Backiel. When he returned stateside John worked at Good Humor Ice Cream Company. The young family moved to North Bellmore on Long Island where the children attended school and John studied and received his Master’s in Business Administration from Long Island University. John’s career moves took him to Memphis, Tennessee with the Schlitz Brewing Company; Baltimore, Maryland with PepsiCo; Chicago, Illinois with Pepsi Cola General Bottlers and his final stop in Louisville, Kentucky with Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
John and Liz settled in Crestwood, Kentucky and loved their home among the rolling hills of the Bluegrass State. John always told the story of how, when he was asked by his four children, “Where is our home?” He would reply, “Wherever we buy cemetery plots.” So Kentucky became home for the Grabowski Family. John leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Liz; his four children and their spouses; Elizabeth Clare Taylor (Leonard), Julia Marie Smith (Scott), John Adelbert Grabowski, II (Suzana) of Houston, Texas and Emilia Arlene (Angie) Felty (George); and three grandchildren; Alexis Jeanne Taylor, MaryAnn Victoria Smith and Jessica Alexandra Smith. He leaves behind his brother, Eugene and Cousins; Edward Grabowski (Geraldine), Victor Leskowitz and Justine Preiser; and numerous adoring nieces and nephews.
John was active in the Girl Scouts of America when his girls were scouts and Boy Scouts of America when his son was a scout. His pride exploded when his son became the youngest Eagle Scout in Chickasaw Council. In Kentucky John was active in the Optimist Club, the Knights of Columbus, Boys and Girls Club, served as an usher in his church and worked the annual picnic for many years. John was also a Kentucky Colonel.
Husband, father and grandfather (Dziadzi) were his favorite titles. His children loved him and his grandchildren enjoyed his quiet and gentle humor. We will never forget his loving smile and quick “I love you”-s.
A Drive-By Visitation will be at Stoess Funeral Home in Crestwood, Kentucky on Sunday, the 29th from 1pm to 4pm. Funeral Mass will be on Monday, the 30th at 11am at St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley. A live stream will be available on the church’s FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/staloysius) and video to follow on their YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/mountmercy212/videos). Interment is to follow in Floydsburg Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Sacred Heart Academy, 3177 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40206 or Mass of the Air, 1200 South Shelby Street, Louisville, KY 40203.
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