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Robert Warzel

Obituary for Robert Warzel

November 6, 1943 - December 16, 2020
Broadview Heights, Ohio | Age 77


Robert "Bob" Warzel, age 77. Beloved husband of Patricia Warzel for 56 wonderful years. Father of Debra (Jeff) Krasuna, Scott (Tracey) Warzel, Laura (Mark) Puente, and Matthew (Jamie) Warzel. Caring grandfather of Kevin, Keith, Cory, Ryan, Zak, Nikki, Jessica, and Augustus and great-grandfather of Brooklynn and Ashton. Dear brother of Ronald Warzel and Ardys Vegas. Cherished son of the late John and Ann Warzel. Loved by his pup Clancy. Passed away December 16, 2020. Donations may be forwarded to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, 15500 South Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110. Private family services with cremation and interment at Hope Memorial Gardens. 440.842.7800

A letter of remembrance from Bob's dear wife, Pat.

Let me tell you about my Bob.
How we met; our life together and the love we shared.
If you were lucky to know him then you knew him.
He was a kind man; humble and not boastful.
If he wasn't working he was with his family; every breath he took he took for us.
Everything he did was for his family; he did it with love and dignity; he never disappointed.
He worked more than any man should but he did it for us.
How we met was pure chance; a rainy summer in 1961 cancelled the St. Charles (Parma, OH) annual carnival held every June. The carnival was rescheduled in August. My cousin, Nancy, lived with us at the time. Her and I were walking up to the carnival when we had to stop at the stoplight on Ridge/Snow Road. A 1939 black Ford had a bunch of guys in it and they waved and beeped the horn. We thought it was someone we knew so we waved, crossed the street and never gave it another thought. At the carnival a group of guys started chatting with us. Seems it was the guys from the black Ford. I told Nancy we should move on because they were dressed a bit weird. Wore plaid Bermuda shorts (very fashionable at the time) but had on calf-length black socks with black dress shoes. When you are a teen the "look" is everything and these guys didn't have it! Seems they had been out on Lake Erie fishing and their sneakers and socks got wet so they put on their "church" clothes they had in the car. That's right, they were supposed to go to church with the envelope their mother's gave them but they went fishing instead. So anyway, Nancy stopped and talked and I moved on. Well, she ended up dating Don and eventually marrying him. When he picked her up for a date he would tell me his best friend, Bob, wanted to call me for a date. After 1 month I agreed and that's the way it all began. He would pick me up in his 1956 Bronze/Cream Bel-Air Chevy convertible. Our dates pretty much included a round of miniature golf and Manner's Big Boy. He would always bring me a small gift; blue or green nail polish, a gold bracelet or a stuffed animal. Our entire life he would love to buy me gifts.
We were kids when we married. We grew up and grew old together. He watched and learned from others on how to be a good husband and father. His role models were his father, his brother and his uncles. We did our best and all-in-all we thought we did a pretty good job. As you all know, kid's don't come with a manual on raising them. You just plow through and do your best each and every day.
His dad taught him how to make the best chicken noodle soup, the best scrambled eggs and bacon and how to put on a killer clambake. And, don't forget the "speck" to cook on the coals while the clambake is steaming. Put that greasy good dripping on a nice piece of rye bread and it's tasting heaven. Each and every morning since Bob retired in 2006 he would make us breakfast if he was able to.
As a kid and as an adult the Westside Market was his stomping ground not only for the good food but his aunts lived right around the corner so they knew it well. He would pick up his mother with his 1956 convertible on the corner of 25th Street to bring her and the goodies home. He did that weekly as a teen. My Uncle Ollie had a stand there and Bob would drop by on a Friday after work to help him take the produce down to the refrigerated lockers at the end of the day.
He enjoyed playing baseball in his youth and was very good at it.
As a kid living on W. 14th Street off Schaaf Rd they had a group of guys that was everything you can imagine it was like growing up post war in the 1950's. The shenanigans and stories he would tell would just make us all laugh till we cried. Baseball from sunup to sundown and fishing Ohio (yep, even the Blue Hole - that being illegal but the story is so funny). He was the leader of the pack and I was his girl and loved it.
As an adult he was on various softball leagues in CLE and also baseball teams.
As a young family we would follow in tow, sit in the bleachers and cheer.
He took that passion and taught his children the sport.
He had them understand you always strive to be your best in your sport.
You leave it all on the field; He always did. All you had to do was look at his gnarly hands from all the beating they took in that baseball mitt and probably all the spikes that he slammed into while sliding into base.
He coached for many years the girls' softball Yellow Team at Mooney Park in Brunswick, OH
Minor team and Major team. Had a few World Series wins.
He coached the boys' minor league baseball team when our boys played.
He always taught teamwork and good sportsmanship.
He, for a while, played flag-football when we were a young family with small babies. The neighborhood guys got together and formed a team. Seemed like a good idea till they played somewhere in Parma and a semi-pro team showed up on the roster. Yeah, that game sent one of the guys to the hospital and Bob-o with another broken finger. The wives kinda dismantled that idea.
Football and the Browns and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Those were his teams; win or lose. He was an avid fan through thick and thin. He was at the 1964 National Football League Championship Game held December 27 at the Cleveland Stadium. He held that game near and dear since it was the last championship won by the Browns. We would go to the games on Sundays, Nana would watch the kids, we'd sit in the bleachers (no dog pound then), drink spiked tea his uncles would bring and that was his best day of the week....watching his Browns. Years later we had season tickets on the 50 yd. line but then Modell sold the team, Bob was pissed and never went to another game at the old stadium.
He was an Ignatius Wildcat Fan also during Matt's years at Iggy. He loved the game and especially the out-of-town trips the team would make all the way from Toledo to Cincy to Philly. The parent's bus was something I'm pretty sure the coaches weren't too happy with but Bob sure enjoyed the ruckus we would have on the bus and at the hotels.
Then there was his bowling! As a young engaged couple and a young married couple we were on a league with my aunts and uncles at the Bradnan's. When we started our family I no longer was a bowler but he then joined a couple of men's league at Bradnan's. He wasn't the best bowler but he was competitive. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the team. When he said he needed two different balls (for whatever reason a bowler decides that) I not only purchased another ball but bought the bowling ball bag that you can put two balls in. Not a good idea. If you've been to Bradnan's you know you have to walk about 20 steps down into the bowling center. Problem is you also have to walk 20 steps up. After bowling he came home with his new two-ball bag and announced from now on he would rent a locker at the lanes to save himself from getting a hernia with that new two-ball bag. I guess it wasn't such a good birthday present!
He enjoyed deer and pheasant hunting also. He would travel to Nebraska/Iowa with his childhood buddies for pheasant hunting. Those fowl morsels were on the Thanksgiving menu. As for deer hunting, he went year after year with his buddies and Scott. Score: Bambi 20 Bob 0. I really think he went for the peace and quiet and hectic pace of life. He told me he would fall asleep under the trees.
Now Canadian fishing was another whole world for Bob. As a kid he would make the annual trip with his neighbors, the Adams, up to Camp Ohio in Lake Nippissing, Ontario. The cabins had no running water or heat or electric but the fishing for walleye and pike was amazing. Same time each year and the same people from all over would meet up. We went up for a week on our honeymoon. Bob was suppose to rent the only "new" cabin that had water, heat and a bathroom. It didn't work out that way, we were in the original cabins with no amenities. Quite a shock for a bride with lingerie and just having left the 1964 NY Worlds Fair. A contrast between the two weeks of our honeymoon to say the least. When we arrived at the camp the same people he knew year after year were there and we had the best time ever. We continued to go to Camp OH for many years with our friends. Bob's folks would watch our little ones and it was a respite for us both. He was working in his tool-die apprenticeship and had a second job and I was at home with 3 lil' ones under the age of 4 so Camp OH was a touchstone for us for many years.
He taught his sons how to fish and he would take them up to Rochester, NY for a salmon fishing weekend. I can't recall how many times they flew into the Boundary Waters of Canada and MN. Get dropped off and rough it for a week in the wilderness; fish all day; drink around the campfire; watch the Aurora Borealis in the wee hours of the morning. His last trip was in 2015 and Scott and Matt made sure he enjoyed it. That same summer he wanted me to do something with the granddaughters so off us girl's went to Rome and Paris......grandpa wanted them to have a good memory.
He was self-taught at putting in swimming pools (in the ground type). When we lived in Brunswick he installed one for the kids. The day we filled it our kids and all the neighborhood kids with their towels stood on the edge of the pool waiting with anticipation to jump in. Rule was Bob was to make the first dive. And, needless to say, 8 feet of fresh water isn't exactly warm! But, our champ dove in, came up blue and the crowd cheered! We always had a ton of kids at the house swimming and he loved every minute of it. When we moved to Medina he put in another pool. This time he had more help with Scott and Matt and the offensive line of St. Iggy (gave them kids some summer work money). He would come home from working at GM after putting in a 12 hour day in a 104 degree plant and just dive in and float. He deserved those evening moments.
He built our dream home in Medina. What he couldn't do he hired out the contractors. We found a woodmill in Medina, Mr. Zacharias. He harvested his oak trees, milled them and sold the lumber. He and Bob became good friends. We bought 1600 sq. ft of oak flooring, all the wood trim for the doors and he milled a beautiful mantel for the fireplace. Bob taught me how to use a Forstner bit on his drill press and I drilled 4 holes in each piece of wood. He laid that flooring till the wee hours of the morning while still working 12 hours at GM. I pounded in the black walnut pegs that Mr. Z milled and then Bob shaved each one down. He was so proud of all the work he did in our home and rightly so.
We worked as a team and always supported each other. When we had 3 teens and a toddler and I announced I was going to nursing school he just jumped right in and we got it done.....together.
And then there was camping. I refuse to stay in a tent. My idea of camping is a toilet, running warm/cold water, a tv, a microwave, a stove, a furnace, an AC and a warm, dry bed. Our progression went like this: 16 ft, 26 ft and then 21 ft. all fully loaded with everything to keep me cozy and warm in the mountains and cool in the summer. Over the years we did most of the National Parks from Oregon to Maine and everything in between and south. His favorites were Yellowstone (we did that 3 times). He loved going to the meadow at 6PM and the buffalo would be crossing into their night area. They would brush up against the SUV, snort on the windows and he got such a kick out of it. He thought the most beautiful park was Yosemite. He said Tunnel View in Yosemite is where God lives.
In 1999 we took the 5 grandson's (ages 5-11) camping out west to the parks. Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Tetons were the highlights. Las Vegas, Wall Drug, the Corn Palace and any other tourist trap we passed we would stop at. The fun and memories we have from those 2 weeks just made our hearts they say it was a once in a lifetime adventure.
The last 10 years we were able to go to Europe every year. Baltic Cruise, Mediterranean Cruise and a private tour of Slovakia for 2 weeks. He so enjoyed the cherry vodka in St.. Petersburg, Russia. He enjoyed my grandmother's village in Caccamo, Sicily and said he wanted to return for a sausage festival. In Slovakia he met family in the village of Osikov where Schwager immigrated from at the age of 14 in 1912. Bob couldn't get over the mountains and the views in the village, he kept saying "This is what my father saw every day". As I said before, put Bob on a bus with a destination and a few bottles of Slivovice and he is full of joy and fun! We sat in the back of the bus with the 5 sister's from Tennessee, he called them the Lady Vol's. He hiked up the castle with Greg and saw a model in Bratislava with Bernie. We made life-long friends on our Slovak tour. What a blessing.
Speaking of the grands. Forever and ever he loved going to Bag-A-Sweet Candy. He started going in early 1960's when it was just a little store on Brookpark Rd. Now it's huge! He would buy all the old-time candy for the kid's Christmas stockings and Easter Basket. He got a kick out of the candy cigarettes cause you could "puff" them and a smokey puff would come out. He so wanted to take our newest grand, Gus, but sadly he can't. He wants Matt to take him and let him pick out any candy he wants and tell him it's from Grandpa.
His health over the last 20 years has been a rough one. Diabetes ravaged his body. In 2009 is when he received his transplanted kidney but within a few weeks they had to remove the transplanted organ because it came loaded with cancer cells. Chemo to follow then q 6 month PET scans so we could be sure the kidney cancer cells from the transplant didn't infiltrate his body. Following that was a massive hernia operation from all the scaring. Later in 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and he took care of me for 9 months of chemo, radiation and surgeries. We were indeed a team that always pulled in the same direction. Who led was the one who could pull the most weight for the situation. That is how you get through 56 years.
2017 is the beginning of his biggest challenges. 4 amputations on left leg, hyperbaric chamber, wound care, cardiac failure requiring ICD device, kidney failure requiring temporary dialysis. He learned how to walk on a prosthetic leg but still needed a walker for safety. More doctor visits, therapy, hospitalizations, PICC line infusions....on and on. He never complained, ever.
It was at that time we decided to move back to OH in 2019. We settled in, enjoyed our first autumn back and did the OH things we all enjoy in the fall. His right foot began to give him problems. He did the wound care and hyperbaric chamber but it didn't help. He was hospitalized so many times in 2020 starting with New Years Day and then in the spring he had half his right foot removed. By June the struggles really began for him and he was bedridden from that point on. IV ATB for infection, more doctor visits. By his birthday in November he had to be hospitalized as his heart had weakened, he had multiple cardiac vessel blockage and his kidney's were struggling. He spent two weeks at CCF-Main, had multiple procedures and he said he had never felt so sick and tired. He couldn't tolerate the dialysis. We came home and he tried to do outpatient dialysis. But, he didn't tolerate it. We spoke for an hour on a virtual call with our long-time family physician and with his explanations of our options we decided to no longer pursue the dialysis. We called hospice and started the service in our home.
Our new parish is Mother of Sorrows in Peninsula. Father John has been over to the house and given him the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation and Eucharist. Bob has always been a quiet Catholic; prays and keeps his faith close to his heart. When he was first on this journey of failing health in 1998 he had a healing service by Dr. Nemeh at St. Mary's Chapel on St. Ignatius Campus. This is how Bob has survived, fought and won on his handling of the disease and what got him through it. It was a 20 year battle. He tells every doctor his story on his healing and the strength it gave him.
I started to journal all this when we opted for hospice. It is now December 16th. He passed at 7:30 AM today. He did struggle to end his journey, and as Bob always did, he left it all on the field. We kept him comfortable and tended to his every need. Our home was filled with love and calmness so he felt us all around him. The household has changed. Matt/Jamie and Gus have settled in. Scott and Tracey and Jess come after work. Jamie and Tracey keeping us well-fed. Our sons and daughter-in-laws have been a blessing. Gus keeps our spirits up, the antics of a 2 1/2 year old and their view of the world is so much fun. As sick as he was he still blew Gus a kiss each night. It is a comfort to him to see his grandchildren. Jess and Gus are the youngest of the grands.
He was the best husband, the best dad, the best granddad, the best human. He was one of the good guys.
I'll love you forever, Bob. We'll meet up again.......

All services are private.

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