Obituary: Michael John Kawcak
Oct. 8, 1925 — Dec. 14, 2017
Lifelong Craig resident Michael John Kawcak was born on Oct. 8, 1925, to parents Paul “Panko” Kawcak and Julia (Biskup) Kawcak. He was the seventh of 16 children and grew up on the Kawcak Homestead near Elkhead Reservoir in Craig. Mike enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and would serve three years during World War II. He was a proud owner of the local Carter Extra Motor Oil Franchise, employee of Mountain Air Spray and worked many winters for local coal mines. Mike and his family focused much of their lives around farming. In 1976, he became a distributor of livestock equipment for the Big Valley Livestock Equipment Company. Then, in 1977, Mike bought Charles Rodger’s Grain Company. Mike would build a retail store next to the grain company and move his entire operation to 290 Ranney Street in 1978. M.J.K Sales and Feed, Inc. was officially established at this time.
Mike married Colleen Ogg on May 20, 1950. Colleen and Mike would have four children together; Lonnie Allen Kawcak, Kenneth James Kawcak, Patricia Ann Kawcak and Michael John Kawcak, Jr. On Dec. 25, 1987, Colleen passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Mike and Colleen enjoyed 37 incredible years of marriage together. Mike was a proud member of the local Elks Club and American Legion. He was also an avid fishermen and very hardworking individual. Mike would claim that he was never out-fished, though his sons and grandsons might disagree. One undeniable fact is that he was always a hardworking man and was always on the go. His family admired this about him. His family credits him with paving the way for them and shaping them into the people they are today.
Michael John Kawcak passed away peacefully on Dec. 14, 2017, at the age of 92, after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Memorial donations can be made to Sandrock Ridge Care Center “for resident activities and a healthy living environment,” in care of Grant Mortuary, Craig.
Mike is survived by sons Kenneth (Michelle) Kawcak and Mike Jr. (Susie) Kawcak; daughter-in-law Lorraine Kawcak; grandsons Blaine (Kelsey) Kawcak, Justin (Ashley) Kawcak, Blake Kawcak (Tyshanna Jo Martin), and Clayton (Miranda) Kawcak; great-grandsons Brogan Allen Kawcak and John Jason Kawcak; sister Eva (Leonard) Robertson; brothers Paul Kawcak, Daniel Kawcak, Ivan (Regina) Kawcak, and Bob Kawcak; and numerous other family members and friends.
Mike is preceded in death by his wife, Colleen Kawcak; infant daughter Patricia Kawcak; son Lonnie Kawcak; grandson Jason Kawcak; father Paul “Panko” Kawcak; mother Julia Kawcak; sisters Mary Eva Spring, Anna Kawchack, Helen Hannah, Julia Zulian, Alice Van Tassel and Janet Lopez; brothers Steve Kawchack, Joseph Kawcak, Nickolas Kawcak and Thomas Kawcak; and numerous other family members and friends.
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.