Celebrating the life of Leonard Joseph Ciskowski
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Leonard was a hard worker and started young by helping his father at construction sites and then at age 12 installing the fence posts at what was the Wauconda Apple Orchard. His passion for aircraft and aircraft propeller was sparked by Arthur Mueller when he started work as a delivery driver for him at his propeller shop. Leonard later took over the business renamed as Whirlwind Propeller and moved it to Gurnee, Illinois. He then transitioned to owning and operating another aircraft propeller repair business in Kenosha, Wisconsin called Midwest Propeller. After a brief hiatus successfully selling real estate in Minocqua, Wisconsin, he moved to Florida for a few years and worked in an aircraft propeller shop in Lakeland, Florida before moving to work with Mark Mathews at Memphis Propeller in Memphis, Tennessee.
Leonard married Andrea (Knudten) on July 30, 1982. Their first child, Erica Marie Ciskowski (Gray) was born on September 29, 1984 and she was followed by three sons; Thomas William Ciskowski born May 2, 1987, Joseph Matthew Ciskowski born on March 15, 1991, and Michael Trevalyn Ciskowski born December 14, 1994.
During his time in Florida, Leonard was able to be present for the birth of his first grandchild, Britney Marie Gray (Erica and Ethan). Britney was followed by Barrett Leonard Ciskowski (Thomas Ciskowski and Stephanie Thompson), Caitlin Gray (Erica and Ethan), and Oakely Brian Ciskowski (Thomas Ciskowski and Stephanie Thompson). Like his own children, his grandchildren became the lights in his life.
Leonard was a family man through and through. He worked hard to provide the best life possible for his wife and their three children. The child inside of him always came out as he enjoyed taking his family on multiple summer camping trips to Jellystone Park in Wisconsin Dells (he called it “Yogi Bear Park”), trips to the zoo, Six Flags Great America, train rides to downtown Chicago to visit museums and the Sears Tower Skydeck, and one of his favorites - Walt Disney World. Leonard loved camping and adventure and experiencing new things and witnessing the world through the eyes of his children and later his grandchildren. His children and grandchildren were everything to him. He always emphasized the importance of family.
Leonard’s retirement dream was to move to Florida and drive a monorail at the Walt Disney World Resort. His favorite event was the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Whenever he was in Florida he wanted to go to Walt Disney World. The week before his passing he rented a house in Florida where all of his children and grandchildren gathered. Together they were able to visit SeaWorld and Gatorland, play at parks, swim in the pool, catch a movie, celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve, and have family dinners during a post-Christmas trip to Florida. It was the first time the entire family had been together with all of the grandchildren. Everybody was surrounded by love the entire week.
Leonard was a devoted husband to his wife Andrea. His dedication to her as a spouse and friend ran deep. His love for her will last into eternity as he waits for her with our Father in Heaven. Her care and comfort were his paramount concern. His love for Andrea never faltered and he set an excellent example of marriage for his children by always loving and respecting his wife and providing a secure, stable, and loving home in which to raise children.
Leonard was charitable, hospitable, accepting, and determined. He usually wore cotton polo shirts and rarely t-shirts, but the one t-shirt one he held onto for years pictures a pelican attempting to eat a frog, and the frog is reaching its legs out, clutching the throat of the pelican and the shirt reads “Never EVER give up.” No matter what came his way, Leonard saw it as a challenge that he would overcome.
He is survived by his loving wife Andrea Ciskowski (Knudten), his four children Erica Gray (Ethan), Thomas Ciskowski, Joseph Ciskowski, and Michael Ciskowski; his mother Helene Cramm; brothers Robert Ciskowski (Kaye) and William Ciskowski (Kelly) and his four grandchildren Britney Gray, Caitlin Gray, Barrett Ciskowski, and Oakley Ciskowski in addition to numerous cousins and friends.
In Heaven he joined his father Thomas Ciskowski, step-father Robert Cramm and sister Christine McLain (Ciskowski).
Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Society, 1632 Sycamore View Rd., Memphis, TN 38134. (901) 379-0861