Sunday, July 18, 2010

Memories of Walter Kmiec

June 24, 2010
The best thing about Grandpa was his enthusiasm. He was a people person, and a teller of great tales. His love of life was infectious. People immediately recognized his charm and goodwill, and they responded to him with kindnesses of their own. I knew Grandpa when he was retired, so I saw his enthusiasm directed towards golf, fishing, dining out, the Cubs, swimming in the Blue Pool, and stories about playing minor league baseball and flying fighter planes. But most of all, I saw that enthusiasm directed towards his wife and best friend -- Grandma Bea. My own love of the Cubs (and golf, and Grandma, of course) is no coincidence -- Grandpa was a magnetic personality, and it was impossible not to join him in the things he loved. So it's also no coincidence his grandchildren share his love of people and life in general. Thanks for that and everything else, Grandpa. You will be missed.
Keenan Kmiec,
Los Angeles, California
June 24, 2010

You can't lose Why? Because you have Faith, Courage, and Enthusiasm! This embodied who Grandpa was throughout his life. One who never gave up, even when the love of his life exited this world early. He still kept that same smile, smirk, and with until the end.I had the pleasure of seeing Grandpa during his last week on earth and though the disease had its firm grasp on Grandpa, he still found a way to smile, laugh, and get frustrated with the Cubs losing. I wouldn't trade those few days for anything in the world, not even 100 straight World Series wins from the Cubs.His personality was infectious, his stories were enthralling, and his heart was larger than life. I liked to think that I picked up a few these qualities just by having a birthday one day next to his.He is now re-united with his counterpart where I'm sure Bea is cooking some great meal while Grandpa now looks over from above the legacy he left behind in such a wonderful family.Always in my heart.Love Kiley
Kiley Kmiec,
Playa Del Rey, California
June 14, 2010

My Dear Uncle WallyWhere do I begin....Sometime in my forties.Yes, Uncle Wally was always my Uncle, but with him living in Tampa, and me in Chicago, the distance kept us close, only at appropriate times. We would exchange Christmas, and Easter cards with notes and a few telephone conversations. Sometime in my forties email became a part of Uncle Wally's life, that is the time that our relationship blossomed. We began to communicate on a regular basis, we would pass jokes, updates on our daily life, we became email buddies. Uncle Wally would advise me on everything, in his usual loving, yet grounded way. I saved all of Uncle Wally's emails, they contain his humor, his words of advice, from my boyfriends who he called "deaf, dumb and blind", because they didn"t appreciate his niece, to his advice on "having a plane fly along Lake Michigan with a banner" advertising my real esate business. With the invention of the cell phone and free long distance calls, we would often talk too. Sometimes when I would walk along Lake Michigan, with my friend Anna Kozlowski, we would call Uncle Wally and pass the phone back and forth to listen to his words of wisdom, story telling, or even a history lesson about our home town Chicago. Anna's deceased father and my dear deceased father would often talk about a guy named Joe Podsodewokim, and somehow in our conversation Uncle Wally mentioned Joe's name. Anna almost fell over in shock when she heard Uncle Wally mention that name. She asked "Uncle Wally, how do you know Joe Podsidewokim"? With that, Uncle Wally began to explain the story, the legend of Joe Podsidewokim.Uncle Wally and I over the "middle years" of my life, developed such a caring and loving relationship, he became a true part of my adult life. My friends would oftern ask,"how is Uncle Wally"? When my dear father passed away, Uncle Wally came for his funeral and spent time with me and my mother, his sister. It was a difficult time in which Uncle Wally, as usual, made the time pass with interesting stories about life, his inventions and opinions, he always had a solution. We laughed about his stay, because every time we would pack him up to head for the airport, due to the snow, his flight would cancel. His three day stay turned into three weeks. It was almost like God was telling him to stay a little longer, he was needed.I will miss my Bucktown Kid, his words of wisdom, his dating and business advice, his laughter, his Faith Hope and Enthusiasm!He would often say or write:Dear God, Please make my ears big and strong, so I could listen to Wally, all the day long!Uncle Wally, I'm still listening, and I know that at certain times in my future years, I will hear you!With All My Love,Your NieceMary
Mary Gordon,
Chicago, Illinois

June 01, 2010
faith, courage, and enthusiasm....Grandpa was an incredible human being and one of, if not the most positive person I have ever met. There was no one with better stories to share and I wish I got to hear more. However, I'm sure he's cheering us all on from Heaven with Grandma Bea.
Kloe Kmiec
May 30, 2010

Dad was a Rockwell character, right out of one of those expressive tell-a thousand=stories=with=just=a=look paintings. If you sat in the room with him, whether it was 1973 or 2010, you wanted to study his face & body language to figure out what he was thinking & his next move you. He was a big man, but as graceful on his feet as any Dancing With the Stars winner. And that was just half of his charm. When he took to the stage with his stories he had your attention in a second. He was teaching and telling you something, most often, as amusing Hemmingway. You never knew where it was going or how it would end, but believe me, you smiled and stood there with amazement. Was he pulling your leg or recounting his dreams or the world's demons that were real? His imagination, ingenuity and great big wonderful heart will never be far from me. I'll miss and remember you always, dad and thank you everyday for all that you gave us, especially the gift of your sons. Now go tell mom some stories, she's been waiting for you forever.

Love, Carol
Carol Kmiec,
Malibu, California

May 26, 2010
Doug,I was sorry to read about the death of your dad. It's always difficult to lose a parent, no matter how elderly or ill they might be. I hope your dad had an "easy" death, and be confident that he now enjoys fullness of new life in our Lord!I sympathize with you and your family, but I rejoice with him. He has "finished the race."

Fraternally,Br. Konrad, FSC
Konrad Diebold,
Chicago, Illinois

May 24, 2010
Dear Doug and Warren, My sincerest sympathies on the loss of your dad. I have fond memories of him and your mom so long ago on Dakin Street. I have a particular memory of your dad taking us to St. Hedwig's on a Holy Saturday to have our Easter Baskets blessed. May he rest in peace.

Pat Grimes

May 23, 2010
Warren and Douglas,I was sorry to read of your Dad's passing. He was a wonderful man who I very much respected. He always gave me the benefit of the doubt when others wouldn't.

Your Dad is in a better place.

Jack Terretta