Fort Logan National Cemetery, Shelter "B" Monday, March 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm 3698 So. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO
Fort Logan National Cemetery, Shelter "B" Monday, March 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm 3698 So. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO
Last Updated: 02/10/2015
Last Review: 02/10/2015
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Thank you all for being here today. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Taras Jaroslaw Czajkowski, or as Walter called me, "Jerr". If you have not met me I look forward to meeting you after the service. I would like to share with you Walter's story.
Walter "Walt" Czajkowski began life in a small town in Germany named Bad Reichenhall on December 24, 1950.Born to Anna Bojko and Stephan Czajkiwskyj. He was the second of 3 children (older sister Lesia nd myself). Our father passed in 1962, sister Lesia in 1973 and mother in 2010.
Our family moved to the USA in March of 1957. Walt was 6 at that time, and in 1958 we moved into our house in the Elyria neighborhood of Denver. The elementary school was just across the alley from our house. Though we lived so close tot hat school, all three children were raised with a catholic education. Walt's grade school was St Joe's Polish in Globeville. Mom spoke very broken English at the time, but was very fluent in Policy, which almost all the nuns spoke, so Walter wouldn't be able to get away with much (and he didn't). He struggled somewhat his first few year. English was probably his third language at the time, and it took some time for for him to adjust. Eventually, when everything came together, he was a good student.
Walt was a good athlete growing up. What I remember is how fast he was. He could out-run anyone. I remember him smarting off to our Dad and Dad started chasing him out the door. Dad came back a few seconds later and said "he'll be back eventually". He didn't catch Walt but Walt got a few whacks from Dad for that.
Walt loved playing baseball, his sport of choice, but anything competitive would suit his needs. Whether it was a gam of basketball at the grade school across the alley or a game of football in the street in front of our house, Walt would be there, The Captain, choosing sides and ready to play. He loved to win and hated to lose. He was so competitive. It lasted his entire life. The games would last until dark, sometimes beyond, especially if he was losing. Walt was up for anything but sitting around.
Walt's weekends were busy. Saturday mornings - Ukrainian school Saturday afternoons Ukrainian Boy Scouts or "Plast". Sundays to Ukrainian church. But no matter what day it was, Walt couldn't wait to get home, get the neighborhood kisd together, and start a game of "anything".
in 1970, after high school, Walt enlisted ins the US Marine Corps. He was proud to be a Jarhead. Walt went to boot camp in San Diego's Camp Pendleton, was stationed in Okinawa for a short time before returning to the states to finish off his time of service. Lookin back, I was in high school at the time, and seeing him come home on leave in his dress blues and his spit-shined shoes, Walt was larger than life to me. He was my hero "Big Brother". He was bullet proof.
Walt returned home from his time of service and found various jobs in the construction industry and finally settled on being a roofer. Walt worked that job for many years, the toll of hard labor won on him and in his later years, he found work as a painter, dry waller, a tin man, on and on. When Walt finally told me he retired, I said "from what?". He just shrugged his shoulders and said "everything". We left it at that.
Anyone who knew Walt knew these things about him:
He was very proud of his Ukrainian heritage. He had Ukrainian collectables throughout his house.
He was a hard worker. If you hired Walt to do any job, you knew you would get your money's worth. H not only worked hard but was very nit-picky about small details to make sure you loved the job he had done.
He loved to garden. His yard was his pride. He grew the most beautiful roses ever!
He loved animals. And they loved him. That's a special trait to have. Animals have a sixth sense about who could be trusted and they recognized his kindred spirit. That's how I remember Walt.
He loved children. And they loved him. I think when he was around children, it took him back to his own childhood of happy memories and he was able to pass that along to them. He loved his nieces and nephews very much.
Last and most importantly, Walt was a very kind person. That is one trait that cannot be argued and that is how I'll always remember him. His kindress to friends and stragers was unsurpassed.
So as I reflect back on my memory of Walt and think of our conversations or sibling bickering, and there were many, we would always end it with a big hug and "I love you, Bro".
I will end this eulogy for Walt with these final thoughts:
Live life to the fullest, day to day - week to week. You don't have to play by the rules, but have fun playing.
Have good friend and keep them close. In case you ever need a hand. Good friends last a lifetime.
Love your family and friends. Don't be aftaid to say "I love you". Because those three words go a long way.
Walt: I love you and miss you so much!
~ TARAS CZAJKOWSKI - March 20, 2019
My deepest condolences to the friends and family of Walter. May your treasured memories bring you peace, and may 'the God of all comfort' give you strength, along with a measure of peace for your greiving hearts at this most difficult time. 2 Corinthians 1:3
~ S H - March 13, 2019
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