Mr. Robert (Bob) Mackowiak of Chewelah, died April 18, 2017 after a valiant fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Bob was seventy-five at the time of his passing and had lived in the Chewelah area off and on since 1968 and permanently at the Dry Creek Road address since 2007.
Robert was born in Arizona and lived there until the family moved to California. He graduated from Oakland High School, Oakland CA, where he was an ROTC leader and member of the champion football team. He attended Contra Costa Community College working toward a degree in Welding Technology, changed direction and attended a five-year apprenticeship as a union sheet metal journeyman. His love of all things metal took him in many interesting directions throughout his working life. He was a born engineer and loved nothing more than solving an interesting, complex problem involving heat, metal and high speeds. One of the certifications he held was that of an American Welding Society, Certified Welding Inspector. Not easily attained, he competed against Engineers in a grueling several hours long testing venue that proved, at least to his satisfaction, that experience trumped education. He was justifiably proud of his skills as an inspector and journey level sheet metal tradesman. Whether it was Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Four Corners, New Mexico, Oakland, CA, Spokane, WA, Seattle, WA or the many other job sites along a 30-year career, Bob always gave his best.
Bob and his wife Lorna (Riley) were married 55 years. They raised two children Robert (Tiffany Lane) and Deanna (Jeramy) Piepgras of Chewelah. Seven grandchildren, Kyler, Kaden Mackowiak of Chewelah, Alexis Erikson, Bellingham, Austin, Cole, Josh, Alysia Piepgras of Chewelah and great-granddaughter Emmerson Grace Piepgras of Spokane.
Along with wife and children, Bob is survived by his sister Cecilia (William) Wydur, WA, brothers Daniel Mackowiak, CA, Philbert Mackowiak, AZ, Armando Mackowiak, CA, numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Grace Mackowiak, infant sister Roberta, infant daughters Lisa Marie and Leann Michelle.
Bob will be lovingly remembered for his big smiles, huge bear hugs, the belt that “sang” as it left the belt loops, Big Foot stories (it really happened), love of all things food related, the twinkle in his eye just before he pulled your leg and most of all, the love he felt for God, his family and his country.
Services will be held at Noon, Saturday, April 29, 2017, at St. Mary of the Rosary Catholic Church. Interment will be at St. Mary of the Rosary Catholic Cemetery immediately following the mass of Christian burial. A gathering of family and friends will be at the Chewelah Senior Center beginning at 2:30 p.m. Please join the family for a time of stories and celebration of his life.
In lieu of flowers, please remember Bob in donations to your favorite charities or community projects.