A devout Catholic, Joseph M. Cwiok ushered at noon Mass on Sundays at St. Thomas More Church.
Cwiok was a member of the church’s Garden Club and Holy Name Society, as well as a 4th degree knight with the Knights of Columbus, his wife, Cecile Cwiok, said.
Because Cwiok, 85, of Munster, excelled at trimming bushes one Garden Club member nicknamed him “the bush master,” his wife said. Cwiok also made hickory smoked salmon and lamb chops for the group.
“The guys never ate anything like that in their lives,” Cecile Cwiok said. “It was such a treat.”
Cwiok was a sergeant with the Army motor pool, serving two years in the Korean War.
The Cwioks were married 60 years. They met at Rand McNally, where they both worked. Cwiok started as a folding machine operator working his way up to management. Cecile passed by him daily on her way to lunch.
“He was a very good guy, a loving husband and father,” Cecile Cwiok said.
The couple enjoyed traveling together, visiting Alaska, Mexico and Europe.
A highlight of the European trip was eating dinner at the Eiffel Tower, Cecile Cwiok said.
They enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the Smoky Mountains and the Lake of the Ozarks. For ten years, Cwiok had a ski boat and taught his children to water ski. Once, to the applause of onlookers, he pulled eight family members on skis in sync.
Cwiok had many talents.
“There was not much he couldn’t do,” Cecile Cwiok said.
An excellent carpenter, Cwiok made his children’s bedroom furniture and the outside deck. He was a very good mechanic, fixing cars and garden tools alike.