Michael Ziulkowski was a hard-working man who was an inspiration to his family, said his son Michael Ziulkowski II.
He could do anything he set his mind to, and approached everything with the idea of “head, heart and hands,” his son said.
Think things through first, dedicate yourself to it, and then do it as skillfully as possible, he said.
“There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do,” he said. “He was a master tradesman.”
Michael Ziulkowski, 51, of Portage, died Jan. 31. Most recently, he had been account manager for Ecolab. He worked 17 years at Dixie Dairy in Gary, working his way up to CEO.
He is survived by Stephanie Ziulkowski, his wife of 32 years. The couple taught their four children to work through things together as a family.
“We always faced things together and supported each other,” he said.
Ziulkowski said his father was always willing to help anyone in need.
“He would drop everything to help you. He would never say no,” he said. “There were probably 600 people who signed the book at the wake. He had a lot of people who cared about him.”
He loved technology and gadgets, and his children knew they could always get him the latest “tech toy” for his birthday or Christmas.
“Whatever was new and trendy, that’s what he wanted,” he said.
Ziulkowski said many of his friends considered his father to be a father to them, as well. He enjoyed hanging out with his children and their friends, playing basketball, listening to music or just talking, his son said.
“He was our friend as well as our Dad,” he said. “He loved hanging out. He cherished every minute of life.”