Valentine George Domagalski had a wide variety of interests, from keeping the yard immaculate to taking trips on steam trains, said Cookie Domagalski, his wife of 25 years.
He was an avid White Sox fan, and enjoyed collecting coins. He tinkered with woodworking, as well, she said.
“He retired young and got to spend time doing things he enjoyed,” she said. “He liked to putter around the house.”
Her husband could be quiet when he first met someone, but he would warm up and was always willing to help out.
“He was a good friend, and he was a good guy,” she said.
Domagalski, 63, of Valparaiso, died March 25. He worked 30 years for Inland Steel and spent the last 15 years enjoying retirement, his wife said.
He enjoyed steam engine trains, and took short trips around home as well as longer trips on trains out West, she said. On one trip, they traveled by train to the Grand Canyon, and on one trip they included several grandchildren, she said.
The couple had 20 grandchildren, including a few he referred to as “special princesses.”
He was always willing to put on lipstick and sit at a child-sized table for a tea party, or take a grandson into the garage to work on a project with him.
Domagalski also always shared his M&M’s with the grandchildren, and sneak them Diet Pepsi and candy when no one was around, his wife said.
“He really catered to the little ones,” she said.