Jack Walczak passed away unexpectedly on October 27, 2021 due to Covid. He was born on April 29, 1947 in Hamtramck and was very proud of his Polish heritage.
Jack graduated from Algonac (Michigan) high school in 1965. On July 22, 1967 he married his high school sweetheart, Sandy Hillock. At Jack’s passing, they were married 54 years. They have a son Mark and daughter Tracy.
Jack had 2 careers before he retired in 2018. He worked in the auto industry for Draftline/Binderline Development, a drafting, model and engineering firm in St. Clair Shores. Jack’s tenure there was 29 years and he “started at the bottom and ended at the top”. His last position there was Vice President Engineering. Jack’s second career was in the wine and beer industry and this began when he and Sandy moved to Gaylord in 1996. He finished this career working for Imperial Beverage with headquarters in Kalamazoo. During this time he successfully completed the Cicerone certification in 2010 and the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Course in 2009. Jack had many proud moments during his time with Imperial. The company asked Jack if he would be interested in “opening the UP”. At that time Jack was one of few northern Michigan sales reps. He accepted the challenge. His territory was all of the Upper Peninsula, Mackinac Island and Drummond Island. Jack’s expense account for the company was the only one that had bridge and ferry receipts! When Jack turned this territory over, he was replaced by 6 employees with 2 warehouses. Jack loved and wanted the best for his customers and many became friends that Jack and Sandy would visit on their yearly fall color trip to the UP. Jack was also well respected by management and his fellow employees. To them he will always be “Walczak on Wheels”.
Jack was also very proud to be a member of Gaylord Golf Club. Jack and Sandy joined in 1996. Jack played in 99% of all club events and felt that was your obligation as a member. He was rewarded for his efforts by many golf trophies along with 3 holes in one. One was downstate and 2 were at Gaylord Golf Club on hole #10. The friends Jack met at the club were important and his very close friends downstate and Gaylord were special to him. Jack was always smiling, loved a party and being with friends and family.
Jack is survived by his loving wife Sandy, son Mark and his wife Judy, daughter Tracy, grandsons Christopher, Matthew and Jonathon Walczak, granddaughters Gabriella and Sofia Bacigalupi, and dear cousin Nancy (Cliff) Jones. Jack will also be dearly missed by the Hillock family which became his own.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at www.gaylordfuneralhome.com