Myron "Mike" Lonowski was born on April 19, 1932 in Arcadia, NE to parents Louie and Nellie (Sowokinos) Lonowski. Mike passed away at the age of 88 on September 14, 2020 in his home in Shenandoah, IA, with his family by his side.
Mike attended high school at St. Josaphat's Catholic and Loup City, NE High Schools. He met his wife Agnes Ramaekers in Loup City, and there they were married at St. Josaphat's Catholic Church in 1951. The couple just celebrated 69 years of marriage, and even in illness Mike still managed to get a card for his lovely wife.
In his early years, Mike worked with his father in Louie's Ford Dealership. With his father and brother Melvin he owned a variety of businesses in Nebraska before moving to Shenandoah. In 1959, Mike established the Shenandoah Farm Supply, and later expanded the business to Nebraska City, NE and Clarinda, IA. Mike encouraged all his children to help in the stores as they grew up. He was a well-known figure in the farming community and truly enjoyed his farming friends. Mike sold the businesses in 1981.
In 1982, Mike and Agnes purchased the Sleepy Hollow property, the location where Henry Field started his seed company in 1895. Subsequently Mike and Agnes developed the land as a new Addition to the city of Shenandoah. Mike loved looking out the window of his home and seeing his legacy.
In 1985, Mike started Eternastone with his son, Pat, which was in business through 1989.
Mike was an active member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church and served as an usher there for many years. He was also an Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus, and always helped during the yearly fish fry! Mike was always ready to lend a hand, and often had people calling him to help with various tasks around the house as well as the parish. He was also a firm believer in Habitat for Humanity and volunteered with building houses whenever possible.
Mike was an avid golfer and enjoyed woodworking, construction, travel, visiting his children and grandchildren, having coffee with his friends and listening to polka music. He also loved playing pool (and beating everyone) as well as a good card game of 'Pitch' - the family will never forget his hilarious antics and the laughter!
Preceding Mike in death were his infant sons Larry and Mark, granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Lonowski, his parents Louie and Nellie Lonowski, brother Melvin Lonowski, sister Renee (Triplett) Himberg, and nephew Bobby Lonowski. Mike is survived by his loving wife Agnes Lonowski of Shenandoah, IA; son Dan and wife Brenda of Novi, MI; son Pat and wife Claudia of Brea, CA; son Wayne and wife Kathryn of Ft. Collins, CO; son Chris of Bellevue, WA; son Doug and wife Dale of Ellensburg, WA; daughter Vicki of Cleveland, OH; grandchildren Joshua Kluver, Callie Lonowski, Marise Lonowski, Dr. Sarah Lonowski and husband Brad Wenderoth, David Lonowski, Anne Lonowski, Kimberly Lonowski, Elijah Lonowski, Thomas Lonowski, Michael Ferri and Francesca Ferri; great-grandchild Morgan Kluver, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
A Memorial Mass will be held 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 19, 2020 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Shenandoah. Social distancing and masks will be required for attendance. Burial of cremains will be private family only following mass at Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah. Memorials may be directed to the St. Mary's Catholic Church or Southwest Iowa Fuller Center for Housing (formerly known as Habitat for Humanity). The service will available on Zoom at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84210052545
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Kathy, Wayne and all the Lonowski family, Doug and I send our deepest condolences to your entire family. Doug has many happy memories of playing golf with Mike and his dad and enjoying long hours at the Shenandoah American Legion country club. We send you our sympathy and prayers and wish for God’s blessings upon all of you as you grieve and remember your father and grandfather.Doug and Jody Pedersen
Grandkids’ Memories of Grandpa
September 18, 2020
Mike’s grandkids all sent us stories of their favorite memories of Grandpa Mike:
From Kimberly - One of my favorite memories is from when Mary, Francesca and I visited Grandma and Grandpa together for a few weeks one summer (I think I was 14 at the time). We all have a massive sweet tooth. One day the three of us thought it would be fun to bake this terribly sweet concoction...I think it had cookie dough, brownie batter, and marshmallows in it! Anyway, as we were in the kitchen making it, Grandpa looked on the entire time with his hands folded over his stomach, and he was smiling, shaking his head, and clucking his tongue at us. He just couldn't imagine eating anything that sweet 😊
I also loved it when Grandpa would do his Donald Duck impersonation 😊. Anyone else remember this? Or catching fireflies outside in jars? 😊
I also remember being there over Christmas when I was in Kindergarten and the adults were playing Pitch at the kitchen table (all the kids were huddled around on chairs). And Grandpa was just absolutely ruthless! He would bid on practically nothing! Everyone always joked about how he could shoot the moon, and how the only one as ruthless as him is Brenda. 😊
From Sarah - One of my favorite memories of grandpa is driving around Shen in the van they had for so many years - every time we got back in the car he let me open the center console and sneak two Werther’s Original candies - one for me, one for him. For many years I didn't even like them, but I ate one just to be like him! To this day, every time I see a caramel candy I am transported back to the van with grandpa.
To keep with the theme of sweets, I will always remember how grandma and grandpa NEVER failed to have a box of my favorite peach popsicles stashed in the freezer whenever I was in town. The box came with half strawberry and half peach, and since I liked the peach I think they only ever ate the strawberry!
From Thomas - I remember catching fireflies in the back yard, too! I also loved going to Jay's Drug Store and having malted milkshakes with the rest of the family and relatives whenever we came back to Iowa.
One of my favorite memories is just from a few weeks ago when I was there to see Grandpa: He told stories about starting to work at his dad's Ford dealership when he was 11 years old. He would drive the new cars through Omaha traffic, and he was so little that he had to put a phonebook underneath and another behind him so he could reach the pedals! I thought that was so cool to hear what grandpa experienced as a kid.
From Francesca - One of my favorite memories of grandpa is when my parents and I, grandma and grandpa, and Dan and Brenda drove down to Colorado to visit Michael while he was at a summer camp for the first time. This was about ten years ago. Michael was playing in the orchestra for an opera one night, and grandpa and I decided to stay back at the hotel together. We played cards and joked around with each other a lot, and I remember I made grandpa laugh so hard that he spilled his O’Doul’s inside a pair of my dad’s shoes. I’ve never seen grandpa laugh as hard as he did in that moment, his face totally red and full of happiness, while the two of us realized that neither of us had a clue how to clean those shoes. We ended up leaving them full of beer, and neither of us ratted on the other when my dad complained about his shoes being totally sopping wet. I’ll never forget that look of absolute joy on grandpa’s face, or how it felt to laugh together like that!
From David - My memories of Grandpa revolve around golf and his shiny red golf cart. He would often grumble after a bad shot and say he was too old for this, and that he should be out fishing with Norb. His favorite expression always seemed to be "well I'll be darned" and he had a bark of a laugh. A uniquely remarkable skill of Grandpa's was the ability to identify the make of any car based on the sound of its engine.
From Anne - Grandpa and I have the same birthday! I've always thought that was pretty cool, and grandpa did too. Every year as long as I can remember we would get on the phone, tell each other happy birthday, and describe our birthday plans to each other. It always felt like a special ritual. Grandpa laughed so easily; that was one of my favorite things about him! I will always picture him with a smile.
From Eli - I remember going to Jay's and getting malts, watching fireflies in the back yard (and attempting to catch some), and watching a little football with grandpa as he lounged back in his lazy boy! (Rooting for the underdog of course so then I wanted to root for them too to be like grandpa). I also used to love the Donald Duck voice as only grandpa could do.
From Marise – I liked to call Grandpa “Grampy.” Grampy was always happy. I loved to tease him and tell him jokes, and I loved it when he teased me back!
From Callie – When I was little, I would sit on Grampa’s lap while he read me a book. When he did, I would snap the book closed on his finger and he would yell and pretend it hurt and it made me laugh! Grampa was such a unique and humorous person, and that’s why I love him.
From Michael - Maybe my favorite memory is waking up super early to go have breakfast at Mondo's with The Lonowski Boys. The morning fog and half-risen sun were the backdrop, and his favorite became my favorite, and maybe everyone's: the pancakes as big as your head, and sausage links (not patties). If it weren't for Grandma Agnes, I think he might have proposed to the waitress in order to get those pancakes whenever he wanted ;)
I also remember his youthful stories told in hushed tones. Like how on one of his teenage birthdays he received a cigar as a present, and smoked it on break from putting shingles on a roof with great-grandpa Louie. He got light-headed and fell off the roof. Don't smoke!!!! on unsecured rooftop constructions, at least.
Or the time when he was (you may notice a theme here) roofing a house he was building, and shot a nail through his thumb and had to go to the hospital with a chunk of roof stuck to his hand.
His straw hat was my favorite, it was a LOOK. He let me wear it when we went fishing one time, and I have the photo to prove it.
We love you, Grandpa!!
Mike and I were good long term friends. A very strong man to say the least We will miss him dearly! May he rest in peace.
Sending our deep sympathy to all the Lonowski family. Mike was a wonderful man in so many ways. We send hugs to all---John and Gayle
Wayne, Kathy, and all the family, I did not know your Father, but he certainly helped to raise a good family. May the memories get you through the painful times, and put a smile in your hearts.
I will never forget Mike as he loved to joke around and just a man whom we will miss very much. May God keep u safe his arms and so sorry for ur loss of a great man and friend.. Diane Mullenberg
Wayne, So Sorry to learn of your Dad's passing. He was always so Friendly. Robin Anderson Lynn
Uncle Mike and Aunt Agnes were great to be around growing up. The Lonowski's family reunion's with Grandpa Louie and everyone, I miss, because I got to talk with and see the family. But as I told, Mershonn, I bet the 10 point pitch game now is in full swing. He had a great laugh and better personality.
Tom Lonowski and family
Uncle Mike's smile was infectious and this is clearly a great picture of the man I remember. My best memories of Uncle Mike are when we got out of the car to visit at his house "with the grass on the roof" and he welcomed all 9 of us with that smile and open arms. Heaven has certainly gained an angel and my prayers are with Aunt Ag and all of the Lonowski's. If times were different, I would drop everything to celebrate his life with you, but know that my prayers are no less from miles away. I hope you were able to say a proper goodbye and have peace knowing where he is. Vicki, I am so glad you got to be there with him in his final moments and thanks for keeping the Newberger clan updated. Aunt Ag, the days will get better and make sure you let your family and friends help. I love you all and you are in my prayers!
So sorry to hear of Mike's passing. Mike had the best sense of humor and always fill a room with laughter. He smile was contagious. Sending our love and prayers to the Lonowski family.
Jeff, Bryan, Shelley Mostek and families
I was sorry to hear Mikes passing. He was a good friend and I will miss his big smile, friendly sincere greetings and since of humor..Our sympathy to Agnes and family. R.I.P. Mike
Bill and Jan Ludwig
Our sympathy and thoughts go out to Mike's family. We didn't know Mike very well, but we have great memories of our association with all the Lonowski children as they passed through our classes. We were sorry to hear of your loss.
Such a wonderful soul, I loved Uncle Mike’s infectious smile and sense of humor. I have many wonderful memories of hanging out with the cousins at Mike and Ag’a house as kids. Agnes, Vicky, Doug, Wayne, Dan, Chris, Pat and extended family you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Heaven has an new angel 💕
The photograph says it all. To know Mike is to know that smile, it was always there. I knew Mike through my in laws ( Pat and Jane Emge). He was as friendly as they come and our thoughts and prayers go out to Agnes and the family. He will be missed. Doug and Lana Schroder
Our sympathy and prayers to Ag and family. Heaven has gained a special person. I always loved Uncle Mike's laugh and sense of humor. I remember the poker games at Grandma Ramaekers reunions!! Rita & Mike Kalkowski
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
When I was growing up, “Mike Dude” as we always called him, was building homes in our neighborhood. He was the coolest. I remember him telling us about how he needed to mow is roof and we just couldn’t believe it. Eventually he let us come over to see his green roof, and yep, sure enough there was grass up there! So many fun memories. He was incredibly patient and kind, especially given how annoying it probably was having kids running all around the construction sites asking millions of questions. I will always remember Mike Dude and the fun times we shared. My sympathies to his family.
All my sympathy and love to Agnes and family❤️. Mike was such a special man ( Dad’s best friend. I know they are “catching up” in heaven.) He always had a smile and a kind word or a joke. Loved his laugh. I will miss him. God bless all of you!! Love and prayers, Jackie Harms
So sorry that Mike has left us but Heaven gained a good one. I loved Mike and his sense of humor. He was just a good man and will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Mike until we meet again.
So devastated to hear of his passing. My prayers and love are with you all.
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Shenandoah, Iowa 51601
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