Stanley Gawel (89) formerly of Detroit, MI passed away at his home in Sun City West, AZ on April 15, 2021. Stanley was born in Detroit, January 22, 1932 to Mary and John Gawel. He graduated Mount Carmel High School, class of 1950, and Michigan State University, class of 1956, becoming the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Stanley married Nancy Springer on October 21, 1961. Together they raised five children. Stan worked as a trust accountant at Comerica, formerly Detroit Bank and Trust, for his entire career and after retirement enjoyed volunteering at various venues. He was also a proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity at MSU. Stanley is survived by his five children: Germaine Ward, Julie Gawel-Glass, Laura Strickland, John Gawel and Amy Gawel and six grandchildren: Trevor Strickland, Britany Strickland, Jason Gawel, Brendan Ward, Cameron Ward and Chelsea Strickland. He is pre-deceased by his wife of 61 years, his parents, and all his siblings.
Stanley was a man beloved by everyone he met, living his life devoted to the four G’s: gardening, gambling, God and Gawels.
Gardening was Stanley’s solitude and calming hobby away from the bustle of a busy family life. He had a green thumb and was always able to nurture vegetables and plants to grow tall and proud, the same way he raised his children. Even though they were not always a fan of his garden’s bounty – especially the wax beans and rhubarb. You always knew Stanley’s garden because of the ever-present statue of Saint Francis of Assisi he displayed in every home in which he lived. When it was too dark outside to garden, you could find him inside reading or watching Jeopardy.
As gardening was his solitude, gambling was his excitement. After his wife Nancy introduced him to bingo, he became an avid player, sometimes going several times a week. He also loved going to casinos and had a player’s card for every casino in the Southwestern United States. This devotion carried over into his family life, as he loved to play cards and gamble for change first with his children and later with his grandchildren. However, this is not to say Stan was reckless with money. Stanley was very frugal and was an obsessive recycler long before recycling was cool. Other loves include bowling and live theater. Stan’s musical tastes leaned towards Classical and Big Band styles, however it is a known fact he bought and owned the CD of Billy Ray Cyrus’s Achy Breaky Heart.
Stanley was a devout catholic. He was a member of the Sacred Heart parish in Auburn Hills, Michigan and later Prince of Peace in Sun City West, Arizona. Stanley enjoyed singing in the church choir and volunteered time helping the church and its mission.
As devoted to God as he was, his biggest devotion through his life was his family. He was proud of his Polish heritage and taught his children the Polish traditions he was raised on. He loved his children and was proud of all of them, adored his grandchildren, and was happiest when surrounded by them at large family gatherings. Stanley was a good father who taught his children to be honorable, responsible, and self-supporting adults but always watched with a loving eye to make sure they never fell too far or too hard. He was the rock that his family could always rely on. Stanley/Stan/Stas/Pops/Grandpa will be greatly missed by all and his wisdom and giving nature will never be forgotten.