Richard Francis Anthony Warmowski, 86, a long-time lakeside resident and celebrated – along with his wife Arlene – for his dedicated volunteer work with the Lake Chapala Society’s Children’s Art program, passed away at home on January 12 after a short illness.
Richard was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 0ctober 18, 1931, the youngest of five sons of Leon and Josephine (Kalzur) Warmowski. After high school, he studied civil engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago campus. He also served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
Warmowski worked for the Chicago Post Office while completing his studies, and then in various capacities for manufacturing companies, having developed a specialty in welding and cutting equipment. This led to part ownership of a gas-cutting company and positions with National Cylinder Gas. He also was a consultant to manufacturing firms in the United States and, locally, in Guadalajara.
In 1955, Warmowski met the lady who was to become his best friend and constant companion. He and Arlene Mazur were married in 1957. They lived in Chicago and raised their family there. During those years, Warmowski began studying art, in classes and with private tutors. He focused on watercolors and acrylics, and art became a permanent part of his life. He and Arlene moved to lakeside in 1994, and in juried shows here, his work won several blue ribbons.
Warmowski was asked to help out at the LCS Children’s Art Program in the late 1990s, and soon was joint leader of the program. He never stopped volunteering and in 2014, he and Arlene were named LCS life members in recognition of their efforts. Students they mentored are still involved in LCS art programs, volunteering as helpers and continuing to study art in the older teens’ art program.
The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year in the garden of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Riberas del Pilar, where they worshipped for many years and Arlene sings in the choir.
Warmowski is survived by his wife and two children, Lorraine (Don Stolzenbach) and Richard Jr.; grandchildren Jamie (Cruz) and Don. Jr. (Stolzenbach); great-grandchildren Nichole, Tony, twins Joey and Jordan Cruz, and Mylani and Royce Stolzenbach; and nephew Edward Warmowski Jr. Warmowski was predeceased by his parents, four brothers and son Michael.
A funeral service will be held at St. Andrew’s in Riberas on Saturday, January 27, 11 a.m. with a reception to follow in the church garden. A memorial event is being planned at LCS. Later this year, he will be buried at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Joliet, Illinois.