Harry A. Chmiel, 92, Kokomo, passed away at 2:00 am Thursday, August 29, 2019, at Legacy of Waterford in Kokomo. He was born February 1, 1927, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of the late Joseph & Juliana (Filip) Chmiel. On May 21, 1960, at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Milwaukee, he married Elaine F. Kupczyk, who survives.
Harry was a 1947 graduate of Riverside High School in Milwaukee. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1951 from Spencerian College, also in Milwaukee. He served with the United States Army, after being drafted from high school, from 1945-1946 earning the nickname “Howitzer Harry” where he was stationed at Fort Bragg and West Point. He retired as an accountant from General Motors in 1986 after 35 years of service. He began his career with General Motors in 1951 at AC Spark Plug Division in Milwaukee and transferred to Delco Electronics in Kokomo in 1972.
Harry was a longtime member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. He was a 4th Degree Member and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and an active member of the Kokomo Serra Club. He was also a member of the Lady Claire Fraternity of the Secular Franciscans. He enjoyed bowling, dancing, and was an avid Green Bay Packers fan who also became an Indianapolis Colts fan. Harry loved to be active, going hiking, spending time with family, and bird watching.
Along with his wife of 59 years Elaine, Harry is survived by his children, Barbara (David) Renshaw, Kathleen (Mark) Evans, and Maribeth (Gregg) Dixon; grandchildren, Courtney (Eric) Spicer, Mark (Rachel) Evans, Megan (Trey) Young, Mitchell Dixon, Kelsey Dixon, and Maxwell Dixon; great-grandchildren, Nash Spicer, Corbin Spicer, Gage Spicer, Brock Spicer, and Isaac Evans; sister, Alice Fellenz, along with several nieces and nephews.
Harry was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Chmiel & Juliana (Filip) Chmiel Piatek; stepfather, Walter Piatek; and siblings, Steve Hopkins, Chester Chmiel, John Chmiel, Sophie Grochowski, and Mary Meske.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3155 S. 200 W., Kokomo, with Rev. Fr. Matthew Arbuckle the celebrant. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Mausoleum. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 4-7 pm Tuesday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo, where the Rosary will be offered at 7 pm. Memorial contributions may be made in Harry’s memory to the Vision Forward Association, 912 N, Hawley Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53213, where Harry’s brother Steve, who became blind, helped found the rehab center that thrives today. Shirley & Stout Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
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