Jeremy and Grandpa Marcisz

This eulogy was delivered by Jeremy Vrtis at the funeral of George Marcisz.

“A few kind words and a smile.” This is how my Grandpa would respond when asked if there was ever anything we could get him or that he needed. So today I’m going to try and give him just that, “a few kind words and a smile.”

Grandpa, Grandpa George, Uncle George, Georgie was blessed with a full life.

He was born above the family tavern on the far south side. I always pictured Grandpa’s childhood like one of those little rascal films, from the stories he told of his youth you can understand why. My favorite is that he signed up for the Army when he was only sixteen years old. He signed up with his brother and wanted to serve his country. For his seventeenth birthday he received a cake that said “Happy 17th Birthday George!” At which point his commanding officer said, “You were only 16?” To which my Grandpa replied, “Yea, can I go home now? Only to be told, “You're in the Army now son, and you’re not leaving.” Grandpa was always very proud of his military service and the continual service of our armed forces.

Grandpa helped me remember my Grandma Marie. My earliest memories include going over to the condo and having Grandpa open the door with, “Go catch Grandma!” So the three of us kids would always run and find Grandma and give her a great big hug. I’ll always remember going to the Shamrock Hotel in Wisconsin Dells with Grandpa and Grandma and they would take one of us Grandkids each summer, only to have the big year when they took all three. Grandpa was known for his cooking.... his ribs and his Italian sausage. The sausage recipe came from my Grandmother, it was one of those ways I’ll always remember her.

Grandpa was a very loving man. You could especially see it in how he loved my Mom. He loved Mom, helping my Mom with the three of us kids while my Dad was away at work. He would always pick up my Mom and us grandkids and drive us to all of our events, never missing anything. Throughout our lives he was always there for the important events for his grandkids and great grandchild. Myself, Jenny, Joy, and Andrew would always know Grandpa would be there for events both big and small. He would always stop by just for a quick visit. He loved the pop in visit. Just stopping by to say. “Hi!” And if you weren’t home, he’d leave his calling card, a small American flag at your front door, or a snow scrapper, or pens, or pencils, Grandpa would always give you something. It was my Mom who he would visit most of all. Asking if she’d like to go to the store, or if she’d like to grab a sandwich. Grandpa enjoyed going to restaurants.

He always called my Mom, “his little girl.” When I was little I would argue, “But that’s my Mom!” And he would respond with, “Yes, but she will always be my little girl.”

He was one of the strongest men I ever knew, I remember thinking when I was just a little kid, “Wow Grandpa must be strong, he got tattoos.” Now I realized his greatest strength was to keep on living a full life after a loss, and the blessing that strength is. By having the strength to continue after the loss of my Grandma Marie, he was able to bless all of our lives with my Grandma Lila. It started with a first simple question to Lila of, “Would you like to dance?” And they have been dancing, smiling, and laughing ever since. Grandpa and Lila are two of kind. They always have such a fun life together. Grandpa was able to benefit from the wonderful children and grandchildren from Lila’s family who all loved their Georgie. Lila and Grandpa loved each other and loved to share the adventure of life together from visiting all the family in the area and those further ways, Georgie, Uncle George, Grandpa was blessed with so many people who loved him.

Today we are here to celebrate Grandpa’s life and that he is now with the man who was born in a manger. And I think we can all do that by remembering to follow the advice of a man who was born in a tavern and treat everyone to “A few kind word and a smile.”