Dale Peter Raczkowski, aka ‘Woody”, age 82, of Toledo passed away peacefully at home on Monday, July 31, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on April 23, 1941 in Toledo, OH to Peter and Martha (Durczynski) Raczkowski.
Dale was a graduate of Libbey High School and attended the University of Toledo College of Engineering. He excelled early on in architectural drafting and was fortunate to have teachers and mentors that developed and fine-tuned his natural design and drafting abilities early on in his education which caught the eye of his early employers. He began his working career at Housman Steel where he learned all about structural steel under the tutelage of Raymond Reese. He then went on to work at Ward Bond Builders where he dutifully enrolled in night classes and became a carpentry apprentice, eventually obtaining his official Journeyman’s Card which led to becoming a proud member of then, Local 1138. Meeting his goal there and after the passing of Mr. Bond he went to work as an estimator and superintendent at Carl W. Warner Inc., where he was entrusted in supervising special Shopping Mall store projects all over the country. Not an easy choice as he was gone weeks at a time away from his young family, but he knew doing this meant betterment and security for his family’s future. His next step in employment would be as a Carpentry Supervisor, then Superintendent at McNerny & Sons Construction Co.
Focusing on the latter part of his career, Dale began his time with the City of Toledo as a Senior Carpenter with Facility Operations, eventually becoming the City of Toledo Facility Operations Administrator where he enjoyed opportunities that utilized his engineering and various past Trade skills he learned in his early educational and employment experiences. In addition to those opportunities, he also maintained former and present memberships in several Unions along his career path: Local 248, Local 2058 and Local 7 AFSCME. His dedication to the City of Toledo, its buildings and properties, special projects and most importantly “his guys”, were admirable. Dale respected and appreciated the people he worked with and worked for. He was especially proud of developing and leading City Projects such as Union Memorial Park, the Harvard Circle Project and the placement of the bronze statue of Pope John Paul the 2nd on the grounds of St. Adalbert Church. One of his most notable experiences and accomplishments was working alongside United States Government Officials and Three Letter Agencies to prepare the city for the safe arrival and visit of then President George H.W. Bush, then later, for former President William Jefferson Clinton.
Because of his pursuit of excellence, he was recognized by numerous entities such as the Ohio Governor’s Office with The Ohio Governor’s Award for implementation of the 2000 Y2K energy initiative, United Way of Greater Toledo recognizing his outstanding success as a Campaign Coordinator and various Departments of Government/Divisions’ along with proclamations and letters of appreciation from the several agencies and organizations he assisted in helping update, repair or build new; from Fire stations, to Family House.
He made things happen.
Dale’s drive and insatiable desire for excellence and learning was unmatched. He spent countless hours in CEU classes and specialized industry day courses to keep up with the ever changing and improving field of construction. He also stayed involved and served in industry organizations such as Member and Vice President of the former Facility and Healthcare Engineer’s Association. Even after retiring from the City of Toledo, he served as a consultant for the Toledo Health Department, and was sought out for guidance and his extensive knowledge on the continuing building updates in Downtown Toledo and the surrounding area. Lastly, as a special interest, he took his skills into the energy saving industry consulting for The Palmer Energy Company before he finally fully retired.
Dale was a former parishioner of Nativity Catholic Church and longtime parishioner of Regina Coeli Catholic Church. An actively involved member of the church, he was a member and past President of both the Ushers and the Holy Name Society, Church Festival Co-Chair, amongst other Officer roles. The church was an important part of his life, so he was especially honored and humbled to be chosen as part of a small group to carry the Tabernacle into the church for the new church building dedication.
Dale valued his time coaching and mentoring 7th and 8th grade students as a Regina Coeli football coach for 28 years participating in the CYO League representing the “Eagles” in more than a few CYO Football Championship games; most notably winning the CYO Toy Bowl Championship in 1970. He was also proud to have been one of the recipients of the “Grand Ol’ Coach’ award during his coaching career.
Love of sports came in all forms; he was a Team Member of the 14th Ward Men’s Baseball Championship Team, played Men’s Slow Pitch Softball into his forties and played a decent game of golf and served as President of the Regina Coeli Golf League…where he very much enjoyed spending time with his golf buddies. He supported the UT Rockets and held season tickets to the Toledo Mudhens (which he gifted half away). But the team that Dale was most associated with was his beloved OHIO STATE BUCKEYES! Hence, his nick name “Woody” and the dedicated brick at “The Shoe” given by his wife, Lorraine…a Michigan fan.
Hobbies and interests consisted of always adding to and organizing his various collections, tending to his vegetable garden and taking care of his special backyard fishpond.
Dale’s social memberships included P.R.C.U.A., the American Legion Conn Weissenberger Post 587, the Sylvania Moose Lodge 1579, and the F.O.E.
Most importantly, Dale was a devoted husband and father and worked diligently to provide for his family, sometimes working two to three jobs at a time. His hard work and devotion to family provided the ability to ensure that his family took memorable vacations every few years which were so appreciated by his kids. A treasured tradition started years later with an annual trip to Sauder Village, right before the start of school with the grandkids; a trip both Dale and Lorraine looked forward to. As the family grew older, Dale made sure to make time for Myrtle Beach golf trips with friends, mornings with his McDonald’s Coffee Buddies and a few other day trips along the way. But most important was the time he set aside to take his wife, Lorraine on special occasions or anniversaries. Their favorites being, Bahamas, Cancun, Jamaica and St. Kitts.
Lastly, and not to forget to mention of course, was his pride in his Polish heritage and love of all Polish foods; especially any specialty Polish foods made by his wife, Lorraine. There was no mistake it was Sunday when you could hear the Helen/Sharon and Chet, Polish radio show and the sound of Polka Music throughout the house as the family was getting ready for church. He listened to the happy sound of Polish music until the end.
A special source of inspiration, Dale became a devoted reader of St. Padre Pio which gave him great comfort as he prepared himself for his welcome to his heavenly home with his Lord and Savior.
Dale was the true representation of a good, strong hearted, honorable Polish family man. Dale embraced life, family, work and play to the fullest. He formed countless strong, long-lasting friendships along the way. He lived well and was well loved.
Dale is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving wife of 63 years, Lorraine (Supica) Raczkowski (married February 27, 1960); children, Michelle (Mark) Keeling, Garret (Lisa) Raczkowski, Leslie (Rick) Grega, Amy (Troy) Youngs, and Craig (Yolanda) Raczkowski;
14 grandchildren; Ashly (Brian) Adamski, Chelsea and Gregory Keeling; Ashleigh (Matt), Elizabeth, and Katie Raczkowski; Alyssa and Hayleigh Grega, Luke and Aubrey Youngs; Brooke, Brandon and Brittney Raczkowski and 3 great-grandchildren; Bodhi and Lydia Adamski; Everly Keeling. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Norma and niece Robyn and nephew Eric; Great Neice, Danielle and his many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Terrance Raczkowski; Godchild, Steven Raczkowski; and nephew, Marc Raczkowski.
Special appreciation and recognition go out to the entire Hospice of Northwest Ohio team of dedicated and compassionate Nurses, Medical staff and Anna, Hospice Aide extraordinaire. The family would also like to acknowledge the care and compassion of Care Givers Alexus and Brianna…all of them, angels on earth.
Visitation will be Saturday, August 5, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Regina Coeli Catholic Church, 530 Regina Pkwy, Toledo, OH 43612. The Funeral Mass will begin at 1 p.m. in the church. Private interment will be on Monday in Toledo Memorial Park.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 419-476-9176. Memorial donations may be given to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or H.O.O.V.E.S. (Helping of Our Veterans Equine Services-Local Charity) Condolences may be shared at www.sujkowski.com.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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Hospice of Northwest Ohio
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