Edwin J. “South Bend Eddie” Kaczmarek, Jr., 83, of South Bend, IN, passed away at 9:30 a.m. Friday, September 24, 2021 in his home.
He was born on October 5, 1937 to the late Edwin J., Sr. and Esther A. (Smigielski) Kaczmarek in South Bend, IN, and was a lifelong resident. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his longtime companion and fiancé, Jalayne M. Cronk; and one brother, Thomas “Ace” Kaczmarek.
Edwin graduated in 1955 from South Bend Central High School, before serving in the U.S. Army 1st Infantry “Big Red One” from 1955-1961.
He was retired from the South Bend Fire Department, where he originally served as a dispatcher and then as a firefighter for 30 years. Following retirement, he drove for the MRI Center in South Bend, IN.
Edwin is survived by his two sons, Kevin ( Laurie) Kaczmarek of Mishawaka, IN; Kyle (Lisa) Kaczmarek of Osceola, IN; one stepson, Jason Cronk of South Bend, IN; three step daughters, Jalayne Cronk of South Bend, IN, Jill Cronk of Phoenix, AZ, Janeen (Clint) Dolby of Houston, TX; four grandchildren, Trisha Kaczmarek, Mitchell Barrier, Kailey Kaczmarek, Korey Kaczmarek; two step grandchildren, Paige and Chloe Dolby; two great grandchildren, Peneolpe Gillum and Gabriella Barrier; one sister, Mary Ann (Tafelski) Karkiewicz of Mishawaka, IN; two brothers, Ronald (Marianne) Kaczmarek of South Bend, IN, Dennis (Anna) Kaczmarek of Goshen, IN; a brother-in-law, George Tafelski of South Bend, IN; two nieces, Jill Kaczmarek and Georgianne Walker; and one nephew, Timothy Kaczmarek.
Edwin was an avid Civil War enthusiast. He and Jalayne thoroughly enjoyed cross country road trips to Civil War sites. Edwin also enjoyed watching sports, playing euchre, chess, crossword puzzles, and reading, especially mystery novels and historical writings about the Civil War.
Along with his family and friends who will miss him dearly, his “Little Buddy”, Bailey, will miss the special kitty pets and cuddling with Ed. And, now, whose pencils can Bailey try to steal while someone is doing a crossword puzzle?
Edwin had the most amazing smile with the biggest dimples and he always said those dimples were there because he was kissed by angels. He loved to make people laugh, and often had a joke to share.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday, September 27, 2021 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, 55756 Tulip Road, New Carlisle, IN, where military honors will take place. Cremation will follow with burial in Riverview Cemetery in South Bend, IN at a later date.
To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.
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