Frank J. Ratkowski, 91, Stevens Point, died Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at North Ridge Assisted Living while under the care of Ministry Home Care Hospice.
Mr. Ratkowski was born February 12, 1924 in the Town of Hull, a son of the late John and Regina (Firley) Ratkowski. He grew up on the family farm and attended Glinski School and St. Peter Elementary School.
As a young man, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps from April, 1941 until his discharge in July, 1942. He entered the U.S. Army on January 25, 1943 and was assigned to the 475th Q.M. Trk. Regt. where he served for two years.
In 1945, he was assigned to the Infantry and was sent to Luzon in the Philippines where he served as a rifleman. He received a Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal and the Philippine Liberation Service Ribbon with 1 Silver Star.
On March 14, 1946, he was honorably discharged from U.S. Army Company “I” 341st Infantry with the rank of Sergeant.
On November 13, 1946, he married Joan Hrycyna at St. Peter Catholic Church. After the marriage, they settled in Stevens Point. Joan died in 2002. Mr. Ratkowski worked at Preway in Wisconsin Rapids for over 17 years. In 1964, he joined the maintenance mechanic staff at UW-Stevens Point. He retired after 23 years. He then began his last, most interesting career as a neighborhood handyman.
Helping people became his greatest passion and soon his phone rang at all hours of the day. The seasons were determined by the number of lawn mowers, snow blowers, small engines, and other odd pieces of equipment awaiting his magic touch.
He also loved to fish and garden and was a loyal Green Bay Packer fan. Survivors include three children, Judy of Plover, Jean of California and Francis of California; one granddaughter; Kim Marie and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by three brothers and one sister.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be given to Operation Bootstrap or Ministry Hospice in Stevens Point. Funeral Mass will be Tuesday Jan. 26, 2016 at St. Peter Catholic Church. Rev. Arul Joseph V. will officiate.
Burial will take place in the Guardian Angel cemetery. Visitation will be from 9:00 AM until the time of services Tuesday morning in the St. Faustina room at St. Peter Church.
Pisarski Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family. For online condolences please visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com