In Memory

Joseph L Peczkowski - Class Of 1942


Joseph L. Peczkowski

Feb. 20, 1924 - Dec. 30, 2019

BURLINGTON, WI - Joseph L. Peczkowski, 95, of Burlington, WI (formerly of South Bend, IN) passed away on Monday, December 30, 2019 at Oak Park Place in Burlington, WI.

He was born in South Bend, IN on February 20, 1924 to Lucien and Theresa (Kotecki) Peczkowski.

Joseph graduated from Washington High School, South Bend, IN, in 1942.

He worked at Adams Tool and Die Co., South Bend, IN, as a machinist apprentice. He operated a drill press, lathe, milling machine, and shaper. He completed 1 year of apprentice training before entering the service.

Joseph served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, during WWII, and attained the rank of Sergeant.

By means of the GI Bill, he attended Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. He continued his education while working at Bendix, receiving his master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and ultimately obtaining his PhD from Notre Dame in 1966.

Joseph had a highly successful career for over 35 years. He worked for the Bendix Energy Controls Division of Allied Bendix Aerospace as Senior Principal Engineer. He obtained 25 patents in his name. There are now over 100 patents that reference his patents.

His greatest professional achievement was designing the fuel control system for the secret U.S. military spy plane now known as the SR-71 Blackbird.

Though he had a demanding career, he always put his family first. He provided a loving, stable home for his family. His wisdom, love, and support never wavered.

He had many talents. As a young boy, he built his own pool table including the sticks. He even made wooden balls which he turned on a lathe that he also made. Later, he would do all his own car repairs, as well as home improvement projects which included electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and so much more. He even designed, built, and installed his own inground lawn sprinkler system.

Joseph married Angela Kolber on September 25, 1949. They were married until her death on September 9, 1982.

He then married Loretta (Black) Todd on October 19, 1984. They were married until her death on January 14, 2015.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his stepmother, Mary Peczkowski, one brother, Robert Peczkowski; and 4 stepbrothers, Harry, John, Benny, and Artie Strzelecki.

His youngest brother, Thomas Peczkowski survives. Also surviving are a daughter, Andrea Bellairs (John Lauer) of Surprise, AZ; son, James Peczkowski (Cathy McGrath) of Twin Lakes, WI; grandson, Troy (Crystal) Bellairs of Surprise, AZ; granddaughter, Angie Bellairs of South Bend, IN; three stepchildren, Tim (Linda) Todd of LaPorte IN, Patty Todd of South Bend, IN, and Colleen (Randy) Stilley of Hot Springs, AR; and 4 step-grandchildren. Joseph also has two great-grandchildren surviving, Robert Szabo of South Bend IN and Saphira Bellairs of Surprise, AZ.

Joseph learned to snow ski in his 50s and was an avid golfer well into his 80s. Even though he had vision in only one eye, he regularly defeated all opponents at pool. But through it all, his kindness and good humor always shined brightly and extended well beyond his immediate family. He was loved and respected by many. He was a blessing to all who knew him and he will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be from 3-7 p.m. Monday, January 6, 2020 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, where Military Honors will be conducted.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any Salvation Army location of the donor's choice.

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01/04/2020 JFC