Allan A. “Al” Warzecha, 85
October 27, 1937 - October 6, 2023
Allan A. Warzecha, age 85, of Holdingford passed away peacefully of natural causes surrounded by his family on Friday, October 6, 2023 in the home where he was born, built by his parents on land that was purchased by his great grandfather in 1888 after he immigrated to Minnesota from Poland.
A graveside service will be held at the St. Hedwig Parish Cemetery at a later date. An open house Celebration of Life will be held on October 28, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Holdingford American Legion in Holdingford, MN. Arrangements are with Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.
Allan Alois Warzecha was born on October 27, 1937 in Holdingford, MN to Stanley and Sally (Kuklok) Warzecha. He grew up in Holdingford and graduated from Holdingford High School in 1955. Allan’s father passed away at a young age and Al stayed at home to help his mother on the farm and continued living on the family farm after his marriage to Donna Determan on June 17, 1967. He served in the National Guard for six years and he then owned and operated Warzecha Plumbing & Heating until 2019 when he retired due to health concerns. Al provided plumbing and heating services to many in his community and was known for his quality work and making his own ductwork for heating systems. He would often respond to late night calls to fix furnaces in the middle of the winter and phone calls from customers asking for a service call. Up until two weeks ago, he generously provided over the phone guidance and taught customers how to fix an issue themselves at no charge to them. He was a natural engineer, finding creative ways to make anything he needed to overcome any challenge. He was a frugal man and had a knack for creating useful tools out of found objects. His current project was rebuilding a 1959 Aeronca Champion airplane, which he was very proud of and close to completing.
Al had a great sense of humor and loved playing practical jokes. He enjoyed animals, tools, attending auctions, and collecting Cockshutt Tractors. He loved Polka music, even learning to play the button box and piano accordion by ear. He looked forward to attending as many live Polka music events as he could over the years. Walking into his house and shop, you were guaranteed to hear Polka music playing over KASM radio. He also loved spending time in his shop, which was an “organized mess,” yet Al knew exactly where everything was located.
Al obtained his pilot’s license in 1965 from Whitney Memorial Airport, which was the original airport in St. Cloud. He and Donna owned 4 airplanes throughout their marriage. Allan had a great passion for flying. They attended many fly-in breakfasts and took many cross country trips in their airplane over the years. He enjoyed taking people for rides in his airplane and was known for doing stunts especially for laughs. He and Donna loved traveling and took many family road trips throughout the U.S., as well.
Al, known as “Woody” by some, was a beloved member of the community. Al’s door was always open and he had frequent drop-in visitors. He loved spending time with his family, especially his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was a humble man with a quiet faith and will be deeply missed by many.
He is survived by his daughters, Karen Knight (Greg) of Litchfield, MN, Diane Warzecha of Menlo Park, CA, Kim (Wayne) Maciejewski of Avon, MN, and Kathy Warzecha of Holdingford, MN; seven grandchildren, Kayleigh (TJ) Vernon of Casper, WY; Jeremy (Katie) Lewerenz of Mora, MN; Arielle (Josh) Johnson of Darwin, MN, Kalin Volinkaty of Darwin, MN; Crystal Czech (Nat) of Little Falls, MN; Rachel Maciejewski of Sauk Rapids, MN; Garrett (Linda) Warzecha of Phoenix, AZ; six great-grandchildren, Cannen, Aurora, Easton, Amelia, Piper and Charlie. He is also survived by his beloved dog, Buster, and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna, on March 3, 2021; his parents, Sally and Stanley Warzecha; sisters Lucille Skroch, Cecelia Grebinoski, Jeannette Fautsch and brothers Othmar and Leonard Warzecha.
As his health declined in the last few years, the family is grateful for the wonderful care he received from all of his providers at CentraCare, including Dr. Nee, Dr. Cowardin, nurse Joyce, and the rest of the Nephrology team, Amy Kramer, APRN,CNP., Dr. Kern, the Cardiology team at Centracare, Dr. Abigael Luke, and all of his care team at St. Cloud Hospital especially Bre, Kathie, and Sammi who were there toward the end. Thank you to the Holdingford Fire and Rescue Squad, Mayo Clinic Ambulance, and the Stearns County Sheriff who assisted in Dad’s last trip to the hospital and the Mayo Clinic Ambulance service who carefully and compassionately brought Dad home for his last time. A special thank you to Stephanie, RN of CentraCare Hospice, for her compassionate support and care at the end of Allan’s life.
Al’s family would like the community to know how grateful they are to all of you for the visits, phone calls, homemade treats and friendship over the years.