- About Us
Clement John ChelminiakJuly 17, 1920 ~ March 17, 2017 (age 96)
C.J. "Chelly" Chelminiak lived a remarkably American life. He loved his family, his community, and he had a deep faith in God.
Born before the Depression in South Bend, IN, he was a lifelong fan of the University of Notre Dame. And not just the sports teams. He was proud of the intellectual achievements of the Univeristy and the place it held in society. He bled Blue and Gold.
As a child, he raced outside to watch the Spirit of St. Louis fly over, and a spirit of adventure and innovation was born. He worked at Boeing as an engineer for 42 years. Dad was a member of Joe Sutter's "Incredibles", the engineers who designed the Queen of the Skies, the Boeing 747.
Chelly was all about family. And that family extended well beyond blood lines. Yes, thre is Paul, Kathy and John (Lynn Semler). And there are grandchildren, Mindy, Simmons, Kelsy Ausland (Aaron),m Morgan Tuff and Megan Chelminiak and a great-grandchild William Ausland. His youngest sister Antoinette (Angie) Claxton survives him. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Theresa Chelminiak, brothers Ted and John, and sisters Gertrude McKeil and St. Helen Marie C.R. There are nephews and nieces who live around the globe. They all remain close.
The greatest commitment of his life was to his wife Gertrude Kroll who left us much too soon. He wore his wedding ring through more than thirty-years of grieving. And now, they are reunited in God's love and dancing a polka in heaven.
He enjoyed a very extended family. There was the group of families from the "apartments" on California Ave. SW. We celebrated holidays together for decades. And there is the extended circle of friends from Genesee Hill. Dad loved his neighbors. Some moved on, others moved in, and he always made friends; close friends, and many were with him in his last days. Thursday was always Boeing lunch day in Renton.
Chelly followed traditions. One of those passed down to all family members in making Polish sausage. It is the heart of all family celebrations. Dad was the master mixer. All of us were the grinders and stuffers.
A special place for Dad was Hawaii, especially Poipu Beach, Kauai. He also cherished the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, hiking, climbing, and skiing. He loved golf at West Seattle, getting in four rounds at 96 years of age. It was more about the people he played with than the game.
His rock was Holy Rosary Church and School. After retirement, he used his professional experience for projects like the school seismic retrofit, repairing the damage from the church fire, building new chapel, and many other projects. He was a fixture at the 5 p.m. vigil.
Services will be Tuesday, March 28, at Holy Rosary Church - West Seattle. Rosary will be at 9:45 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. A dontation to the American Cancer Society is requested in lieu of flowers.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123