Wednesday, September 16, 2015
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Thursday, September 17, 2015
10:30 AM EDT
St. Theodore Catholic Church
8200 N. Wayne Rd
Westland, MI 48187
In State 10:00am until time of Mass.
Interment: St. Hedwig cemetery
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Alexander Skiba was a hardworking man who lived fully in the moments he was given. He told the best stories and somehow always managed to make those around him laugh. Alex was a devoted family man to be sure, and he was blessed beyond measure to witness his family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made his heart swell with pride. Although he will be deeply missed, Shorty will never be forgotten.
The 1920s were some of the most exciting days we have seen as a nation as innovation was taking us places we had never been. Radios, refrigerators, and motion pictures in both color and sound were all signs of the time. Jazz music and ballroom dancing colored the cultural fabric of our nation while Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb made baseball America’s favorite pastime. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1926 when Alexander and Helena Skiba were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of spring covered Detroit, Michigan, in May. The big day finally arrived on May 30th when the boy they named Alexander E. drew his first breath. He was born a triplet, but sadly, his sisters, Florence and Eleanor, did not survive. He was raised in the family home in Detroit alongside his siblings, Johnny, Joe, Della, Tony, Berniece, Paul and Helen. To support their family, his father worked as a bricklayer while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home.
In many ways, Alex was a young boy of his generation. He enjoyed the companionship of his dog, Whimpy. Alex could often be found out playing in the sandpile, shooting marbles, or playing “Dorie” with his sister, Helen, and among his best friends were
Johnny Sacko, Junior Kanarski, and Pat Walters. Alex loved eating pizza at Mrs Sackos’ house, and although he hated liver sausage he loved Kishka. As a teen, he had a girlfriend named Irene Selmer, and he liked playing shuffleboard and dancing the polka as his favorite music was Polish. On the weekend, Alex was usually at the bars, Gables and Kalinkas, to drink, dance, and socialize. He was so proud of his 1936 Ford. He attended local schools, but only through the eighth grade, which was fairly common for this time. Alex did know three languages, English, Polish, and Italian.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Alex’s blossoming relationship with the woman of his dreams. Her name was Janet, and they met at Gables Bar on Ash Wednesday in 1957. Sparks flew right from the start, and they soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Alex and Janet were married in the late 1959. Together they were blessed to welcome four children, Joe, Steve, Rosemarie, and Donna, into their hearts and home. Later, Alex was filled with unspeakable joy to welcome 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren into the family. Affectionately called Andy, Al, or Lou by his kids, his family knew that he could have a temper if he got mad, but they also knew that he was quick to forgive.
To support his family, Alex worked hard in his career. He spent 10 years as a pipe fitter’s helper at Murray Sales. From there, Alex spent 25 years working at Ford. He started out as a line worker and moved up the ladder there, retiring as a maintenance worker. Alex told countless stories from work, some were funny and some were more serious. Among his co-workers, he was known as Pops. For several years he also moonlighted as a night manager at a local laundromat.
As his family and friends can attest, Alex was mostly a homebody. He liked going fishing, going to Tiger games, collecting old coins and old cars, playing shuffleboard, and bowling. Alex also played the lottery and enjoyed going out for a beer after work. Although he didnt like to travel, he did go up North where he liked to fish and drove a pontoon boat. Alex and his wife also went to Canada to go gambling for his 25th wedding anniversary, and he also had so much fun at his 80th birthday party. He liked classic movies like ones with John Wayne and James Cagney, and he also enjoyed old war movies. Since he was not very handy, Alex was known as a “jack of all trades, master of none.”
With unending devotion to his family and a friends, Alex Skiba brought such happiness to others. He was a no frills sort of guy who never asked for much and could be sentimental at times, too. Alex had a fun-loving zest for life and was known for saying things like, “I’ll clean your clock,” and his heart of gold was easy to see. He leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever treasure.
Alex Skiba died on September 13, 2015. Alex’s family includes his wife, Janet; children, Joseph, Steven (Angie), Rosemarie (Paul) Celmer, and Donna (Michael) Chapman; 13 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and sister, Helen Skiba. Family will receive friends Wednesday 2-9 p.m. with a rosary at 7pm at Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, 10:30 a.m. at St Theodore Catholic Church, 8200 N Wayne Rd, Westland. In State 10 a.m. until mass begins. Interment St Hedwig Cemetery. Please visit www.TurowskiLifeStory.com where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.