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Life Story / Obituary
Known to be jovial, Donald Sobieck lived his life always looking on the bright side of things. A generous and compassionate person, he devoted his life to living it to its fullest. Remarkably, during his lifetime, he had traveled to many World-Wide destinations including Scandinavia, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Caribbean, France, Ireland, and Scotland. In addition, he vacationed to thirty-six U.S. states, three territories, six Canadian provinces, and nearly thirty-five countries. Although he will be deeply missed, Donald leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories that his loved ones will cherish forever.
Looking back on the 1930s, it is difficult to recall much of anything that wasn’t affected by the Great Depression. There were few jobs and a soaring unemployment rate that left countless American families without homes. Despite these tough times, George and Eleanor Sobieck celebrated with great joy the arrival of their newborn son, Donald, born on September 18, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan. His father jumped from job to job during the tough times eventually ending up as a technician at Chrysler Motor Company's Mound Road Engine Plant and his mother was a homemaker. Donald’s birth brought much happiness and promise to the family home.
Growing up primarily in Detroit and Redford, he lived a typical childhood. As a young boy, he loved to play with his pet dog, Boots, and Penny, their friend's horse. He also constructed model planes made of balsa wood and enjoyed flying them. His interest in learning how to fly led him to take lessons as a young adult in addition to becoming a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He also loved to entertain his friends on Schoolcraft Road by racing cars and was known to pack a car full of friends to head off for Chicago at the spur of the moment! After graduating from Redford Union High School, he drove cars off a Chrysler assembly line for a year before landing a position in the distribution department of the National Bank of Detroit. Little did he know that this would be the start of a lifelong career where he would work for forty-four years before retiring as a Financial Officer, while taking career advancement courses at the American Institute of Banking along the way.
Not only would the National Bank be home to his livelihood, but it would also be the setting responsible for the meeting of his future wife, Donna. While working at one of the Detroit area branches, his eyes landed on the woman of his dreams. They were married in 1959 and proudly raised two wonderful children together; Bonnie and Keith. Donald treasured his role as a father. He loved to take his family on vacations and was proud to show them numerous places throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. He and Donna also loved to go on cruises and had been on twelve during their time together. No matter where they were, they were never short on laughter as Donald loved to make others laugh with his favorite sayings and funny jokes. There was never a dull moment when Donald was around!
Donald never lacked for activities or hobbies to fill his time. An avid radio enthusiast, he was a member of several amateur radio clubs including the Livonia Amateur Radio Club (LARC), the Garden City Amateur Radio Club (GCARC), and the Michigan Area Radio Enthusiasts (MARE). Passionate about everything radio, he also went on to obtain his certification as a Skywarn National Severe Weather Spotter. In addition to his strong interest in radio, he also enjoyed being a member of the Yankee Air Force, the Oldsmobile Club of America, the Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and the Friends of Greenfield Village. He loved to attend air shows, car shows and read books on cars and airplanes. Donald enjoyed learning as much as he could about the world around him. Whenever anyone wanted to talk about radio, cars, or airplanes, they were in good company with Donald!
His sense of humor was often his best attribute as he made everyone he met feel at ease. It seemed as though his wit was so quick that he must have spent time rehearsing his comebacks. When asked if he was ticklish, for instance, he’d simply reply, “No, I’m Polish!” On bus trips, he would often ask the driver, "is this the bus to Poughkeepsie?". If a life could be measured by special moments, his was rich beyond measure. Donald’s legacy was enjoying all that life has to offer. Never one to hold a grudge but rather being loving as he accepted all people. Donald will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his special family and the many lives he touched.
Donald George Sobieck, age 86, passed away peacefully June 14, 2017, surrounded by family. Loving husband of Donna for 58 years. Dear father of Bonnie and Keith. The family will receive friends Monday 3:00-9:00 pm at Leonard A. Turowski and Son Funeral Home 9300 Middlebelt Road ( North of Joy Road); where a funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 11:00 am. Interment at Glen Eden Lutheran Memorial Park.