WATERFORD — On Friday, October 15, 2021, 11-1/2 months after his beloved wife’s passing, Martha led Louie to their new home of peace. He was born April 19, 1934 to Polish immigrants, Bruno and Helena (Wrzosek) Malinowski. He was the youngest of 12 children and the last to pass, including all spouses.

He spent his entire life in Waterford, having no desire to live anyplace else but here, near to all that he knew and loved. He admired John F. Kennedy. He was a 1952 graduate of Waterford Academy, and he held great respect for his classmates. He was bilingual, speaking his parents’ native Polish language, as well as English.

Louie loved binoculars, maps, and words, every morning completing the crossword puzzle in the Erie Times with the assist of his 1969 World Book Encyclopedia set, “his computer.” He was often quiet. He spoke with intention, so any compliment he gave was well deserved. He would scoff at the length of his obituary, but everyone agrees that this skinny paper needs fattened up with more local stories.

Lou said he outdid himself when Martha Wedzikowski married him in 1957. “She was immaculate.” Side by side for 63 years, they created their American Dream. Not without difficulties, they stayed committed to their wedding vows, “In good times and in bad.”

Louie often said, “If you want something, ya’ gotta’ Work Hard.” He was a self-made man and an excellent provider. He was modest, crediting Martha, “Ma’ taught us well.” In the early years, he farmed. In 1964, he became purveyor of the Waterford Beverage Company, working 15 hour days with his wife, 6 days a week, for 19 years…”For your favorite brew, see Martha and Lou.”

Louie was as strong as an ox. He had incredible drive. He still hand-chopped 4 cords of firewood for winter without using a log splitter. He maintained his own land until his final days. Despite Good Samaritans asking him to stop, he continued to push-mow his hillside because he would never be satisfied having someone else do his work. In his final hours, he informed his children that he changed his middle name to Louie ‘Pick-Up-Sticks’ Malinowski. He totally loved the outdoors, spying on deer, and caring for his woods, each day spending time communing with his trees.

He was generous, faithfully donating to Waterford’s Stancliff Hose Company, to world and national tragedies, to church, to those who were ill. He often gave to strangers, delivering a load of firewood to people he heard were down and out; giving money to a man whose house was robbed. He provided dental work for a gal in need, and school clothes to the less fortunate.

Survivors include three children: Becky (Joe) Dwyer, Jeff (Debbie) Malinowski, Robin (Scott) Turk; one “Grand Child”, Joseph Malinowski; his in-laws, Danny and Theresa Wedzikowski; dear Aunt Alice and clan; many loving nieces and nephews, especially June; and his lifelong friends, Pat and Dennis Bliley. Deep gratitude to all of you for the vigil of prayers. Blessings to the COVID staff at Saint Vincent’s.

Calling hours will be at Van Matre Funeral Home, 105 Walnut Street, Waterford on Friday from 4-8 p.m. A private funeral service will be held for the family. Masks are required.

In lieu of flowers and memorials, we ask that you: SERVE THE GREATER GOOD BY PROTECTING OUR VULNERABLE POPULATION. COVID ISN’T A TOPIC THAT SHOULD DIVIDE US. IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE THE GOLDEN RULE: “TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED”; IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE “JUST A COLD,” GET TESTED; WEAR MASKS; INSIST THAT OTHERS WEAR MASKS IF YOU HAVE LOW IMMUNITY; GET VACCINATED.

Louie died of COVID, his life cut short, even at 87. He was alone without his family for his entire hospitalization. He was proud to be fully vaccinated, but he was of high risk and low immunity with an underlying condition. He “appeared” strong, because he had a willful commitment to continue working hard.

He believed vaccines to be our “World’s Greatest Development” and he didn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to take advantage of their protective value. Please honor this fellow man, each other, and the ‘silent many’ who have weak immunity in this Public Health Crisis.

His final words in his last moments, his children by his side, “It’s the Light of Day”…”I’m Going Up”.