Kwaterski, Florian Joseph
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Florian Joseph Kwaterski, 93, Baileys Harbor Wis., passed away peacefully on Jan. 4, 2014, at the home of his son, Jeffrey Kwaterski. Florian was 1 of 7 children, born April 13, 1920, to Joseph and Ethel (Root) Kwaterski. He grew up on the family farmland extending from the east side of Maxwelton Braes Golf course to the old Butler Brothers Resort, now the Kangaroo Lake Resort. After graduating from Gibraltar High School, he married Ada Walthers and lived in Sturgeon Bay, working as a welder in the Sturgeon Bay shipyards. Their first children, Judith and Florian Jr. were born in Sturgeon Bay. Together, Florian and Ada were great musicians who performed in clubs and broadcasted over radio in the Green Bay and Door County area.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, he completed basic training at Fort Sheridan, IL. Along with two brothers, he served in WWII entering at Normandy with the Keystone division. His service resulted in numerous awards and decorations as a World War II veteran. After the war, he established a home in Baileys Harbor and purchased land in Ephraim, where he operated his famous riding stable with 55 horses providing riding lessons and pleasure hayrides. Twin sons, Jerald and Joseph and daughter Jill were born.
On a return trip from purchasing additional horses, a stop at the old Cotton Club in Baileys Harbor lead to the purchase of the establishment which then became the Door County landmark Flor-Ada Supper Club. The club was known as the spot for good food and entertainment. Florian was a superb chef who also started the famous Door County Kermis. So,n Jeffrey was born and the family continued to run the business, which included a 1956 motel addition to the supper club.
In 1969, Florian married his second wife, Esther 'Betty" Stromberg Branson who had two daughters, Patricia and Linda. They expanded the motel and established their residence. In 1972 the original Flor-Ada Club burned to the ground and sons, Jerry and Joe rebuilt and reopened the establishment as the Florian II, which continues today.
After selling the motel in 1975, Florian and Betty continued with several businesses; the B&F Standard gas station and B&F Snowmobile Sales and Service and then developed land to become the B&F Travel Park in Baileys Harbor.
In 1990, they sold the travel park and enjoyed their retirement years traveling in their RV and spending winters in Arizona and Florida, eventually living in their permanent winter home in Auburndale, Florida. In 2005, they returned to being full time Door County residents of Baileys Harbor until the present.
Throughout his lifetime Florian was an excellent golfer and played in many leagues. He was a strong supporter of the Baileys Harbor A's baseball team and an avid Packer fan and ticket owner who loved the games and tail gaiting. He continued to own horses and shared his love of riding with family and in local parades. He was a proud owner of Polaris and Chaparral Snowmobile racing teams, winning many Wisconsin events. He continued his passion for cooking and serving the public with wife, Betty in their Pit Bar B Q business, catering many local and public events as they traveled. He loved gardening and caring for his roses.
Florian was known for his strong work ethic. A lifetime Door County business owner, he was an original member of the Door County Chamber of Commerce and the Baileys Harbor Business Association. He was a proud WWII veteran and supporter of the Veterans Association and the American Legion. He was a long-time active member of St Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Baileys Harbor and a 3rd degree Knights of Columbus.
Survived by his wife, Betty; 6 children, Judith Hoeft of Wausau; Florian Jr. "Sonny" Kwaterski of Orlando, Florida; Jerald (Mindy) Kwaterski of Baileys Harbor; Joe (Tina) Kwaterski of Baileys Harbor; Jill Witting of Pewaukee, WI; and Jeffrey Kwaterski of Baileys Harbor; two stepchildren, Patricia (Curt) Neudecker of Oconomowoc WI; and Linda Branson of Cottage Grove, WI; 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; sisters, Bernice Clifton of Houston, TX; and Arlene Champeau Sister Bay, WI; plus many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Ethel; brother, Ben (and Gladys) Kwaterski of DesPlaines IL; sister, Ethel "SIS" (and Harry) Highlander of Door County; brother, Wesley (and June) Kwaterski, Sister Bay; sister, Eleanor (and Arnie) Freix of Sister Bay; brothers-in-law, Jack Champeau and Jerry Clifton; son-in-law, Wally Hoeft; and nephews, Rick Kwaterski, Randy Clifton and Steve Highlander.
Florian's long life was an example of a strong faith, an unending love for his family, devoted patriotism and service to his county, and a belief in hard work.
Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 11:30 A.M. at Stella Marris Parish - Sister Bay Site. Visitation will be held from 9:30 A.M. until time of the Mass also at the Church.
Memorial donations may be made to Unity Hospice, 2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere WI 54115.
Online registration and condolences may be offered at at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com
Casperson Funeral Home
10708 North Bay Shore Drive Sister Bay, WI 54234
Published in Door County Advocate on Jan. 8, 2014