(NEWS ARTICLE) FREMONT -- Daniel E. Chudzinski, who updated the restaurant and store his father founded, turned it over to a daughter and son, and guided his grandchildren in the world of work, died of cancer Sunday at his home in Sandusky County's Ballville Township. He was 85.
He left the day-to-day operations of Chud's decades ago, but in retirement remained a presence, acting as host and even busing tables.
"He enjoyed the people," his son Anthony said. "He just enjoyed talking. He had a story for everything."
Most of his grandchildren worked at the business. Dusting shelves was a gateway to clearing, then waiting on tables, and kitchen duties.
He taught them how to work, said granddaughter Julie Chudzinski, and "he taught them what work was.
"He pushed you hard. He wanted you to do your best," said his granddaughter, a funeral director at Keller-Ochs-Koch-Mason Funeral & Cremation Service, Fremont.
His father was a master meat cutter, and A.A. Chudzinski and Sons Market was a grocery store. Now the retail operation is a convenience store with deli items. The attached restaurant, once Tony's Grill, is now Chud's Grille.
When Mr. Chudzinski and his siblings came back from military service in World War II, their father put them to work in the business -- even his daughters' husbands.
Mr. Chudzinski remained and became owner in 1963. His store survived while other nearby family owned markets folded in the supermarket era. "He gutted the whole place and brought it into the 1960s," his son said. "He changed with the times." The business now is run by son Peter and daughter Karen.
Born in Fremont, he was a 1944 graduate of St. Joseph High School.
His brother was a bomber pilot in World War II. Two sisters joined the Women's Army Corps. His duty was as a turret gunner aboard B-29s, but he stayed stateside. The war ended before the mission to Japan for which he trained began.
He became an airplane pilot in the late 1960s and received commercial and instrument ratings. He had several of his children fly solo -- "before he would let them drive their car solo," his son recalled. He later bought and flew a helicopter, and he collected old fire ladder trucks and pumpers and farm tractors. "You wonder when he slept, but he did," his son said.
His granddaughter said, "He was a complete character. He was happy and had things his way."
He was especially proud that his 10 children were college graduates.
He and his wife traveled the country in their succession of motor homes and spent winters in Gulf Shores, Ala.
He was baptized and got married at St. Joseph Church, Fremont. He was a charter member of Sacred Heart Church. He decided the Polish-American parish needed his money, and so he joined St. Casimir, his son said. After that church was closed, he joined St. Ann parish and served at 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass. In what became a weekly custom, he treated the priest to dinner at Chud's.
He and the former Pauline Molyet married Oct. 15, 1949. She died Feb. 7, 2003. In recent years, he and Rachel Shearon were companions, and their adventures included a trip to Spain.
Surviving are his daughters, Therese Clouse, Karen O'Neal, Mary Beier, Barbara Chudzinski, Patty Culbert, and Amy Chudzinski; sons, Anthony, Mark, Peter, and Jacob; sisters, Katie Root and Margaret Pert; 22 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Joseph Church, Fremont. Arrangements are by Keller-Ochs-Koch-Mason Funeral & Cremation Service, Fremont.
The family suggests tributes to St. Ann Church or Hospice of Memorial Hospital, both of Fremont.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.
Published in Toledo Blade on Jan. 25, 2012
Arrangements under the direction of:
Keller-Ochs-Koch-Mason Funeral & Cremation Service
416 South Arch Street | Fremont, OH 43420 | (419) 332-8288