Stanley Sochanel
1932 - 2021
BORN
1932
DIED
2021
Sochanek, Stanley Stanislaw (Stan) Sochanek was born in Tomaszow Lubelski, Poland on May 7, 1932. During the Nazi Regime in 1939, he and his family were sent to Germany by way of a crowded cattle car to work in a German ammunition factory. At the work camp, Stan was quite instrumental in helping to obtain extra food for a camp that was in survival mode. At the end of the War, Stan and his family were sent back to a Communist Poland where they had very little freedom. As a young man with much determination and zest for life, in 1953, Stan swam across the Odra river to escape to Berlin where he soon joined the U.S. Army. This was by far one of the proudest moments in his life. While in the Army, Stan was sent to Japan with the 101st Airborne Division, where his love for Judo began. While in Japan, he received his black belt in Judo in just nine months. After leaving the Army, he settled in Grand Rapids and for 60+ years pursued his love of Judo, teaching Judo to thousands of students ranging from youth to adults. He had the distinguished honor of retiring as a 7th Degree Black Belt. He loved to cook, garden, dance, play tennis and racquetball and travel. He is survived by his wife, Susan, sister, Ericka Sochanek, son Eric Sochanek (Alexandra), Scott Sochanek (preceded in death), David Sochanek (Valerie), and Christina Bregg (Richard), Stepdaughter, Stacey Olk (John Olk), and Stepson Kenny Seale (Jodi). Five grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Services will be held at Saint Isidore Catholic Church on Friday, May 7th. Visitation is at 10:00 A.M. and the service is at 11:00 A.M. Contributions can be made to the Stan Sochanek Judo Memorial Scholarship Fund at Godai Judo in Grand Rapids. To donate, contact Jim Murray at (616) 293-1568.


Published by Grand Rapids Press from Apr. 19 to Apr. 25, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
May
7
Visitation
10:00a.m.
Saint Isidore Catholic Church
MI
May
7
Service
11:00a.m.
Saint Isidore Catholic Church
MI
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6 Entries
Here is a picture of Stan, My Dad and a sportswriter “Al Ackerman?” I hope this picture brings back good memories to you
Deb Dean Lampani
Friend
May 7, 2021
Please accept my sincere sympathy. Stan was a very good friend of my father’s back in the 60’s early 70’s. It was Stan who was his Sensei and helped Dad achieve his Black Belt in Judo. Peace to your family, Stan was a good man.
Deb Dean
Friend
April 28, 2021
Thank you for sharing the story of Stan's life. What an amazing man he was! I worked with Stan at East Hills for a very long time but had never heard of his amazing perseverance as a young man. Jerry and I will be keeping you all in my thoughts an prayers.
sandy
Coworker
April 22, 2021
I remember Stan very well from my years of Judo lessons he provided, first in his garage at his house on Crescent Street, then briefly in the basement of his house on Crescent Drive, then at his Judo school on Franklin Street. I have vivid and fond memories of those years (my ages 8-16). Stan was dedicated to teaching Judo correctly. He taught his students to respect each other, their opponents, and the sport. Although I haven’t seen him in many decades I remember him well. I’m sure he will be missed. I pray God will comfort his family in their time of loss.
Student
April 20, 2021
Our prayers and condolences to Susan and his family.
Pat & Marcia Bell
Friend
April 20, 2021
Eric and the Sochanek Family,
I am very sorry for your loss. Please cherish the memories. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Mr. Sochanek.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Fred Cariano
April 20, 2021
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