Andrzej Franciszek Polakiewicz
February 27, 1943 – January 5, 2022
Champion. Adventurer. Gardner.
Beloved father and grandfather.
Born February 27, 1943, in the mountain town of Zakopane, Poland – to Ludwik and Bronislawa Polakiewicz – younger brother to Marian and older brother to Wanda.
Andrzej began his storied weightlifting and body building career at age 15. By age 18, he was setting records and achieved the title of Junior Champion in his division. He continued to compete and win across Europe, at which time he met the love of his wife Zofia at his father’s tailor shop. They were married in 1970. Always studious, Andrzej received his Master’s in 1972, after which time he dedicated himself to training and mentoring others, becoming the Director of the Olympic center in Zakopane.
Andrzej’s first son was born on Christmas of 1974 and was named after him. Andrzej Sr. was a doting and loving father, dedicating all his energy to raising his son. He cultivated his son’s love for the outdoors and sports; downhill skiing, cross country skiing, hiking, swimming, and countless road trips across Poland became a staple of the family.
In 1981, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue a life of better opportunities. Times were difficult and pay was meager, but the family saved up enough to buy a car and a home. Andrzej would freeze over the back yard in winter to create an ice rink for Andrzej Jr. to skate on, and continued the tradition of road trips, now all across America’s greatest national parks. Andrzej and Zofia’s second son Marek was born in 1986 and received the same kind of care and love as Andrzej.
In 1988, the family moved to Colorado to reside closer to the mountains and fresh air. Andrzej continued to cultivate an environment of learning and adventuring. His sons grew older and Andrzej Jr. had a son named Severyn who spent a lot of time in the care of his grandparents and benefited from his grandpa’s unconditional love.
In 2001, the family moved to California to be closer to the remainder of the larger family. At gatherings, Andrzej was always the smartest man in the room, giving a pithy saying and some profound insight with a loving eye and a warm belly laugh. Andrzej watched with great pride as Andrzej Jr. was married to Michelle and they bore him two more grandsons, Lucien and Julian; Marek was married to Christina and had four sons of their own: Marek Jr., Christian, and twins Mitchell and Michael.
Andrzej and Zofia then moved to Arizona to help their son Marek and his wife raise his family where Andrzej would bike, swim, read books and spend time with his grandchildren.
Andrzej was an incredibly intelligent, warm and selfless human being who touched and inspired countless people. He was a role model for the entire family and the ultimate wise man of the clan. He was a professional masseuse whose hands aided and healed many. He loved gardening and kept beautiful gardens throughout his life. In a sense, he was his family’s ultimate gardener.
Andrzej is survived by his beloved wife Zofia Polakiewicz, his two sons Andrzej and Marek Polakiewicz, and his seven grandchildren Severyn, Lucien, Julian, Marek Jr., Christian, Michael and Mitchel.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Scottsdale, AZ
Saturday, January 22, 11:00am
Paradise Memorial Gardens, Scottsdale, AZ
- Date & Time: 01-22-2022 (11:00 AM)
- Venue: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
- Location: Scottsdale, AZ