Cover photo for Michael Rakowicz's Obituary
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1946 Michael 2023

Michael Rakowicz

June 16, 1946 — June 21, 2023

Walkersville

Michael Rakowicz was born in Oakland, California on June 16, 1946. He died of an infection that developed into sepsis on June 21, 2023, five days after his 77th birthday, and he passed at home in Walkersville, Maryland. 


Mike was the son of Bernice (102 Years Young) and the Late Maurice Rakowicz, brother of the Late John Rakowicz and sister of Janet (Bob) Walker and wife of Lois Calzone. In addition, he was “step-dad” to Jeremiah Horn of San Jose, CA. 


He grew up in Hayward, CA and graduated from Sunset High. His cousins, the Bradford’s and the Boeger’s were his frequent companions. It was his grandfather Ernie who took young Mike on elk and deer hunting camping trips to Montana, creating a life-long interest in the sport. His pleasure in working on and collecting cars began early in his teen years. Having rolled his Camaro at high speed once was fortunately enough to make him a safe driver for the rest of his life. Immediately after graduation, Mike worked odd jobs. Entertainment was going with his brother and friends to the psychedelic Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco for live shows by 60s rock and roll legends. And yes, Mike always laughed as he repeated the quote, “If you remember the 60s, you weren’t there.”


Mike acquired warehouse management skills working for his dad’s Kordon Corporation, marketing aquarium industry products including Tetramin fish food. In 1969, Mike traveled with his family on a month-long trip to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Eventually he moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to manage the company’s East Coast warehouse. That is where he met Lois Calzone and his new life began. 


His ability to make friends and maintain quality friendships over his lifetime was remarkable and attested to his kind heart and generous, thoughtful approach to people. With his warm smile and gentle laugh, Mike loved all people and always made others feel special- a trait that made one want to be with him.


He had ongoing friendships with schoolmates, beginning from pre-teen years, with former work colleagues and their families and with local farmers he helped by thinning the ranks of the “whistle pig” groundhog population on their farms. He especially loved his fellow gun enthusiasts, George Herold and family, and enjoyed Saturdays working at Herold’s Gun Shoppe. It sometimes seemed like he became genuine friends with everyone he met, including Lois’ ex-husband, Jerry! 


Mike was very funny, quick with clever puns and hilarious nicknames, especially for his much-loved pets. He renamed Lois “Rockmelon/Rockymelon” which he used affectionately. His devotion to his family was immense. He treasured his two nephews, Paul Ulbrich and Pete Ulbrich, who always referred to him as “Uncle Cool.”  He was remarkably close to his cousins Bryan and Nicki Bradford, his friends Bob and Elaine White of Redding, CA, and Chris Miller of Woodbine, MD.


Partners for more than forty years and married for one year, Lois brought to the relationship her three adult children, Kim Barton, Brian Barton, and Jude Taylor. Mike was there to welcome the births of each of his grandchildren, Sam Gay, Johnny Gay, Joey Gay and Maggie Fallon and became known as “Ol Grampy.” In addition, he was great-granddad to Lucas Gay, Thomas and Nathan Gay, and Sebastian Fallon.


Mike’s Mom always said he was so amazingly lucky to have wonderful grandchildren without having to raise any kids.
A memorial service is to be held in August, which was Mike’s “favorite” East Coast month.
Mike was loved enormously and will be missed greatly.


https://www.sepsis.org for information regarding sepsis.

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