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Donald J. “Buzz” Byczynski, 78, of Ottawa passed away June 19, 2013, surrounded by his family.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Francis of Assisi Church, Ottawa, with the Rev. Mike Adrie officiating.
Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery with military services.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday in Ottawa Funeral Home with prayers at 4 p.m. with the Knights of Columbus.
Buzz was born March 31, 1935, in Granville to Carl and Irma (Tondi) Byczynski. He married Gloria Savitch on Nov. 19, 1960, in St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Spring Valley.
He served in the U.S. Army after graduating from La Salle-Peru Township High School in 1953 and attending L-P-O Junior College. He worked for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for 36 years and was lockmaster at Starved Rock Lock & Dam for 19 years until his retirement from the Corps in 1992. While at the Corps he was elected the only honorary member of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. He also farmed part time during these years.
Buzz was a member of Knights of Columbus, having served as Grand Knight; Ottawa Elks, the Ottawa Moose Lodge, Ottawa Youth for Sports and Engineers Rod & Gun Club. He also was a member and president of Ottawa Board of Recreation.
Buzz enjoyed fishing, golfing, mushroom hunting, poker and traveling the world with his wife and friends after retirement. He was an avid sports fan and shared his colorful personality at many of his grandchildren’s events. He never met a stranger he didn’t befriend. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Buzz is survived by his wife, Gloria; one daughter, Beth (Rick) Schmitt of Sandwich; two sons, Brad (Lisa) Byczynski of Plainfield and Bill (Kathy) Byczynski of Marseilles; six grandchildren, Paul and Tim Schmitt, Colin, Anna, Ben and Alayna Byczynski; one great-granddaughter, Grace; one sister, Charlotte Klein of La Salle; and one brother, Robert Byczynski of Utica.
He was preceded in death by one sister, Rose Byczynski.
Pallbearers will be Paul and Tim Schmitt, Colin and Ben Byczynski, Herb Klein, Bill Krause and Dennis Peruba.
Memorials may be directed to St. Francis Catholic Church or Ottawa High School Booster Club.