As many of you already know, my Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer back in 1997 and up until November 2007 was doing very well. Typically once someone has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, they only have a 5% chance to live beyond one year. My father went through two surgeries and many different experimental drugs over the last few years to be able to live an additional 11 years beyond the odds, but on September 30th the doctor gave him 6 months or less to live and this morning he passed away at age 61, just 11 days before his 62nd birthday. We really need to learn to live for every day.
See below for funeral details.
Sawruk, John M.,PE, age 61, of White Lake; passed away on November 12, 2008, at his home with his family by his side. Loving husband of Marjorie for 40 years and caring father of John M. Sawruk, Jr., Jeffrey J. Sawruk and Jennifer M. Sawruk; grandfather of Mikaila B. Ribianszky; son of Helen Sawruk and the late John Sawruk of NJ, brother of James (Janet) Sawruk of PA and Gary (Susan) Sawruk of NJ; uncle of Jeremy of PA and Amanda and Christine of NJ; brother-in-law of Virginia Wetmore and the late Joseph K. Wetmore of NJ; son-in-law of the late Kimball F. and Marjorie Wetmore. John was a licensed Professional Engineer, receiving his Mechanical Engineering degree from Newark College of Engineering and his MBA from Wayne State. He devoted his entire 34-year career to Pontiac Engineering. After his retirement in 2002, he wrote a regular column in several Pontiac automotive magazines, and was a regular contributor to two major car club publications. Upon his retirement, he continued to be enthusiastic about cars, attending the annual National Convention of the Pontiac-Oakland Club, International and GTO Association of America from 1983-present. He was a member of St. Patrick Church and held memberships in many organizations, such as, Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma (honorary engineering societies) and Theta Chi fraternity as well as many car clubs. He loved collecting Lionel toy trains and Pontiac memorabilia including what he referred to as “trash and trinkets” as long as it was Pontiac related. During his career, he became the official historian for PMD in addition to his engineering duties. He could spit out camshaft numbers like you wouldn’t believe, but don’t ask him when his parents’ anniversary was! He had a stint as the head of Pontiac Motorsports for several years and always got a kick out of Dale Earnhardt calling him, “Mr. Pontiac”. A highlight of this career was being presented with the prestigious Boss Kettering Award from GM related to a patent he received for an intake manifold on the 4-cylinder, “Iron Duke” engine. He was very proud of the fact that his father served on the battleship, North Carolina during WWII. His car friends referred to him as a walking encyclopedia; or some called him Yoda, but to the family, he was just Dad or Sweetheart. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, November 17, 2008, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 9086 Hutchins Rd., White Lake. Visitation on Sunday from 2-8 p.m. the Highland Chapel of the Elton Black & Son Funeral Home, 3295 E. Highland Road, Highland. Mr. Sawruk will lie in state at church from 10 a.m. until Mass. Interment at White Lake Cemetery, White Lake. Please, in lieu of flowers, consider donations specifically to kidney cancer research at the University of Michigan or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research in New York City… Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.