Francis J. Orlawski, 96, of Woodbury, formerly of Meriden, peacefully left us on January 29, 2021 to be with the love of his life, Clara, who left us on October 28, 2020.
He married Clara Savchik on November 14, 1953. They had a beautiful and happy life together.
Francis was born in Naugatuck on November 6, 1924, the only child of John and Gladys (Witkus) Orlawski. He was educated in Naugatuck schools and graduated from Naugatuck High School in 1943. He then attended Yale University in the V-12 Program.
In November 1943, he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Pacific on an LST as a Fire Controlman. He was a proud WWII Veteran, a member of "the greatest generation".
After the war, he attended UCONN on the GI Bill, saying that Yale was "too hoity toity" for him.
Francis was a design engineer at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, retiring after 35 years.
Pratt & Whitney sent him back to Yale for courses, he just couldn't seem to stay out of New Haven.
During his career, he designed jet engines for many military and commercial planes, most notably the Boeing 747.
His second career was being retired, which he worked at for over 30 years. This led to a wide range of activities, including renovating the Russian Hall, reading, fishing, Goodspeed musicals, UCONN women's basketball, walking every day, listening to jazz, crossword puzzles, worldwide trips with the Waterbury Chorale, and anniversary trips to Aruba for 20 years in a row.
Francis was a good man. He lived through the Depression; at 18 years old, he enlisted in the Navy and fought in WWII; he had a successful career, and had a family that he loved unconditionally and that deeply loved and respected him.
Francis had a long and very good life filled with love, with his best girl by his side.
He will be so greatly missed. May he Rest In Peace with Clara.
And May his memory be eternal.
Francis is survived by his son, John Orlawski; his daughter, Hilary Standish; cousin, John Kaukas and his children John (Susan) Kaukas, and Deborah (Lawrence) Gordon; dear sister-in-law, Margaret Savchik; dear nieces Andrea Konetchy, and Claudia Foret and her sons Andrew (Deborah) Foret and Tim (Ana) Foret; nephew John (Brigitte) Savchik and their children Peter, Stephen, and Clara Savchik; and nephew Tom (Peggy) Savchik.
In addition to his wife and parents, Francis was predeceased by his cousin, Albert White, who was more of a brother than a cousin; cousin Jenny Kaukas and son Robert Kaukas; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; brother-in-law Nicholas (Esther) Savchik and daughter Nicole; brother-in-law Alexander Savchik; sister-in-law Nena (Tony) Herida and son Peter; nephews Ronald Konetchy and John Foret; and son-in-law Neil Standish.
Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions can be made to SS Peter & Paul Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 334 Meriden, CT 06450, in his name.
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