John Gaikowski Sr., 96, of Bristol, SD, and formerly of Webster, SD, passed away peacefully at Sun Dial Manor in Bristol.
Memorial Visitation will be 1:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grenville, SD. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2:00p.m following the visitation. Mass will be livestreamed on Fiksdal Funeral Service Facebook page. Luncheon will follow. Inurnment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery at a later date.
John William Gaikowski Sr. was born on August 7, 1926, in rural Webster to John A. and Anna (Cytlak) Gaikowski. John was the second oldest of five boys. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grenville, South Dakota. He attended country school near the family home through the 8th grade. Because he was needed on the family farm, he stayed to work with his dad and brother. Later, John moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked there for a short time before returning to Webster.
He was united in marriage to Marie Block on September 28, 1948, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. To this union four children were born: John Jr., Sophie, Gene, and Sharon “Sherry”. The first few years the couple farmed near Grenville, South Dakota before moving to Minneapolis where John worked as a machinist and welder for over 25 years. The family moved back to the area in 1973 when the couple bought their farm in Roslyn, where John farmed until his retirement, after which he moved to Watertown. In his last few years, he resided at Stoneybrooke Assisted Living and Sun Dial Manor. Marie passed away in September 1983.
In retirement, John enjoyed traveling and wintering at his home in Texas with his friend, Hazel Pekelder. He was a talented woodworker and musician, and loved playing his accordion to entertain his children and grandchildren at family gatherings, as well as at the assisted living facilities. John especially loved our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Leading his family in faith was important to him, starting every meal by saying grace and he would get down on his knees to lead in evening prayers. John never blamed God for his troubles, instead he turned to Him for strength.
John passed away peacefully surrounded by his children, Sunday, April 16, 2023, at Sun Dial Manor in Bristol, South Dakota.
John will be forever loved and deeply missed by his children: Sophie (Norman) Winter of Loretto, MN, Gene (Nancy) Gaikowski of Webster, SD, and Sharon (Jeff) Jorgenson of Watertown, SD; one brother Leo (Myrene) Gaikowski of Webster, SD; and one daughter in law Ila Gaikowski of Webster, SD; 14 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren.
John is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Marie; one son John Jr.; his brothers, Adam (Lillian), Paul, Dennis (Judy), and two brothers in infancy; and one grandson in infancy.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be sent to: Sharon Jorgenson - 431 6th Ave NE - Watertown, SD 57201