Stanley J. Stolarski, a World War II veteran and retired mechanic who spent three years fighting forest fires across the country with the Civilian Conservation Corps, died of small-cell lung cancer Saturday at the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. He was 85.
Mr. Stolarski was born and raised in West Toledo. After high school, he entered the conservation corps. The three years he spent fighting fires with the organization took him to every state in the union except three.
When he returned to Toledo from his work with the conservation corps, Mr. Stolarski was one of the first men to be drafted from his neighborhood in the late 1930s. He spent the next five years serving in the Army, including war-time service in North Africa.
He was a member of the C.M.V. Logsdon Walla Post 639.
After his service, Mr. Stolarski spent most of his adult life working as a mechanic.
“He loved cars,” said his daughter, Cynthia Olewinski.
He began with Kopf Motor Sales, where he worked for 12 years, after which he was a partner and mechanic for the Urbanski Garage for eight years.
“The Urbanski Garage was kitty-corner to his house on Nebraska Avenue,” Mrs. Olewinski said. “When he started working there, at that time he didn't have a job. So one day he walked across the street, and the original owner, Bob Urbanski, hired him.”
When Mr. Urbanski passed away, his son formed a partnership with Mr. Stolarski that continued for several years.
Mr. Stolarski finished his career as a mechanic for the city. He retired in 1971.
“He was a strong-minded man, very hard-working and very honest,” Mrs. Olewinski said. “We used to describe him by saying that what's black is black, what's white is white, and there's no in-between.”
Mr. Stolarski was a dedicated parishioner of St. Hyacinth Catholic Church, where he sang in the choir for 45 years.
“He loved to sing in that choir, and kept right at it, all through his life, until just about three months ago,” Mrs. Olewinski said.
Mr. Stolarski's involvement with his parish did not end with the choir. He also served as vice-president of the church's parent teacher council and as a member of the Holy Name Society.
Mr. Stolarski was a dedicated euchre player. He liked to garden and to tell jokes.
Surviving are his wife, Eleanor; daughters, Michele Jarosz, Juanita Beumel, and Cynthia Olewinski; son, Nicholas; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today and 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Sujkowski Funeral Home. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Hyacinth Catholic Church.
The family requests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.