Date Of BirthMay-02-1951
Date of deathFeb-24-2017
Mass will begin at 10 a.m., following visitation from 9-9:45 a.m., Friday, March 3, 2017 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 123 S. County Line Rd., Maple Park, IL.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2017, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119.
Interment will follow at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Maple Park.
Frank Kozlowski, age 65, of Maple Park, formerly of West Chicago, passed away peacefully in his sleep, at home, Saturday, February 25, 2017. He was born May 2, 1951, in Chicago to proud parents, Anthony and Genevieve (Kozienzcak) Kozlowski. Frank grew up in West Chicago and attended Ingalton School, a one room school house, before attending West Chicago High School. Frank learned some economic lessons early in life. When he found he could make more money in the concrete business than the teachers, he left school early before enlisting in the United States Marine Corp in 1970. He served his country faithfully during the Vietnam era. Frank served in the honor guard, riot control and as a Lineman. He also became an expert marksman before being honorably discharged. He returned to civilian life in West Chicago. Frank also returned to concrete construction and was instrumental in the construction of Fermi Lab in Batavia. He learned to lift and move local homes, and worked on pouring the massive concrete rings at Fermi Lab. Later he moved to Montana and continued working with concrete but added logging and soil testing to his resume before serving on oil rigs in Wyoming. Frank moved to Arizona and did various jobs, including picking grapefruit, before returning to West Chicago. It was back in his hometown that his greatest adventure began in 1979. Kathy Zimmerman attended a party for Frank’s homecoming, but it was she that came home with his heart. Their two hearts would become one on November 14, 1981 at St. Irene’s Catholic Church in Warrenville. They began their new life together in Eola where they welcomed home a son, Adam. They new family moved around a bit when the farm they lived on became a golf course, but eventually settled in Maple Park in 1988. Their daughter Sage was born in 1991, and the family became complete when Kyle came a year later. Frank was a very proud member of the Maple Park American Legion, Post 312. Frank’s heart beat for his family and a million memories were made on camping trips to Maine, Colorado, Canada, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Texas and more. Kathy and he drove down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Jose, Costa Rica and explored Manuel Antonio National Park. Wild boar hunting with Derick Adshade in Tennessee was too easy for Frank, so to make it more challenging, did it with a .45 caliber handgun. As a young man, he and his friend, Carl Cline, hitchhiked from West Chicago to Mexico. After exploring a few months, (without the benefit of knowing any Spanish!), they made timeless memories, were invited by the mayor to his daughter’s wedding. On the way home, they became separated but eventually met up again three weeks later at the West Chicago Train Station. Frank was an imaginative man, thinking up more inventions before noon than most did in a lifetime. Many didn’t pan out, but it didn’t’ stop him from dreaming. He eventually successfully patented a design for a concrete chute support system. Frank’s hands were never idle as he built Gabions for erosion control, diverted a creek off of Empire Rd., took houses in DeKalb, lifted them and using the knowledge he learned at Fermi Lab, removed the old foundation and poured a new one. Frank had a green thumb and loved to garden. He and Kathy planted thousands of flowers at their farm and hundreds of trees, including Oaks from acorns. One of those trees grew tall enough to hang a tire swing just before his daughter’s wedding. Frank also felt at home in the kitchen and won a chili contest in Maple Park. He also was known for smoking his Thanksgiving turkey in the ground. He would dig a hole and turn over a wheelbarrow to create an outdoor oven. Every year it became more elaborate and intricate. It was truly a sight to behold. Frank also got his hands dirty building a 1951 Pan Head Harley Davidson which literally began with baskets of parts. It wasn’t long before he built his own bike from the ground up. He took motorcycle racing classes at Blackhawk Farms in Rockford and it wasn’t uncommon for you to see Frank racing 140 mph into a turn with his knee inches from the ground. His heart always had room for animals. From big to little, horses to dogs, they all found a friend in Frank. Frank was a friend to all and a “dad” to many. He never met a stranger and never said an unkind word. Frank had a happy soul and shared his “sunshine” to everyone he met. A shadow now falls on the hearts of many, but the echo of his life and laughter will forever ring in the hearts of all who knew him. He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Kathy Kozlowski; three children: Adam (Sandy) Kozlowski and their children, Hannah and Keleigh; Sage (Eric) Pauli and Kyle Kozlowski; Three siblings: Gloria (Bob) Ver Maat, Carol (Chuck) Brancato and Ralph (Billie Sue) Kozlowski; many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins, plus a countryside of friends who will miss him dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents, Tony and “Geannie K” Kozlowski; six brothers: Steven, Don, Ron, Tony, Geno and Rich Kozlowski. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2017, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Mass will begin at 10 a.m., following visitation from 9-9:45 a.m., Friday, March 3, 2017 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 123 S. County Line Rd., Maple Park, IL. Interment will follow at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Maple Park. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Frank’s name. Checks may be made to the “Frank Kozlowski Memorial Fund” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.