Walter J. “Mike” Gretkowski, 97, passed away on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at his residence in Sunrise of Exton. He was a former resident of Stoudsburg.
Born in Dickson City, he was the son of the late Walter and Annie Ruda Gretkowski.
A veteran of WWII, Mike served in the U.S. Navy Seabee Marines, serving two of the years in the South Pacific. After his discharge, he played baseball in a farm league team, cut short by a broken ankle in 1948.
In 1951, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. degree from East Stroudsburg University, where he was a member of the National Honor Fraternities, Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Delta. While in college, he managed the East Stroudsburg Plaza theatre.
Before his retirement, Mike worked as a life insurance salesman for Prudential. For a time, he was a Regional Manager for DE, MD and several Washington D.C. areas and received a CLU designation and an Estate Planning Certification.
After his retirement, he taught courses in Insurance for the Life Underwriter’s Training Council, LUTC. He was a founding member of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council and was a member of the National Association of Life Underwriters.
As a recipient of the Prudential Financials Community Service Award, he served on the Board of Directors of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, was on the Board and served as Chairman of the Monroe County General Authority, and was President of the Monroe County Visiting Nurses Association.
Mike was very active throughout the community. He served as an Assistant Chairman in fund drives to build the Burnley Workshop Building in Stroudsburg and was especially proud to serve as Trustee of the new Eastern Monroe County Library on 9th Street in Stroudsburg.
He also served as Chairman, Secretary and Supervisor (1991) for Stroud Township and was a liaison to the Planning Commission, COG, 911 Control Center.
Mike was a member of the Elks, Eagles, Knights of Columbus and Rotary Club. He was also a member of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and a longtime member of St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Stroudsburg.
He loved classical music and landscaping. He planted trees and shrubs for neighbors and continued this into his late 80’s.
Mr. Gretkowski is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Helen Ryczak Gretkowsk of Mayfield; children, Susan Gretkowski, Lyn Wood (Charles) and Tom Grett (Nancy Miller); grandchildren, Kelly, Kailyn, Solomon, Jaqueline and Annika; and sisters, Victoria Jenkins and Pearl Yazinski.
A memorial service will take place at 11 am on Monday, March 4th at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335, where family and friends may gather a half hour before the service. Interment will be at a later date in Laurelwood Cemetery, Stroudsburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Center, 2010 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.