Cover photo for James Kazlauskas's Obituary
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1928 James 2020

James Kazlauskas

March 2, 1928 — September 19, 2020

James Kazlauskas, recent resident of Groesbeck and formerly of Santa Ana and San Diego, CA, passed away at Providence Hospital in Waco on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at age 92.

James was born March 2, 1928 in Chicago, IL to James Kazlauskas and Adolphina (Jonusaite) Kazlauskas.   He grew up there and graduated from Lane Tech High School.   In 1945, at 17, he enlisted in the U. S. Marines, where he served on Guam in the Pacific Theater, and was honorably discharged in 1948.

After marriage and beginning a family of three children, he began his lifetime of work in multiple careers, eventually as a tool and die maker.

In July 1975, James was married to Ida (Pinky) Johnson in Las Vegas, as they were enroute to California and their goal was to make a new start in life.   With his skills as a tool and die maker, he had no trouble finding work, and in fact worked until he was 72 years old.   Pinky passed away in 1994, and eventually James moved into the home of son and daughter-in-law James and JoAnne. 

James was considered the publicly quiet but privately outspoken family patriarch.  Known in the family as Grandpa or Big Poppa or Dad, he was a lover of dogs and gadgets (his most beloved gadget being the most recent); a spoiler of grandkids (attested to by them); the supplier of cookies and sweets to eldest great grandson Dustin; and he was the reason they all collectively embraced technology over the years.  He had the coolest gadgets and gizmos, so the grandchildren were convinced he had QVC on speed dial.  His love of planes, trains, and automobiles ran deep.  He was a life-long learner and also was an “old movie” buff. 

James loved his coffee, eating his entire orange (rind included), and bacon burned to a crispness that was only approved if the bacon snapped in half and his eggs were scrambled “just enough.”   But, the family says, when a man lived through WWII as a youngster, served his country as a Marine, and worked until he was 72, he was entitled to order his bacon and eggs however he wanted.

At age 92, he had just moved to Groesbeck with James and JoAnne, enjoying the trip from California, and had plans, including obtaining a scooter that could take him around town at 55 mph.   All the family are saddened that they did not have him longer.  

James was preceded in death by his parent; sister and brother-in-law, Antoinette and Eugene Erickson; daughter, Nancy Kazlauskas; and wife, Ida (Pinkie) Kazlauskas.

He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, James and JoAnne Kazlauskas of Groesbeck; son, Wayne Robert Kazlauskas of Chicago, IL; and grandchildren: Joy Kazlauskas of Lewisville, TX, Judy and husband Ron Ditzler of Orland Park, IL; and great grandsons, Dustin Zika of Lewisville, TX, Bryce Ditzler of Orland Park, IL and Derek Ditzler of Orland Park, IL.

Donations in memory of James may be made to World Wildlife Federation or any animal-supporting charities.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Kazlauskas, please visit our flower store.

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