Darwin G. Bawek, 71

Published 7:53 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

Darwin Bawek, 71

Darwin G. Bawek, 71, of Austin, Minnesota, died Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at his home. He was born Dec. 3, 1945, in Austin, the son of Gilbert and Viva (Haney) Bawek. Darwin graduated from Pacelli High School in 1963 and served his country in the U.S. Navy for three years in Vietnam. He received an honorable discharge in December 1966. On Sept. 2, 1967, Darwin was united in marriage to Maureen O’Brien at Queen of Angels Catholic Parish in Austin. The couple raised three children. He belonged to St. Augustine Church in Austin, as well as the American Legion. Darwin worked for Hormel Foods Corporation before returning to school at the Albert Lea Vocational-Technical Institute from 1987-1988, where he graduated with high honors from the heating and refrigeration program. After the Hormel strike in 1985, he returned to work there and retired after 44 years. Darwin led an active life and spent much leisure time hiking, golfing, biking, and taking walks. He loved collecting and restoring cars and spending time near the ocean and the mountains. He and Maureen enjoyed traveling around the U.S. during their retirement, before her death in 2015. Darwin loved trying out many barbecue restaurants throughout his travels. More than anything, he loved the time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren who were his greatest joy. Darwin will be dearly missed by his entire family and many friends.

Survivors include his children, Scott (Tamara) Bawek of San Diego, California, Michelle “Mickey” (Dwight) Smith of Austin, and Jeff Bawek (Bridget Schmidt), also of Austin; nine grandchildren, Jake and Jesse Smith, Jared Mauer, Olivia, Cassidy, Noah, and Alec Bawek, Cooper and Payton Schmidt Bawek; one great-grandson, Brantley; and one sister, LaVonne (Donald) Dokken of Austin.

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Viva Bawek; his wife, Maureen Bawek; two sisters, Beverly Dahlback and Marlene Jensen; and two siblings, brother and a sister in infancy.

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A graveside service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, at Calvary Cemetery with Father James Steffes officiating. Military honors will be presented by American Legion Post 91. Memorials can be directed to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or recipient of donor’s choice.

Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.