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Obituary Raymond Norman Okonski

By November 13, 2021November 12th, 2022No Comments2 min read

Farmington Hills – noted philanthropist and Polish American patriot, entered eternal life on Friday morning, November 12, 2021, at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills. He was 95 and in declining health for some time.

Ray was born June 11, 1926, in Hamtramck, to the late Stanley and Sophie (Szczniak) Okonski and was a proud 1944 graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit. He was drafted into the US Army on September 13, 1944, and was honorably discharged on July 7, 1946. During his time in the service, Ray was wounded in the Battle Remagen during the Allied Invasion of Germany in March of 1945, and was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals for his heroic and valiant efforts.

Assisted by the G.I. Bill, Ray furthered his studies at the University of Michigan where he earned both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial-Mechanical Engineering in 1949 as well as his Masters of Business Administration in 1950, and his long career in engineering earned him executive positions with several companies, retiring in 2000.

Ray married Suzanne Marie Sloat on March 25, 1990, at the Detroit Golf Club. Sadly Suzanne preceded him in death on August 13, 2014.

Ray and Suzanne’s philanthropic endeavors were numerous and wide-reaching and will continue following his passing. The Suzanne Sloat and Ray Okonski Foundation generously supports many cultural, educational, and Catholic organizations, most specifically scholarships to a variety of schools and to his beloved Polish community.

His memberships in service organizations, where in most cases he was an office holder or board member, included the Detroit Polish Century Club (life member), the American Polish Century Club (life member), the Polish League of American Veterans, Polish American Congress and its Friends of Polish Art, American Polish Cultural Center, the Farmington/Farmington Hills Xemplar Club, VFW, American Legion, Knights of Columbus and the Order of the Alhambra. May his kind and generous soul rest in peace.

Ray is survived by his devoted caregivers, goddaughter Susan Walkowiak and her husband, Dennis of Dearborn Heights, a family of loving cousins and many friends, including, most recently, his special friends at Sunrise of Farmington Hills.

Visiting hours are scheduled for Monday, November 15, from 3-8 pm, with 7 pm prayers, at the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home, 23720 Farmington Rd., (btw. 9-10 Mile Rds., just N of Grand River), downtown Farmington (248-474-5200).

Ray’s funeral mass will be celebrated Tuesday morning, November 16, at 11:00 am (in state at 10:30 am) at St. Fabian Catholic Church, 32200 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills.

Memorial tributes are suggested to the Capuchins.