The eclectic soundtrack of our lives paused on November 15th, 2021 for the addition of its newest band member, Robert Andrew Ozarowicz, as he became a part of the Universal Sound. Rob took to his next adventure through the gateway in his mind that leads somewhere out there, far beyond this plane. Throughout his lifetime, he always made an effort to Keep It On The Sunny Side, his wisdom and leading by example will forever live within us, reminding us all to keep a positive mindset or simply pay it forward in any way, shape, or form.
Rob went down Swingin’ as his hard-fought battle with a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis came to its conclusion on that Monday, after nearly three years. He was always exceeding the expectations of his care team along the way! We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Bellin Cancer Team as well as the Unity Hospice Staff. Their compassion, skill, and friendship throughout this difficult period was remarkable. We will forever be grateful.
Born on April 21st, 1971 to Richard Andrew Ozarowicz (1951-2001) and Kathleen Johnson, his childhood was defined by growing up on the “mean streets” of the east side of Green Bay. He was one of the founding members of the notorious Amy Street gang that ruled East River Van Beaver Park with an iron fist!.
As Rob ventured beyond the cozy confines of Fishin’ In The Dark on the East River his passions began to develop. Music, the outdoors, and good friends became his primary objectives as he sought out his Southern Cross. He was not overly interested in school at GB East High (’89). He was, however, forever grateful to that one teacher that passed him his senior year just because she did not want him back! What he did get out of high school was a mullet, a penchant for Illegal Smile(s), and a vast net of Friends In Low Places he would keep for life and cherish until his last days.
The real world was where Rob thrived. His song became a duet when he married Teri Hartstern, the Iris Dement to his John Prine, on July 9th, 1994. The duet had concert stops in Green Bay, Horicon, Krakow, Houghton, MI, and back to Green Bay. Each stop on the tour brought lasting memories and lifelong groupies. One of those tours in Spring of 2008 allowed them to trek out West listening to “She and I” in a pull-behind TAB trailer. Due to a surprise passenger, the 6-month trip was narrowed down to 2 months! In this instance, the duet became a trio as they welcomed their first pollywog, Benmont Richard, into the world some 6 months later. Three years later, the band hit hairband status as they added the most beautiful of Wildflowers, Campbell Kathleen. It was at this point that his passions became hobbies, and his family became his adventure compass.
Professionally, Rob’s keen wit, affable spirit, and hardworking mentality were quickly recognized by leadership at Bay-Tek Games in Pulaski. He worked his way from Parts and Service rapidly working his way up into Sales, International Sales Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager to Director of Operations, and lastly a valued member of the Leadership Team. His 20+ years with Bay-Tek Games were ones he always looked back on fondly after he elected to pursue his outdoor passions.
The families’ melodies always sounded best outside, so they moved the band North along the Copperhead Road in 2016 and took up residence in Houghton MI as they sought to kick off Northwinds Adventures, living his dream of operating an outdoor adventure camp. While their Yooper adventure only lasted a couple of years, the new groupies acquired continued to support the band after they moved back to Green Bay. They remain fans to this day and the Keweenaw Overland Adventure Retreat (KOAR) remains behind as evidence of his vision.
Rob was perpetually looking for answers to questions that bothered him so as he planned his next escapade always jotting down notes until the vision became a reality. He loved any experience that got him outdoors but his love for kayaks, canoes, camping, hiking, and fishing was always evident. Whether he was floating the TBD on its maiden voyage on the East River, canoeing the Boundary Waters, fishing for ‘eyes in Northern WI, kayaking in the Apostle Islands, trout fishing the Namekegon, or hiking in any forest, there was always a new adventure on the horizon and always a fitting tune to accompany it.
Rob is survived by his Coat From The Cold Teri and Wild Child(ren) Benmont & Campbell, mother Kathleen Johnson of Green Bay, brother Chris Ozarowicz and wife Jill of Cedar Rapids, sister Carrie Gerlikowski and husband Scott, sister-in-law Kim Hartstern, sister-in-law Holly Smeester and husband Brian all of Green Bay, brother-In-law Jay Hartstern and wife Judy of Pulaski, sister-in-law Robyn Dantoin and fiance Jerry Greeley of Biloxi. In addition, Rob’s nieces and nephews that adored him (the feeling was mutual): Branden Smeester, Aaron Smeester, Dakota Hartstern, Jacob Hartstern, Dillon Hartstern, Alicia Ozarowicz, Joshua Smeester, Sydne Dantoin, Pieper Dantoin, Jocelyn Ozarowicz, Alton Ozarowicz, Kaylin Gerlikowski and Miles Gerlikowski
Loved ones awaiting his arrival at the Tree of Forgiveness Nightclub are his dad, Richard Ozarowicz and grandparents, Andrew and Bernadine Ozarowicz and Maynard and Marjorie Johnson.
Please join us as we Play a Train Song in Celebration on December 4th, 2021 from 4 PM to 7 PM. Sepia Chapel 3562 Finger Rd Green Bay, WI 54311 Come as you are!
Flannels and hats encouraged!
The family requests no flowers be sent.