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Jerry Pytlewski

 
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mvthl
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Jerry Pytlewski Reply with quote

One of the fathers of the modern day table hockey movement in greater Chicago,
passed away last night at his home in Lemont.

Jerry hadn't played much in the past couple of years so his son, Scott ask me to
help get the word out to his brothers.

Scott can be reached at 630-234-3618

Jim, Eric, any help you can give to inform Jerrys' friends from the league would
be greatly appreciated by his family.



Kenny Dubois
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TheStein
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My prayers and thoughts go out to to Gerry's family and friend. Your smile and presence in the TH community will missed big guy.

Steve Bernstein
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JohnCooke
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I met Jerry several times on the TH road. For those of you who did not have the chance, he was a great guy. Full of fun. I will miss him.

John Cooke
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EricK
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He had just been interviewed by an Associated Press reporter in Chicago during the week as part of Blackhawks mania, though his quotes did not make the version of the story that I saw published.

I know he was ecstatic about the team making the Stanley Cup finals and being four wins away from it all.

Another Lemont/LTHL guy, Garry Butler, missed seeing his White Sox win the World Series in 2005 by just a day or two, as I recall.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm shocked to learn this morning about my good friend Jerry's passing. He was a true friend, a gracious host, and a great contributor to our game. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Ron Chesick
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with Scott, Jerry's son, a little bit ago.

It sounds like Jerry passed last night while watching the Blackhawks game. He had a stroke a few years ago, as many of you know, but battled back from it.

Scott told me that Kenny had called Jerry this week to talk about the Blackhawks and how much fun the team's success has been, and that Jerry very much appreciated the call.

We were just talking about Jerry last weekend at LTHL...about how we hoped he'd make a return to playing at this year's US Open (an event he helped found). And recalling how there likely wouldn't have been a Stiga league in Chicago if not for Jerry. It was Coleco territory at the time with the long-running CTHL, but he came up with the idea of a summer Stiga league. He hosted the LTHL for several years in his backyard. Jerry kept birds (pigeons?) in his backyard. And he had this little dog that would nip your ankles. Sometimes he'd barbecue.

I think everyone who passed through there over the years has fond memories of playing at Jerry's. We all cut our teeth on Stiga at his place. Sweating through the heat and humidity, it being Chicago in the summer. Playing Stiga in his family room shortly after I'd discovered the CTHL in early 2002 is a memory that's burned in my brain. As is the big birthday tournament we had that lasted until the wee hours of the morning...Pierre and Bernie came down from Canada for it...I wanna say it was August 2003.

I've put up a photo and a notice up on the LTHL web site.

http://www.lemonttablehockey.com/

This thread can serve as a guest book for people to write down their memories and offer condolences to his family. He is survived by his wife, Chris, his son, Scott, his daughter Andrea, and two grandchildren.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My condolences to Jerry's family and the LTHL.

I only got to meet Jerry twice, and both times were memorable. He made myself, new to table hockey tournaments , and my wife, just there to watch, feel like Chicago family, when we were in Chicago last year and the year before. Especially the first year we were in Lemont.

Our deepest sympathies to Jerry's family. I m sure his spirit will be felt at the US Open this July. Long live Table Hockey and Jerry's memory.



Crying or Very sad Cheers Angel
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerry will be missed . He was a good friend to everyone, and his household was synonymous with Chicago's welcoming hospitality. He worked to bring us all together to play the sport that we all love, and had room in his heart for everyone. We, in California, will miss you. You were our friend.
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Paul
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just getting back in town and reading the messages. So sorry to hear about Jerry. I'll always remember seeing Jerry at various tournaments always wearing the towel around his neck. He was a good man.

My sympathy to Jerry's Family,
-Paul
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mvthl
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, satellite radio has served as my crutch in bad times.

It seems to be my pattern that when I lose someone that I go to the music and some song, usually random will attach itself to the situation.

This is the song that hit me yesterday and now I can never hear it again without thinking of my friend. So after hearing it about 40 times yesterday, I figured I would share it.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtE9dU1fiRI


I'm putting a band together for the first time in about 7 years and guess what just made the set list.


Jerry was the best!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:54 am    Post subject: Thank You, Guys Reply with quote

Kenny,

Thank you for letting everyone know. I was with Scott, Kris & Andrea yesterday, They said was happy when you called. He appreciated all you guys. He loved entertain everyone that came out. He looked forward when Kenny came in from Boston, Bruce & Bernie from Kitchener, & Pierre from Montreal. This brought him back to his childhood & loved to tell hockey stories. HE still loved it the game, but he could stand & play all night like before. It was funny there was another crazy man ( Jim Rzonka) who loved table hockey in the same town of Lemont. Thank you Eric for posting on the Lemont Table Hockey league website. Jerry was happy when I told him that my 5 year old son is playing the game. I loved coming over to Scott's house as a kid watching & playing the game with them. He had the best board I've ever seen, with people in the stands, advertisements on the boards, concession stands. He treated all of you guys like family & you did the same . I hope you guys can stop by on Saturday & pay tribute to the man!!! He was like a father to me, It was a sad day.

Thank You,
Will Sundwall
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironically on Saturday there will be a gathering in Montreal. One of the tournaments I got to spend some time with Jerry.

He will be remembered and I understand Pierre will do something special to mark his passing.

take care one and all

john
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject: memorial service details Reply with quote

Hi everybody, thanks for all the kind words about Jerry. Makes it a bit easier to wrap our brains around this.

I sent this out to the LTHL e-mail list today....

Hi everyone. I spoke with Jerry's son, Scott, this morning. Jerry wanted to be cremated. There won't be a wake at a funeral home. But there will be a memorial service at a church this weekend. Here are the details:

When: Saturday, June 5
Time: 10 a.m.
Where: Bethany Lutheran Church
Address: 500 Lemont Street, Lemont, IL
Link to map: http://bit.ly/czCof4

I have not seen a death notice in the Tribune or Sun-Times yet, so these are about all the details I've got. Just wanted to make everyone aware of it in case you knew Jerry and wanted to attend.


Best,
Eric
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about Jerry's passing. My condolences to his family and friends.

Reggie Stefaniszyn ETHL
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everybody. We here in Lemont are still reeling from the passing of our beloved Jerry Pytlewski. The city of Lemont and life for his family and friends will not be the same without him. He was a very generous man and was a real "people person".

We did many fun things together and they are very strong memories for me. One of the fun times that really stand out is when we won the Chicago Bubble Boys event together winning free trip to Anaheim California for the Bubble Boys National Tournament along with great seats for 2003 Stanley Cup Finals where he got to meet, talk with and stand with Wayne Gretzky. This is the picture of one of those great moments for Jerry ==>
http://www.deadzoom.com/member/stigalasvegas/P6011390.JPG

There will be a memorial service at church here in Lemont this weekend. After that we move forward to make arrangements with his children Scott and Andrea and Jerry's wife Chris to honor Gerald Pytlewski at U.S. Open weekend here in Lemont.

Things are tough for many of us right now but we were blessed to know this man so we focus on all the great memories.


Jim Rzonca
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad so very, very sorry to hear this news about Jerry. i was there, opening night of the LTHL in his garage. i remember him saying, "if you build it, they will come." it was a very special night as he snapped photos of the action. i also remember his old stiga game, custom built with endless amount of figure spectators surrounding the game. thank you Jerry for your hospitality and kindness. i have you in my prayers.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: My Condolences Reply with quote

My condolences to the family and friends of Jerry.

In 1978, I had met briefly with some of the Chicago TH players (Bruno, Marsik and March) at a tournament in Canada in 1978. So, in 2006, I volunteered to journey to Chicago to extend a hand of friendship as a representative from the New York City Table Hockey Association.

Before I left my home in Virginia, I read up on the history of the CTHL from what used to be found on the Internet and the relatively new LTHL. I didn't really know what to expect and I was alone.

But once there, Jerry was one of the first players to put me at ease and spend time talking about TH in Chicago. He was kind and welcoming in that first and subsequent visits. I feel fortunate to have met and the opportunity to play TH with him.



Warm Regards,
Greg Scoma
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today was the memorial service. It was a standing-room-only crowd at the very old and beautiful Bethany Lutheran Church in hilly downtown Lemont.

Three gentlemen from the U.S. Army showed up. During the service, two presented a flag to Chris Pytlewski, Jerry's wife. Up in the balcony, another played "Taps." Very difficult to keep it together at that moment. Jerry was an Army cook, according to the minister who said the eulogy.

The minister talked about Jerry the husband... how he met Chris at a dance at Lewis College (now Lewis University) and then asked her to NY Eve at the Willowbrook Ballroom, a place they returned to over the years to ring in the new year. It still stands today as a nice place to have your wedding reception.

The minister also touched on Jerry the Pigeon Man, raising the birds in his backyard coops. And Jerry the table hockey player...the backyard league, the tournaments, the travel, the house guests from the US and Canada.

He talked about Jerry the Army cook. Jerry's love of discussing current events both local and national. And Jerry's love of his granddaughter, Madison (sp?). Jerry's newest grandchild also was on hand, wrapped up in a baby blanket and being passed from person to person.

Afterward, we walked down to the church basement with a sweet table a mile long. There were a lot of pictures, including the famous one of Jerry with Wayne Gretzky at the Bubble Boys finals in Anaheim. Jim Rzonca told the story of how those two ended up partners and ended up with the big trip to Cali...score was tied 1-1 in the semifinals...it was OT...Jim tried his best but could not score. Jerry finally teed up a shot on the RW and wham, into the net. 2-1 win and California here they come.

There were probably a dozen players who played in the LTHL at this memorial, including Rich and Jeff Thill, Jim, John Medema, myself and Ron Marsik. Jerry's son, Scott, said he'd gotten phone calls from several big-time table hockey players, including Bruce Turner and Kenny Dubois. He offered up more names but I can't recall them right now. It was fitting that the Rose Bowl Classic is being played today...probably started around the time the church service got going. Jerry liked that tournament and especially the guy that runs it.

Ron said the doc thinks Jerry passed from a heart aneurysm. Some time after Jerry hung up with Kenny, but before Scott P. arrived home, Jerry passed into the next life. At 61, it was far too soon.


###
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good-bye, Jerry. You will be missed, but not forgotten.

Jerry opened up his garage for us to play table hockey in the LTHL, but more importantly, he was a big part of opening up table hockey for all of us again.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EricK wrote:
Today was the memorial service. It was a standing-room-only crowd at the very old and beautiful Bethany Lutheran Church in hilly downtown Lemont.

Three gentlemen from the U.S. Army showed up. During the service, two presented a flag to Chris Pytlewski, Jerry's wife. Up in the balcony, another played "Taps." Very difficult to keep it together at that moment. Jerry was an Army cook, according to the minister who said the eulogy.

The minister talked about Jerry the husband... how he met Chris at a dance at Lewis College (now Lewis University) and then asked her to NY Eve at the Willowbrook Ballroom, a place they returned to over the years to ring in the new year. It still stands today as a nice place to have your wedding reception.

The minister also touched on Jerry the Pigeon Man, raising the birds in his backyard coops. And Jerry the table hockey player...the backyard league, the tournaments, the travel, the house guests from the US and Canada.

He talked about Jerry the Army cook. Jerry's love of discussing current events both local and national. And Jerry's love of his granddaughter, Madison (sp?). Jerry's newest grandchild also was on hand, wrapped up in a baby blanket and being passed from person to person.

Afterward, we walked down to the church basement with a sweet table a mile long. There were a lot of pictures, including the famous one of Jerry with Wayne Gretzky at the Bubble Boys finals in Anaheim. Jim Rzonca told the story of how those two ended up partners and ended up with the big trip to Cali...score was tied 1-1 in the semifinals...it was OT...Jim tried his best but could not score. Jerry finally teed up a shot on the RW and wham, into the net. 2-1 win and California here they come.

There were probably a dozen players who played in the LTHL at this memorial, including Rich and Jeff Thill, Jim, John Medema, myself and Ron Marsik. Jerry's son, Scott, said he'd gotten phone calls from several big-time table hockey players, including Bruce Turner and Kenny Dubois. He offered up more names but I can't recall them right now. It was fitting that the Rose Bowl Classic is being played today...probably started around the time the church service got going. Jerry liked that tournament and especially the guy that runs it.

Ron said the doc thinks Jerry passed from a heart aneurysm. Some time after Jerry hung up with Kenny, but before Scott P. arrived home, Jerry passed into the next life. At 61, it was far too soon.


###


It was a beautifully well done service and the Church was packed to standing room only for Jerry today. It was great to see everyone who attended.

Jim Rzonca
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey boys;

Right at 11 am Pierre held a moment of silence for Jerry.

John
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey BLACKHAWKS,...represent the best division in the NHL and win the Stanley Cup! More importantly,...win it ALL in honor of that other icon in Chicago,...JERRY! God Bless our fallen table hockey brother!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The few times I met and played Jerry, he was a genuine gentleman, all about the love of the game. The world is poorer for his passing: may it be so true for each of us.
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