Anthony Steven Joseph Rakowski, 76, of Dorr, died earlier this month.
The son of Theodore and Charlotte (Kyowski) Rakowski, he was born Oct. 31, 1942, grew up in Wyoming and attended Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church and Catholic Central High School, joining the Army shortly after graduating. In the mid 1960s, Tony purchased the large brick school building in Dorr and immediately built an apartment in the upper level. He opened a shop on the main level that he named Back Dorr Antique and Gifts, which remained a viable business for the next 50 years
Tony bought, sold restored and collected antiques. He also had a keen interest in local history and amassed a collection of written works along with local and family artifacts, and religious icons – statuary and works of art. He was involved in the 1969 history written about Dorr for its centennial celebration, and worked with a group of volunteers who organized the 4th of July festivities that year ,
Seven years later, in 1976, he was instrumental in getting pictures, doing interviews, and verifying legends and stories for the subsequent history of Dorr and its people to celebrate our nation’s 200th birthday.
Over the years, Tony hosted art classes, was a tee-ball coach and continued to help with the Dorr 4th of July celebrations. For several years he had a museum in one of the large classrooms in his home, he helped with the immigration process of some Polish refugees, did some foster care, and most recently (for several years) volunteered at Annetta Jansen’s Project Hope in Dorr.
He attended St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Hilliards. One of the early folks Tony met after moving to Dorr was Thelma Hilliard, a great-granddaughter of Capt. Lonson Hilliard and the last one of that family. Capt. Hilliard donated the land for the railroad siding which became known as Hilliard’s Station. When Thelma took ill, Tony looked after her. Upon her death, she bequeathed to Tony the many Hilliard family items she treasured.
Besides his antique and appraisal business, Tony worked for Bell Fibre Products Company in Wyoming, MI – retiring from there after many years of service.
Besides his parents, Tony was predeceased by his brother, Tom, who passed away in 1986. He is survived by a sister-in-law, nieces, nephews and a few cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 9, at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church in Hilliards – burial to follow at the church cemetery. There will be visitation at Kubiak-Cook Funeral Home in Dorr from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday with a Rosary at 6:30.
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