Floral 11

Sally Ann Kujawa

January 16, 1942 ~ March 30, 2022 (age 80)

Tribute

(Nee Sobocinski) of Milwaukee, entered into eternal life on March 30, 2022, with her loving husband and children by her side. Hers was a life well lived, filled with family, friends, travel, professional successes, as well as hunting and fishing adventures.

The light that was Sally came to life on Jan. 16, 1942, in Cudahy, Wis. Sally often looked back at her life as a little girl growing up on Pulaski Avenue and to her dying day, marveled at the people she called family and friends, the places she visited and the business challenges she overcame in her lifetime. She was truly aware of and grateful for her blessings.

Ever since elementary school, Sally was part of a core group of friends called the “Girls’ Club.” In the summer as high schoolers, the girls loved to shop on Packard Avenue, but in the winter, they would have plenty of pajama parties in the little cottage behind Sally’s grandparents’ house. The girls would raid the back of their parents’ liquor cabinet (thinking the crème de menthe would not be missed) and went to church the next day with their pajama pants neatly rolled up under their winter coats. It was an efficient plan because the girls went straight to bed after mass.

As a teenager, she often visited a badly injured boy at his home with her cousin and Girls’ Club friend, Lois. The boy’s brother, Ron Kujawa, was regularly there when the two girls visited. Ron was smitten with Sally but knew she was young, so he politely asked her to let him know when she turned 18 so he could take her out on a date. Fifteen months after her 18th birthday, the two married in April 1961.

Over their nearly 61 years together, Sally and Ron built many things. Their family quickly grew having four children, who were often packed into their van alongside a cousin or two and, of course, the grandmothers for cross-country trips or simple Sunday drives. As their kids married and had children, Sally and Ron globetrotted with each of their 13 grandchildren on or around their 12th birthdays visiting exotic destinations including Africa, Greece, China, Hungary, France, Spain, Scotland, Vatican City, England and more.

Sally and Ron transformed the Cudahy Flower & Feed into a nationally recognized landscape management company, Kujawa Enterprises Inc. (KEI), which today employs more than 200 people. As the company’s president, Sally became an expert on using technology in the industry and spoke on the topic at several national industry events.  In recognizing her work as a job creator for the state and role model for women entrepreneurs, Gov. Scott Walker (R) presented Sally with the Governor’s Trailblazer Award for Women in Business in 2012.  

In Sally’s world, there was always room for people at her table. Those lucky enough to get a seat were treated to meals that would best most restaurants. She loved finding and trying new recipes and telling listeners every detail of her process. Getting invited to a Kujawa party was certainly a highlight for many. She always knew how to entertain and treat guests like family. For more than 30 years, Sally and her sister Sue were famous for their 4th of July parties, hosting at first just family to more than 100 people. They would serve dishes including elk chili, pig roasts, clam bakes and lobster broils, which were all accompanied by Ron’s supreme sangria.

Through associations with the business, the couple discovered a love for hunting big game and fishing. Their adventures took them from the Amazon to just outside the Arctic Circle. When she was 75, Sally and Ron took snow machines up to a remote cabin in British Columbia to hunt wolves. For a full week in the middle of winter, they shared a one-room cabin with their guide and his dogs with no electricity or running water. Unlike all of their other hunts, Sally and Ron had nothing more than the story of their travels to bring home.  

Sally is preceded by her parents, Erv and Rose Sobocinski; grandson, Joseph John “Jack” Kujawa II; son-in-law Robert Gilmore.

She is survived by her husband Ron; their children Christopher (Judy) of Caledonia, Wis.; Kurt (Laurie) of Waukesha, Wis.; Carla Gilmore of Cave Creek, Ariz.; Joe (Patty) of Elm Grove, Wis.; grandchildren: James, Cassie (Michael) Wasilik, and Megan Kujawa; Zak, Nikki and Cody Kujawa; Sarah, Charlie, Emily and Kristen Gilmore; Kate and Ben Kujawa; sister Sue (Greg) Dufek.

Visitation will be held at 9 a.m., April 4, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N Jackson St., Milwaukee, Wis. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be sent to Ron and Sally Kujawa Family Scholarship for Business Administration Student-Athletes at Marquette University. Please note this scholarship in the comments.

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Monday
April 4, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
812 N Jackson Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Mass of Christian Burial
Monday
April 4, 2022

11:00 AM
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
812 N Jackson Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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