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After a brief struggle with cancer, Stephen Paul Ptaszynski, 66, passed away on a beautiful Fall morning at home, with his loving wife of 41 years, Dawn (Willard) at his side.

Steve was born in Detroit, Michigan to Donald and Joyce. He graduated from Finney High School, and received his Mechanical Engineering Degree from Lawrence Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the PKU Fraternity. He was at the forefront of technology integration, and served as Director of Technology for a printing company. He was also an instructor at Highland Park Community College. He lived in the Detroit area most of his life, relocating to Dimondale, Michigan in 2017 to be nearer to his children and grand kids.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents and his precious son, Kenneth Ray.

His happiest days were spent both with his children, as he instilled in them integrity, kindness, honesty, and humor, and as beloved Papa to his grand kids. He was very involved in Scouting, and was always up for camping, fishing, or target practice. Steve and Dawn were high school sweethearts, and were together for 49 years. Early in their relationship, Steve told Dawn that he wanted to marry her, but not until she could spell his last name. Eight years later they were married. Steve faced cancer with humor and a determination to live his life to the fullest. He and Dawn embarked on a “Farewell Tour” across the country to visit family, and sweet memories of this trip will always be in our hearts.

Steve is survived by his wife, Dawn; sons, Matthew (Sarah) and Joseph (Devin) and daughter, Veronica Emmendorfer (Jeremy); grand kids, Luke, Lucille, Lilienne, Claire, Christopher, and Floyd Stephen; brothers, Stan (Mary), Mark (AEnid), Greg (Beth), and sisters, Fran Hunter (Phil), Kathryn Mason, Sandy Gordon (Dan), and Sue Watson; and also many nieces and nephews.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life and burial at sea at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to:

Sparrow Hospice Services
1210 West Saginaw Street
Lansing MI 48915


Compassionate Hands & Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach
P.O. Box 141022
Orlando, FL 32814

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Steve’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids.


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15 Condolences

  1. Mary Friend (Ptaszynski) on October 26, 2019 at 11:16 am

    As a recent addition to the family, I’d like to say something. I didn’t know Steve but a few short years. However, I came to appreciate his intelligence and wealth of knowledge on many topics and must say I was often surprised. I also thoroughly enjoyed his somewhat dry sense of humor. I got a kick out of that little smirk which crossed his face when he made that joke and got the reaction he was looking for. I feel blessed to have gotten to know him if only for a short time.

  2. Sue Watson on October 26, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I would just add that we even sometimes got in trouble FOR each other. Ditto…he will always be in my thoughts, and I will miss him until we meet up again.

  3. Fran on October 26, 2019 at 11:27 am

    And Fran agrees with the saying, until we meet again.
    That was the last thing she said to Steve at the family reunion as she hugged him goodbye!

  4. Margaret L Wellman on October 27, 2019 at 12:53 pm


    My sincere condolences for the loss of your husband. I am one of Diane’s buddies at Pershing High School and learned of your loss from her via Facebook. Your families seem to have had more than your fair share of loss for which I am sorry.

    Marge Lamb Wellman

  5. Lynwood Edmond on October 29, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Didn’t get to hang out a whole lot with STEVE but the times I did I can remember thinking now that’s a good man. And that he would be a person that I would like hanging out a lot more with. Always obvious that his kids loved him and he was a good dad.Steve and Dawn were a great match. I am sure that he will be sincerely missed By all who knew him.

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