Joseph Patrick Kwiatkowski, 68, of Cheboygan, Michigan, passed away surrounded by family at his home on Lake Huron on August 31, 2021.
Joseph Kwiatkowski was born in Cheboygan to Frank and Lila Kwiatkowski on July 23, 1953. He graduated from Cheboygan Catholic High School in 1971, obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree-Accounting, Ferris State University in 1976 and went on to get his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude from the California Western University and was admitted to the practice of law in Michigan in 1981. Joseph became an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Cheboygan County in 1981, and then became the elected Prosecuting Attorney for Cheboygan County in 1984 where he remained until he was appointed to the Probate/Family Court Bench in 1999 until 2001. In 2001, he joined as a partner with Peter Patrick, who preceded him in death in 2006, to form the Patrick & Kwiatkowski, PLLC, ultimately changing the name of the firm to the Kwiatkowski Law Firm, PLLC in 2020.
Joseph has a long list of outstanding accomplishments as a man of faith, husband, father, and member of the Michigan Bar Association. His faith in the Lord and bringing others to God was one of his greatest accomplishments. To Joseph, faith and God were always first. He was an active member of his church. He grew up attending the Catholic Church and school. Later in his life he began attending the Covenant Church where he played the drums during worship. He organized morning fellowship prayer breakfasts, he held baptisms for the church at his home on the lake, he was a member of the Promise Keepers (an organization for men of faith), he served as part of the leadership team at his church, and so much more. He dedicated his life to serving the Lord.
Joseph was an outstanding husband, father, and man. He coached high school football in the mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s. He volunteered and assisted coaching hockey (a sport he knew nothing about) and girls’ softball because his kids played those sports. He never missed a game or event which his kids participated. Joseph also announced varsity hockey and football games over the local radio for 22 years. He was a member of the local Rotary Club and earned the Paul Harris Fellowship award. He opened his home to two foster children, several exchange students, coast guard crew members, and interning law students. He was always welcoming and would give you the shirt off his back. Truly a man of God and saint if ever there were one.
Joseph was also an accomplished member of the Michigan Bar Association, with authority to practice in all local state and federal courts, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. He was the co-founder of the DARE Michigan and PRIDE (youth drug awareness programs in Michigan), co-founder of SANE (Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement), President of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan for many years, founder of the SAYPA (Straits Area You Promotion Acadamy), appointed by President Clinton to the Rural Drug Task Force, Michigan Civil Servant of the Year Award, and in 2018 was the recipient of the William F. Delhey Award through the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (the highest honor for a Prosecutor in Michigan). One of his proudest legal accomplishments was prevailing in the Michigan Supreme Court with a landmark decision in April 2019 and becoming a member of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. Joseph was a Constitutionalist if there ever was one. He fought for and advocated for individuals’ rights and liberties every day, and he did so with a ferocity and passion that cannot be matched.
Joseph is survived by his wife, Betty. He was united in holy matrimony to Betty Anne Aldrich on October 2, 1976. This union was blessed with 5 children; 3 biological and 2 foster. He is survived by his sons, Gabriel Kwiatkowski, Luke (Cassandra) Kwiatkowski, Tuan Le, Chuong Le (My-Trang Luong), daughter, Emillie Kwiatkowkski, grandchildren, Audrey, Caleb, Noah, Tyler, Ryan, Andrew, and Mia, brother, Glenn Bedell and family, sisters, Frances Gauthier, Marilyn Bedell, and Shirley Wizner and their families, and a host of beloved cousins, aunts and uncles.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11am at the Covenant Church in Cheboygan, with Pastors Gary Fenlon and Richard Griffin officiating. The Celebration will be followed by a lunch at the church immediately after the service. Arrangements are made by the Nordman Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Betty Kwiatkowski, Smile FM, or the Covenant Church in his name.
Revelation 21:4-6: 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End."