Long-time Rogue Valley educator, community leader, naturalist, gentleman farmer, friend - and cherished husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Alphonse Floyd Pawlowski Jr. (Floyd), passed away suddenly on January 7, 2014.
Floyd was born in 1936 in South Gate, California; the first-born of Alphonse Floyd Pawlowski (Al) and Mabel (Moore) Pawlowski. His family moved to Jacksonville, Oregon in 1947. He attended Jacksonville schools and graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1954. He was the first recipient of the Britt Memorial Scholarship for college-bound students from Jacksonville. He attended Southern Oregon Teacher's College (now Southern Oregon University) and graduated with a degree in General Studies in Science and Mathematics.
It was during this time that he met Marilyn Myhre, who would become the love of his life. They were married on June 9, 1957 in Medford, and were inseparable from that date until the end of his life. Family was a strong and central focus of their lives throughout their long and happy marriage. Together they raised five sons, and over the years they would welcome five daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson. They celebrated their 40th and 50th wedding anniversaries at the Oregon Coast - one of their favorite vacation destinations.
After obtaining his Teaching Certificate, Floyd taught math and science at Medford Senior High School. He will be remembered by many as a Chemistry teacher not only for the occasional explosion in class, but also for the energy and passion that he brought to teaching. In 1964, he earned his Master's Degree from Washington State University, and later earned his Administrator's Certificate from the University of Oregon. He served as a science and math curriculum supervisor for Medford School District 549c for two years. In 1978 he became the principal of Medford Mid High School, which was later converted to South Medford High School. He continued to serve as principal of South Medford High (now Central Medford High) until his retirement in 1998. To recognize his 39 years of service to the Medford School District, the South Medford High School gymnasium was dedicated as The Pawlowski Athletic Center in his honor.
Floyd certainly did not retire to a sedentary lifestyle. He enjoyed gardening throughout his life, and always maintained large beds of vegetables, as well as several fruit trees and even an almond tree. Early in his adulthood he acquired a love of beekeeping, and he revisited that passion again in his retirement. He served the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association for many years, and maintained several hobby hives near his home in Ashland, Oregon. He was often called to take charge of swarms found in local homes and businesses; a task he was only too happy to take on. He loved to gather his own firewood on his family's woodlot; he loved his animals; he loved his land - he simply loved. He was happiest when he was outside and working with his hands.
Floyd was also a community leader and long-time Rotarian. He served for many years as the president of the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation, whose charter was to provide affordable housing to working-class families in the area. Those who knew Floyd well knew him to be selfless his helping hand was always extended to those who asked for assistance, advice or knowledge.
Floyd is survived by a large and close-knit family: Marilyn, his dear wife of 56 years; his son Kevin and daughter-in-law Deanna Pawlowski of Lynden, Washington; son Steve and daughter-in-law Clara Pawlowski of Beaverton, Oregon; son Mike and daughter-in-law Shauna Pawlowski of Camas, Washington; son Ron and daughter-in-law Julie Pawlowski of West Richland, Washington; son Jeff and daughter-in-law Rebecca Pawlowski of Portland, Oregon; granddaughter Cynthia Bradach, her husband Danny, and Floyd's great-grandson Elliot of Portland, Oregon; grandsons Robert and Bryan Pawlowski, and granddaughter Jill Pawlowski of Corvallis, OR; grandson Benjamin Pawlowski of Virginia Beach, VA; granddaughter Caitlin Pawlowski of Noorvik, AK; grandson John Pawlowski of Lynden, WA; and grandsons Matthew and Zachary Pawlowski of West Richland, WA.
In keeping with his wishes, the farewell gathering for Floyd will be attended only by his immediate family. Extended family and friends are invited to join us for a Celebration of his life that will be held during this year's Fourth of July weekend in the Portland, OR area. Floyd was a man who lived life to its very fullest, and he enriched our lives far more than he could know even far more than we can know. We are also extremely grateful to all of the truly wonderful people whom he has touched over the years grateful to you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and remembrances with us at this time.
In lieu of flowers, please make a more lasting gift in remembrance of Floyd by donating in his name to the American Heart Association, or to the charity of your choice.