John S. Tokarski, an Elmira resident and longtime caretaker in the St. Casimir/St. Charles Borromeo cluster, died suddenly on Sept. 26, 2005. He was 66 years old.
Mr. Tokarski was a native of Poland who moved to the United States in the 1950s. According to Anne Bremer, business manager for St. Casimir/St. Charles, Mr. Tokarski had worked for the past 18 years as caretaker for St. Casimir, where he also was a parishioner.
“The big thing about John was, he kept meticulous parish grounds. I mean, these grounds were perfect,” Bremer said. “People would say ‘we know your church because you have the beautiful church grounds.'”
Bremer added that Mr. Tokarski would ring the St. Casimir church bell for funerals and was dutiful about unlocking and locking the church doors each morning and night.
“He was just always here,” she said.
Mr. Tokarski also took on responsibilities at St. Charles Borromeo after the parishes clustered in the 1990s.
Mr. Tokarski is survived by his wife, Marilyn; son, Mark; daughter, Christina (Andrew) Bodewes; granddaughters, Sarah and Jessica Bodewes; mother, Theresa; sisters, Antoinette (John) Duke and Jeanette (Thomas) Przymusik; brother, Theodore (Felicia); and aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
His funeral Mass was scheduled for Sept. 30 at St. Casimir Church. Interment was to be at Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery.