1ST Sergeant Carl Gregory Katzmarek, USMC (Ret,) passed away on January 25th, 2023, in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 80.
Always Faithful: The two most fitting words to describe the man who was Carl Gregory Katzmarek. Always faithful: to God, to country and to family. He was an honorable and caring man who was a true patriot. In addition to his 24 years of military service, he supported several veterans’ organizations and would often buy meals for those in uniform at restaurants or in airports. Wherever he lived a flag flew in the front yard. Carl would do anything for family or friends. If ever someone would need something, he would drop what he was doing and go over to help: be it physical labor, emotional support or financial assistance. He always had a bag of stuffed animals in his truck for the little kids who were being “good” in restaurants, using “inside voices”, listening to their parents, and not being disruptive to everyone else. He was a kind and generous man who will be missed by all who knew him.
Carl is survived by his loving wife Sharon Lower Silsbee Katzmarek, daughter Kelly Ann Cazares of Dwight, Illinois, stepson, Tim and wife Tanya Frazer of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, brother Jerry and wife Carol Katzmarek of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, granddaughter Tiffany Cazares of Lombard, Illinois, granddaughter Kayla Frazer of Arlington, Washington, granddaughter Brandy Baldonado of Rio Rancho New Mexico, and grandson Brian Baldonado of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Carl is also survived by nine nieces, two great-grandsons and his beloved Aussie Cattle Dog, Polly. Carl was preceded in death by his father Albert George Katzmarek, his mother Josephine Staniewicz Katzmarek, his sister Claire Ann Katzmarek Kane, and his brother Eugene Stephen Katzmarek.
Carl was born on May 3rd, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to Josephine (Staniewicz) Katzmarek and Albert George Katzmarek. He attended both grade and high school in Chicago. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and subsequently served two tours of duty in Vietnam as well as other duty stations in Iceland, Cuba and the Belgian Congo.
After being discharged from the Marine Corps, Carl retuned to Chicago. He worked there as a journeyman electrician from 1965-1980 and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In 1980 Carl moved to Eagar, Arizona and began a 21 year career working for the United States Forest Service. While working there, in addition to his other duties, he designed a portable power supply distribution set with light towers to provide power for on the line firefighters at fire camps.
Shortly after his move, Carl enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard. He earned the rank of 1st Sergeant and served on deployment in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War. He independently designed an innovative and efficient method of transporting heavy equipment to the front lines during Desert Shield/Desert Storm for which he received an accommodation.
A highly decorated Marine and soldier; Carl’s awards are as follows: Bronze Star, Marine Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Presidential Unit Citation(Marines), Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Army Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Saudi Arabia Defense Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, NCO Professional Development Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
Carl enjoyed many things. He was an avid reader (especially about military history), doing home improvements, building and racing muscle cars, training his dogs, traveling (especially to Hawaii), and was a great story-teller. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was a member of St Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church. After a nineteen year courtship; Carl married his long-time partner, Sherry Silsbee, on June 26th, 2021. His was a life well lived. It is now time for him to rest in peace.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Jeff Mazer for many years of “tough love” medical care and Dr. Robert Perea, the ER and ICU staffs at Lovelace Westside Hospital for the wonderful care they gave Carl during his recent hospitalizations.
Services will be held on Monday, February 13th at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church located at 5712 Paradise Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87114. Visitation and viewing will be held at 9:00AM, Recitation of the Rosary will begin at 9:30 AM, with Mass to follow at 10:15 AM. Directly after Mass Interment will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery, located at 501 Guadalupe St., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. Following Internment, a reception will be held at M’tucci’s Moderno Italian Restaurant, located at 1908 Wellspring Rd. SE. Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124, from 3:30 PM-6:30 PM.