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Lana Sodowski

March 18, 1928 February 19, 2020
Lana Sodowski
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Obituary for Lana Sodowski

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL– Lana Sodowski, 91, of Port Charlotte FL., formerly of Peoria, IL, passed away at 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, at her residence.

Lana was born on March 18th, 1928 to Frank and Nellie (Rardin) Barto in Brainerd, MN. She married the love of her life, Joseph Sodowski IV, on Aug. 15, 1951, in Long Beach, CA.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband Joseph Moore Sodowski IV; daughter, Tina Sodowski; her parents, Frank and Nellie (Rardin) Barto,; brothers Cliff Barto (JoAnn) and Sam Barto; sister Erleen Lind (Jim) and brother in law Dunae Maloney.

She is survived by her brother Dan (Shirley) Barto; sister in law Arlett Barto; sisters Marty Barto, Flo (Duane) Henningson, Edie (Ed) Nagel and Mary Maloney. She is also survived by her children, Millie (David) Sodowski-Meyer of Rotunda West, FL and Joe (Marietta) Sodowski of Port Charlotte, FL; grandchildren, Scott (Veronica) Elms, Matthew (Christina) Elms, Floyd (Taylor) Meyer, Miles Sodowski, and Jenna Sodowski; and great-grandchildren, Ravin, Sophia and Henry Elms and Rosa and Coen Elms.

Lana grew up on her family farm in Minnesota with her 8 siblings. She had very fond memories of the farm but only ever mentioned the ones that made her life easier, from the time her dad bought a car, to when he finally purchased a tractor to carry the baled hay, but most importantly when the electrical company hung the lines of electricity to their house. Alas, Lana was not made for farm life so she left for Peoria where she worked for AT&T and attended Butler Business College graduating with a business administration degree. During that time she met her Husband of 62 years. She tried her hardest, even arranging dates for her sisters, to convince her siblings to leave the family farm. Her baby sisters, Mary and Edie did find love the way she did in Peoria, but Edie’s love moved to Moline before they were married so only Mary remained. Lana and Joe married in Long Beach, California on August 15th 1951.

In 1942, Joe and his mother Mildred Hicks Sodowski purchased Kelly Beach in Peoria Heights and renamed it Sodowski Beach, later known as Sodowski Boat Basin. In 1960, Joe and Lana built the 1st set of docks for the marina on top of the ice and their dream became a reality.
The two spent much of their time on their boats, named Millie, Thou and I, River Bum, Reel Hooker and Gulf Bum. Joe and Lana drove Reel Hooker from their marina at the IL mile marker 167.5 to Marina town mile marker 138.5 on the Okeechobee waterway. They built their dream home in Punta Gorda Isle in 1979. The family spent many Christmases in Florida, Joe and Lana only returned for 1 Christmas in which they declared it too cold and never returned to IL for holidays again. Joe would often refer to her as his first mate. Anyone that knew Lana knows she was the one true Admiral of the fleet. Lana and Joe were blessed with 3 children, all of whom filled the Marina with love, compassion, but more importantly, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Lana lived on the Illinois River for 60 years, she worked on the water, spent years as a snow bird in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, but never went near it without her ski belt on. It wasn’t the water that she loved it was her husband Joe. Lana loved her family above all else. She and Joe spent every winter in Florida, because the only thing she truly hated in life was the cold. But she never let the cold stand in the way of her family. She made it a point to be at every marriage even if it happened in the middle of winter in Illinois.

Her family loved her and was there for her the same way she was, until she was reunited with her husband. They made sure she never missed a family gathering in Florida and showered her with the same love she gave to them for all of those years. They will all miss her with all of their hearts but know she is happy once again to be by the side of the man she will love to the end of time.

A visitation will be from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturday, February 29, 2020 with Funeral Mass immediately following, at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Father Stark will officiate. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery next to her beloved husband.

Her family will be hosting a Celebration of Life for family and friends immediately following the funeral at the Amvets Post 64, 237 NE Monroe St, Peoria, IL 61602.

In addition, the family will also be hosting another Celebration of Life at their family reunion this summer in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the Honor Flight Network.

Friends may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

29

Feb

10:00 AM 2/29/2020 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/29/2020 11:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Saturday

29

Feb

11:00 AM 2/29/2020 11:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Greater Peoria Honor Flight

Alzheimer's Association

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