James Kujawa, 61, passed away suddenly on January 23, 2023. Jim was born February 11, 1961, in Toledo, Ohio to parents Bernard and Elaine Kujawa. He graduated from Northview High School in Sylvania where he participated in the National Honor Society and sports. His love of sports continued through adulthood, and he played basketball in men’s leagues. His intensity and team spirit were fun to watch.
Family was extremely important to Jim and extensive traveling when he was young inspired a lifelong love of travel. Jim not only traveled as far as Hawaii with family, but he also went on many youth trips as far as Washington state. As a teen he was included in a trip to Mexico with a Spanish club that launched a love for other cultures and people.
Jim attended the University of Arizona where he met his wife, Debbie. They took full advantage of the mountains, sand dunes, hot tubs in the desert, tubing on the river, Disneyland, and the Grand Canyon. Back in Toledo/Sylvania, they had a son and daughter together and Jim loved playing games with his kids. He would make up games to play with them based on children’s books and music. He had a great sense of humor and creativity in these games. They always involved laughing, running around the house, and jumping from furniture. When daughter Lindsay got older and involved with horse shows, Jim would travel all over with her as her fierce supporter and always provided great insight.
Nature and the outdoors were always a love of Jim’s. It did not matter if it was hot, cold, rainy, or snowy. He loved photographing new and interesting things in nature and researching them when he got home. Camping, swimming, biking, hiking, planting vegetables and flowers, were all passions of his.
Jim followed in his father’s footsteps in the field of plumbing. He learned from relatives and experienced plumbers in the field. Those experiences molded him to be well-rounded in the field of construction and to be a team player in any construction project. As his dad grew older, he took on more responsibility in the business. Jim especially liked the challenge of large commercial projects. He was respected for his extensive knowledge in the field and for his ability to problem solve. He was a role model for many.
Jim was an avid reader in many genres and began asking big life questions. This led him to faith in Jesus and desire to serve in a Bible-believing church. He served at Emmanuel Baptist Church as a deacon, men’s ministry, prayer groups, Bible study groups, and fixing things for the church and anyone in need. He went on many construction mission trips with groups from Emmanuel to Chile, Brazil, and Argentina to help build churches. He loved immersing himself in the cultures of South America.
Jim was so kind-hearted that everyone knew he would try his best to help them, whatever the problem, and treat them with respect. He was loved and will be missed by many.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Debbie Kujawa, son Corey (Jennifer) Kujawa, daughter Lindsay (Corey) Ruetz; grandchildren Kurt and Serena; brother Daniel (Mia) Kujawa, sister Laura (Rick) Smith; sisters-in-law Di (Michael) McGing and Pam (Kevin) Baas, brother-in-law Todd (Kay) Sauter; mother and father in-law Tom and Nancy Sauter; aunts Marge Kujawa and Phyllis Kujawa; many nieces and nephews; and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Elaine Kujawa.
Those wishing to give memorials are asked to consider Central Missionary Clearinghouse: Ron Self ministry in Argentina. Emmanuel Baptist Church can help to arrange this if desired.
A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, February 4 at 11:00 am at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 4207 Laskey Rd., Toledo, Ohio with a luncheon following in the fellowship hall.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.