Stanley Frank Kromarek was born on July 27, 1927, in Scranton, ND. He passed away in his home on Aug. 3, 2020, with his daughter by his side. His wife, Annamarie Kromarek and his grandson, Jon “Corby” Kromarek, precedes him in death. Born to Vincent Kromarek and Agatha Beinek, Stanley was one of eleven children. His brother, Roy Kromarek and sister, Katherine Maliscke, survive him.
After completing 8th grade, he went to work full-time to help support his family. Stanley was a hard worker and a fighter, two qualities that shaped his life. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in both Japan and Korea during World War II. He was honorably discharged after nearly losing his life to malaria.
On Jan. 8, 1949, he married his wife of 69 years, Annamarie Hecker. Together they had six children, Dean (AudRey) Kromarek, Darrel Kromarek, Vincent Kromarek, Pamella (Shawn) McGrath, Theresa (Joe) Niemiec and Diane Kromarek (Amilio Huston.) They had 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Stanley’s life-long passion was the sport of boxing. In North Dakota, he was a Golden Gloves champion. He began coaching boxers in Great Falls in 1959, and spent the next twenty years mentoring young men in the community. In 1974, he managed an all-star boxing team including future World Champion boxers “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Leon Spinks, Aaron Pryer and Mike Ayala. His boxing teams competed internationally, culminating in a three week tour in Poland, which was also the homeland of Stanley’s father. He was a beloved figure in the boxing community, only taking a break from coaching to serve as den master for his son’s Boy Scout troop.
In 1976 Stanley and Annamarie moved to a small farm outside of Belt, MT. Stanley was a sheet metal worker and proud union member. He was also a true outdoorsman and fisherman. His children remember many camping trips, journeys up mountains and the occasional run-in with a bear or two. In some ways, Stanley was a hard man. Anything broken could be fixed with duct tape and WD-40. This included bodily injuries, as Stanley was known for setting his own broken fingers and butterfly-taping his own lacerations.
Tenderness came later for Stanley, most evident in his loving care for Annamarie as she battled Alzheimer’s. Although he lived for 22 months after Annamarie’s death, much of him died with her. In his final years, he lived with family until Alzheimer’s ultimately claimed his independence as well. The family is especially thankful to his daughter, Pamella, who did the heartbreaking work of caring for both Annamarie and Stanley, both of who would be immensely proud of her. Stanley was buried during a private service. He now rests on the farm he loved, beside Annamarie, under the choke cherry trees and overlooking the creek.