George Wardynski never met a nickname he didn't like. Sunken Gardens was "Stunken Gardens." His beloved cousin, Austin, was "Austin Boston." And the ice cream parlor Sweet Licks was, well, too crude to print. In fact, George never met a joke he didn't like. A frequent purveyor of adults-only jokes that he laughed at perhaps more than anyone else in the audience, an all-inclusive hater of vegetables and an all-inclusive lover of anything chocolate, George died peacefully at home on March 1.
George was born in Rochester, N.Y., but had lived in the Tampa Bay area for nearly 30 years. He was, as his surname belied, deeply proud of his Polish heritage. He loved pierogis and would correct your pronunciation of them. He staged a Polka Festival and would frequently ask others to join him at dining at one of the area's local Polish restaurants.
He was a lover of both Rod Stewart and Andrea Bocelli, of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Entenmann's doughnuts. Stray cats who met him often didn't stay stray for long, and cats took advantage of that good fortune. George was a lover of board games and poker -- but only if 3s, 9s and one-eyed Jacks were wild.
He's survived by his sister, Carol; a sister-in-law, Carol; nieces, Diane and Sharon; a nephew, Scott; two great-nieces, Michalla and Brielle; and many cousins, Shirley, Trish, Bob, Jared and Austin among others. George was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Josephine, and brother, Frank.
In lieu of flowers, please pet the next stray cat you see and always order a cup of coffee after dinner.