I didn’t know Peter J. Kaczor personally but his death hit close to home for me, as I imagine it has for most of us in the cycling community. Besides the “that could have been me” feeling, I also mourn the loss of a good man, husband, and father who died too soon from causes we’re working to prevent.
With that in mind, here is his obituary, as published in the South Bend Tribune:
|Peter J. Kaczor|
|Oct. 9, 1969 – Aug. 28, 2008
EDWARDSBURG – Peter J. Kaczor, 38, died August 28th after being struck by a motorist while riding his bicycle in training for a triathlon. Born Oct. 9, 1969, in Cass City, MI, he grew up in Lexington, MI. He attended Western Michigan University where he received a bachelor’s degree in geology. In 1999 he moved to Edwardsburg, MI, where he worked for Peerless Midwest until his untimely death. It was in Edwardsburg where he met the woman who was to become his wife, and where they were raising their family. Pete was a beloved son, a committed husband, a loving father, as well as a treasured brother and dear friend. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved camping, hiking, hunting, canoeing, and anything else that involved spending time outdoors, especially with his family. He was a smart, hard-working employee who enjoyed his job. He lived a Christian life, loved the Lord and was a role model to all who knew him. His absence will be felt and his presence missed by those who were privileged to have known him. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert (1972); and his stepfather, James Torzewski (1996). He is survived by his wife, Tammy (Baugher); sons, Samuel and Connor; daughter, Macy; mother, Roberta Torzewski; two sisters, Rita (John) Carlson and Mary (Tony) Dimattia; four brothers, Tom (Beth) Kaczor, John (RuthAnn) Kaczor, James (Joan) Kaczor and Joe (Hilary) Torzewski; a sister-in-law, Tina (Mike) McGowan; his mother-in-law, Terrie (Bob) Hatch, and father-in-law, Clark (Tracy) Baugher; as well as numerous nieces and nephews including his goddaughter, Hannah. Visitation will be Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the McGann Hay Granger Chapel, located at 13260 SR 23 (enter off Cherry Road), Granger, IN. The funeral Mass will be Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, located at 24832 US Highway 12 E., Edwardsburg, MI 49112. There will be a viewing in the church before Mass, from 10 to 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to a trust set up for Samuel Kaczor in the name of Peter Kaczor at 1st Source Bank, 12460 State Road 23, Granger, IN 46530.
It really brings home the seriousness of our project of making the roads safer for cyclists. In my mind, the loss of Mr. Kaczor counts as a failure in the grand ledger, and requires that we work even harder at getting more successes.
I hope that the full tragedy of Peter’s death is someday fully seen for what it is, as similar to those of smallpox and tuberculosis, as one of a time when cyclists were run down with near impunity. His passing was not arbitrary, and there are things we can do to make sure that those like it become more rare.