Community to honor deceased sexton with memorial - WNEM TV 5

Community to honor deceased sexton with memorial

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AUBURN, MI (WNEM) -

A local man with a rare job passed away peacefully last year, but his legacy lives on.

“He did everything for everybody, no matter what,” said Virginia Prewozniak, Dominic Dzurka’s widow.

Dzurka is in his final resting place. It’s the kind of place where he spent most of his time when he was alive.

“My dad was asked, as a favor when he was 18, to dig a grave. They needed a fill-in and he had been doing it until he passed away at 85-years-old,” said Ann Marie Bergh, Dzurka’s daughter.

Dzurka died in his sleep of heart failure in March 2017. He left behind a family and the people of Auburn who loved him dearly.

He worked as a sexton, which is a rarity nowadays.

“He’s the only one I knew of. Everyone else had a back-pull or cranes, but by hand it’s quite a job,” said Dale Dzurka, Dominic’s nephew.

He dug thousands of plots by hand, even years after high-tech equipment became available. His family said he refused to put his shovel down.

“It was respect for the people there. It was no equipment coming on its very old cemeteries, so nothing would cave in. But it would be left in better shape than when he got there,” Bergh said.

It’s not just the digging, but his kind heart that his family misses the most.

“His name is on a lot of deeds. If the family could not do it, my dad would make sure they had a lot and it was all taken care of,” Bergh said.

Now it’s time to pay him back.

A special memorial is going up to honor him for all his years of hard work and service.

Prewozniak is eternally grateful.

“I’m proud of it and the township and everyone that’s involved. I really thank them. I think he would be happy too. I really do,” she said.

The dedication will be happening at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 9 at Pine Grove Cemetery.

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