Karol Nawarynski, the genial and beloved deliveryman from Varsity Pizza who had been a fixture at the restaurant on Lawrence Road (Route 206) for more than two decades, died on Sunday (Feb. 3).
As patrons watched the Super Bowl on the television, the 62-year-old collapsed at the pizzeria and went into cardiac arrest.
Ambulance personnel and volunteer firefighters from Lawrence Township Emergency Medical Services and the Lawrence Road Fire Co. firehouse next door were quickly on the scene and, with the assistance of police officers, made a valiant but unsuccessful effort to save his life, according to witnesses.
A patriotic man, Nawarynski retired from the U.S. Army Reserve at Fort Dix as a master sergeant and had, since 1986, worked for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury as a tax investigator.
Born in Allentown, Pa., he lived in Lawrence Township for much of his life but had recently relocated to Trenton.
According to his obituary, he graduated cum laude from Alliance College with a bachelor’s degree in Polish studies and spent his junior year studying at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
A member of numerous local Polish-American groups, he loved traveling and promoting Polish culture, regularly marching in the Pulaski Day parade in Philadelphia. He was named president of the Polish Arts Club of Trenton twice and was their honoree at their yearly Polonaise Ball in 2008.
“Karol had a zest for life and enjoyed every second of every day,” his obituary reads. “He embraced many different cultures and ethnicities, including a deep passion for music and dancing. As a member of his college's Kujawiaki dance troupe he performed across the United States. In recent years, he could be found dancing at Brave Combo concerts with friends and family.”
A loving family man, he is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary Ann; his son, Gregory; his daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne and Tom Micholas; his granddaughters, Lauren and Juliana Micholas; his brother, John; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday morning, Feb. 9, at 10:30 a.m. at the Winowicz Funeral Chapel, 865 Brunswick Ave. Trenton, with the Rev. Frederick Mechowski, pastor emeritus, Polish National Church, Catholic Church of Our Saviour, officiating. Interment will be private.
Calling hours will be on Friday evening, Feb. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., both at the funeral chapel.
In lieu of flowers, and with respect to Karol's belief in education, a scholarship fund is being established in his name. Contribution may to be sent to The Polish National Arts Club of Trenton, c/o 953 Mulberry St., Lawrence Township, N.J. 08648. The memo should read “Karol's Scholarship Fund.”