Steven Komarowski

Steven Komarowski

Steven Komarowski

January 20, 1937 – November 18, 2023

Steven Komarowski, 86 died on November 18, 2023, in Naples, FL due to complications from gall bladder cancer. Surrounded by his family at home, he left this world with the same grace by which he lived it. Whether it be his Ukrainian dance hopak, soccer skills, racquetball prowess, accordion playing, Slavic cooking, gardening, or the wood carving and gilding of his larger-than-life art pieces and furniture, Steven was a gifted talent who brought his unique style and brilliance to everything he created or did.

His athleticism and creativity were only surpassed by his fun-loving personality and youthful zest for life that he never lost. Even at 86 years old, he was still dancing his way out of his hospital bed and making everyone laugh in the face of even the most unfortunate circumstances.

Born in Shyshkivtsi Ukraine, Steven and his family were refugees who lost his mother in the exodus when he was only 7. From exile to Poland, to the harrowing voyage on a ship to New York, he faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles with only a father and sister—all of them needing to learn a new language. But conquer those he did. Then at a Ukrainian dance in 1961, Steven met the love of his life, Eileen Barnett. They were married on July 8, 1961 and spent their lives overcoming new obstacles together for the next 62 years.

After working for years at IBM, Steven realized entrepreneurship was his calling, and he and his father opened a bar in Ridgewood, Queens, The Cypress Tavern. He was the owner there for 8 years when, after a country-wide family vacation, he decided to sell everything, buy a motor home, and set out on a completely new life in suburban America. Intending to land in Monterey, CA, he decided to take a quick detour to Florida but ended up staying in SW Florida at the Marco Island KOA, and finally in Naples. After a few different ventures, he opened his own business, Equipment Company of Southwest Florida, where he remained in refrigeration and ice machines for 48 years and eventually brought his son Troy into the business. Together they serviced hundreds of restaurants, bars and homes in Naples, Marco, and Everglades City. Any of his clients would tell you, Steven was an honest and generous straight-shooter, with a gleeful spark of humor that made every service call another chance to laugh. Work was such a huge part of his life that he kept on going until the age of 85 when cancer forced him to stop.

In Naples, Steven and Eileen raised their two young children while he sold their motor home; bought a lot on the water; and built their home with his own two hands and with the help of his family and soccer team. Some of Steven’s fondest memories were of those years he spent coaching Optimist soccer as “Mr. K”. He took his players in as family. There were team parties and boating trips to Keewaydin. Even there his humor showed through, having them all play volleyball over a long homemade banner printed with the single word—CONTROL—his #1 motto as a coach. He was also an avid racquetball player, self-taught from his handball-playing days in New York City. For years he played doubles with his two children at Fleischmann’s Park, where he never ceased to amaze the younger guys with his dead-on kill shot and hilarious antics.

Steven was also a man at one with nature. In his later years, gardening became his true passion. He was immersed in his natural world outside, playing hide-and-seek with his cat Gracie around his Areca palms and Umbrella trees—even at 86 years old. And he was a man of compassion for all creatures. Steven would be brought to tears if he saw Gracie hurt a squirrel or a baby rabbit, and she would be punished with a no hide-and-seek day.

Steven will always be remembered by his players, his friends, and his family as an amazing man with a lighthearted and youthful energy that even cancer could not suppress until his very last days. There was always some element of the unexpected when he spoke. His stories were full of humor, yet peppered with words of soulful wisdom that only Steve could say in his own surprising way. He would make you laugh, but he would make you think. And you would walk away saying, “Wow, that was special. How interesting and funny he was, and how lucky I am to have met him.”

As for his family, we were incredibly blessed to have had such an amazing husband and father so utterly devoted to us, his home, and his work. He took great care of us all and of everything. We will remember him as our brave guiding light, our joy, and our laughter—an irreplaceable and loving man who will be missed beyond words.

Steven was predeceased by his father Michael Komarowski, his mother Tekla, and his sister Melania Sowycz. He is survived by his wife Eileen and his beloved cat Gracie; his son Troy Komarowski with wife Angie and grandson Max (Naples); his daughter Nadia Komarowski with partner Greg Lasch (Marco Island); his niece Laura Barnett Birch (Orlando); along with three nephews and another niece.

A private family viewing was held at Naples Funeral Home with Steven draped in traditional Ukrainian finery. He lived his life as a true Ukrainian, never forgetting his traditions or homeland, and unfortunately, had to relive the perils of his youth with the Ukraine invasion. To honor Steven, please donate to any Ukrainian charity in his name. A celebration of life will be held on his birthday January 20, 2024. Please call 239-572-2447 nearer to the date for more information.

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