After a short illness, Lawrence Sieradski passed away at his home in Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 9, 2020.
He is survived by his wife Paula Sporn; his children Julie Steiff and David Sieradski; his son-in-law Ronald Steiff; his daughter-in-law Rhonda Sieradski; his grandchildren Melinda Hasenick (husband Sam), Monica Sieradski, and Jordan Steiff; his brothers Allan and Kenneth Sieradski; and his former wife Sue Ann Wiltse. He was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Eleanore Sieradski, his grandson Spencer Steiff, and his brother Leonard.
Lawrence spent his early years in Warren, Michigan, where his father, a pharmacist, owned Ryan Drugs at the corner of Eight Mile Road and Ryan Road. He attended high school at Marmion Academy, a Catholic boarding school in Aurora, Illinois. He then went to University of Dayton, but his heart was not in his pharmacy studies and he left college to teach ballroom dancing for Arthur Murray Dance Studio.
In the early 1960s, Lawrence moved to Petoskey, Michigan to manage the Petoskey Motel. He put in long hours at this successful family business for four decades. Staffing the office during the night shift agreed with his notoriously nocturnal biorhythms.
He retired in 1999 and had business cards printed that proclaimed “Lawrence Sieradski: Retired but Still Dancing.” In 2002, he met his second wife Paula Sporn at a Valentine’s Day dance. Just over two months later, he proposed on Paula’s birthday, April 30. They were married on October 13 and were blessed with 18 years of companionship and dancing before his passing.
In 2005, Lawrence and Paula moved to Heber Springs, Arkansas. Lawrence was happy he would never to have to plow snow again – and even happier to join the Jitterboppers, a local dance club, and give dance lessons at the Heber Springs Community Center.
Lawrence was a man of many passions. To say that he was an avid reader would be an understatement. His book collection was so extensive and so beautifully displayed that first-time visitors to his home might wonder if they had entered a library or bookstore by mistake. A self-taught architect and builder, he built his own family’s home as well as houses for several other family members, incorporating cutting-edge technologies like wooden foundations and solar energy. Lawrence also played the piano. He loved ragtime and played a rousing version of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” For decades, he sponsored and bowled on the Petoskey Motel team. He and his son David have many trophies to show for their time together at Victory Lanes.
Not one for small talk or overt expressions of love, Lawrence had his own way of showing that he cared. He would share a book, give or lend money, pass along investment advice, buy a clarinet for a budding musician, or help to build the kids’ swing set or install a new floor. He especially enjoyed sharing his love of music, dancing, and reading with his grandchildren, who all remember that he never once said “no” when they asked for a book.
A memorial service has already taken place at New Life Church in Heber Springs. Memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.