Cover photo for Robert "Rusty" Podjaski's Obituary
Robert "Rusty" Podjaski Profile Photo

Robert "Rusty" Podjaski

September 27, 1922 — October 3, 2017

Robert "Rusty" Podjaski

Robert (Rusty) J. Podjaski, age 95, of Reedsburg, WI, and formerly of Winona, MN, passed away on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at the Sauk County Health Care Center in Reedsburg.

He was born on September 27, 1922, in Winona, to Leo and Leona (Hennessey) Podjaski.  He was united in marriage with Cornella (Corky) P. Lilla on May 5, 1945, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Winona, and they celebrated 72 years of marriage.

Rusty honorably served his country with the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945, and was stationed aboard the USS Stephenson.  He was a member of the American Legion and the VFW Posts in Winona.

He was employed with Bub’s Brewery, Conrad Furriers, and he then partnered with Emil Nascak in operating Emil’s Menswear in Winona, where he was a tailor for over 50 years.

Rusty was an avid sportsman who played baseball with the Polish National Alliance and the Merchants team, where he was a catcher and his brother was a pitcher.  He also enjoyed bowling, and as an avid golfer, he was a member of Westfield Golf Club for over 60 years.

He was a member of the Winona Athletic Club, the Polish Heritage Society, and he was a lifelong member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, until moving to Reedsburg several years ago to be closer to his daughter.

Rusty is loving lovingly survived by his wife, Cornella, Reedsburg; daughter: Sandy (Peter) Edwards, Reedsburg; grandchildren: Chad Edwards, Estes Park, CO; Benjamin Edwards, Omaha, NE; Erin (Chris) Selje, Reedsburg; great-grandchildren: Natalie, Bridget, Elliott, Elaine and Aden Edwards, and Amelia Selje; sister-in-law: Ruth Lilla, Winona; as well as other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother: James Podjaski; sister: Patricia McGuire; half-brothers: Beranrd, John, and Edward Duffy; brother-in-law: Sylvester Lilla; as well as aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

Rusty’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Mary Beth Shear; the nurses, aides, and all the people at the Sauk County Health Care Center, who all did so much for Rusty while he was in their care; and to his friends, especially to Deacon Tom Hale and Fr. David Carrano, for all of their prayers, guidance and friendship.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 AM on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka.  The Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Hargesheimer will be the celebrant, assisted by Deacon Tom Hale.

A private family burial will be held at a later date.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Rusty’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home of Winona is assisting the family with arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert "Rusty" Podjaski, please visit our flower store.


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