By Celia Catlett

DombrowskiIn the elevator on my way to interview the Dombrowskis, a resident of their colony told me, “You will really like them.  They’re the nicest people.”  After spending time with them, I certainly agreed.

Both Kathryn and Hal (as he likes to be called) were born in Detroit, Michigan.  During World War II, Hal enlisted in the Marines and served in the First Armored Amphibian Battalion from 1942 to 1945 in the Pacific.  He participated in the invasions of the Marshall Islands, Guam and Okinawa.  He says he realizes how lucky he was that he was never wounded during these crucial battles.

Returning to Michigan after the war, he worked for ten years with the Chrysler Corporation as a purchasing agent.  The knowledge he gained led him to a successful career with Douglas & Lomason Company (now Lomason Division of Magna International), which makes the type of automobile products he had been purchasing.  During his twenty-six-year tenure he became Vice President and Sales Manager.  Kathryn used her dual skills in language and math as a secretary for a credit manager, salary payroll manager, and finally for the director of the military division of a trailer company.

Kathryn and Hal met on a blind date arranged by her future brother-in-law who was dating her sister.  The Dombrowskis were married a year later, followed by the other two.  Each couple has been married for more than sixty years!

Michigan has been Kathryn and Hal’s home for the majority of their lives, but in 1970 they bought a condo on Longboat Key where they lived first part-time and then full-time before moving to Stoney Brook.  They still have a condo in Elk Rapids on Lake Michigan.  Hal was an avid fly fisherman and a charter member of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Kathryn joined him in volunteering during Elk Rapids’ annual Harbor Days festival.  Her interests were golfing and cross-stitch embroidery.  Both have been members of the Birmingham (Michigan) and later the Stoney Brook country clubs.

When they first came to Sarasota in 1964 to visit Kathryn’s father, they saw Plymouth Harbor being built.  Little did they know then that someday they would live here, but are delighted that this is where they have landed – a perfect place for a couple who always loved being on the water.  Extend them a warm welcome.