Caroline Josephine Demetroff

  • Died: May 3, 2019
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

D O McComb and Sons - Maplewood Park

4017 Maplecrest Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

Tel. (260) 426-9494

Tribute & Message From The Family

Caroline Josephine Demetroff, née Lewandowski was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on April 9, 1926. Her Polish parents had been subjects of the Russian Empire and its Czar. They came to America independently. In Fort Wayne they met, fell in love and married. Caroline was their second child. She grew up bilingual in English and Polish. She attended St. Hyacinth's church and elementary school and graduated from Central High School and International Business College. During World War II, she worked on the home front, testing bomber sights for Bowser's. In 1947 Caroline married Alexander T. "Lexy" Demetroff, also of Fort Wayne. In 1956, with two boys to take care of, Caroline and Lexy opened Alexander's, an Italian restaurant and bar with pizza. Pizza was a new thing in Fort Wayne, and customers, taking their cue from a neon sign, would order a Pizza Beer. Alexander's was the first of over a dozen pizza places that Caroline and Lexy would own and operate, ending with the current business, River Bend Pizza, managed by the family of their younger son, Alex. Caroline and Lexy made their family and food businesses successful. They were active in Democratic politics. Caroline's energy and hard work built a wonderful life for her family. She was always on the go, rarely pausing to rest. Into her 90s she cleaned and managed her house, planted and maintained her garden, with little help. She spent an hour each morning working out. A day spent inside or a day without a full load of hard work was a wasted day! If you have time to lean, you have time to clean, was her motto. Lexy and Caroline were proud of their Macedonian and Polish ethnic heritage. Caroline could not only speak, read, and write both English and Polish, she understood Macedonian. She corresponded with her family in Poland and both coasts of the USA as well as Lexy's family in Macedonia. Because of her we all know each other today. Caroline and Lexy kept alive the traditions of homemade Macedonian and Polish sausage. They passed their heritage on to their sons. They also enjoyed the lake, fishing, travelling, their garden full of peppers, and poking around ethnic neighborhoods and groceries. Their extended family-- in Fort Wayne, across the country, and all over the world--was their pride and joy. They assisted family in need in Macedonia and Poland. More important to Caroline than all of this was the love of her life, Lexy. She loved and supported him throughout their marriage and in his last years of illness she was his care giver in every way-- helping him with every part of daily life, encouraging him, urging him on when he wanted to give up. Their mutual love created what Caroline considered their most important work, their family-- sons, Kevin and Alexander, daughter-in-law, Denise, and granddaughters, Marisa Elena (Alan) Sickles and Alexandra Nicole Demetroff, who all survived her, of Fort Wayne. Caroline is also survived by her step-great-grandchildren, Jenifer, Austin, and Alexis Sickles; nephew, Tom (Brenda) Lewandowski of New Haven, IN; nieces, Ruth (Chris) Traycoff of Fort Wayne, Barbara (Denny)Johnson of Etna Green, IN, Jane Lewandowski of New Haven, IN, and Lynette and Lisa Lewandowski of Beverly Hills, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley and Stella Lewandowski, her husand, Alexander T. "Lexy" Demetroff; brothers, Ted (Stella) Lewandowski and Cass (Kaziu) and Mary Lewandowski; and nephew, Victor Lewandowski.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at St. Jude Catholic Church (2130 Pemberton Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46805) at 1:00 pm with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also be on Monday, May 6, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at D.O. McComb and Sons Funeral Home Maplewood Park (4017 Maplecrest Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46815) with a Vigil Service at 7:00 pm. Burial will follow the service at Lindenwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Catholic Church General Fund or St. Jude Catholic Church Tuition Assistance.