Farewell to a Music Biz Legend
“He was funny, witty and charismatic with a heart of gold.” When memories of the late George Kwiatkiewicz were shared by his family at a Funeral Mass held in his honour, it was his daughters Sofia, Isabella and Natasha who best summed up the personality and character of a much loved man.
George had worked in the music industry for many years. He spent the past two decades with Repertoire Records, where he co-ordinated the re-release of many of the classic rock records that were a lifelong passion. His love of rock, football and Leicester City FC in particular were matters for urgent discussion, whenever he met pals and colleagues for a drink after hours.
When he was taken seriously ill in 2018, he still managed to call friends and talk to them with calm dignity and flashes of his old humour. Sadly, he passed away on February 4, 2019 and the funeral was held at St. Paul’s Polish Church, Leicester on February 18th.
His choice of music for the ceremony reflected his taste for the meaningful and melodic, notably the Beatles’ Let It Be, The Light At The End Of The World by John Butler & Rick Willson, (of Leicester based group Diesel Park West) Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn and My Friend The Sun a song from one of George’s favourite albums Bandstand by Family.
GUITARS AND CARS
During Sofia’s address she recalled that the Dad with ‘a heart of gold’ was a special and irreplaceable character. “He could also talk the hind legs off a donkey. I used to put him on loudspeaker when he called and would be able to make a cup of tea and drink it before he realised I hadn’t got a word in edgeways!”
Sofia told how she was proud to have such a fun, unique father who was ever young at heart. “My friends were amazed at his jukebox and guitar collection but I was not so proud when he would pick us up from school in a bright green Citroen 2CV which he described as a ‘cool car.’”
In their final conversations Georgie told his daughters he felt he had been truly lucky in life. Sofia: “Never once did he question why he had been dealt the short hand in his last months, but instead reflected on a life filled with love from both family and friends. Dad was the first man we ever loved and was the core of our family. The loss is a big one. His absence is very much felt. I hope we can keep his memory alive through stories of a loving rock’n’roll Dad and Granddad.”
KINDNESS AND LAUGHTER
Isabella also recalled George’s great passions in life. “He loved music, cars, cats, fashion, real ale, steak night at Wetherpoons, football, Jamie Vardy and literally anything related to the city of Leicester. We took Dad to see Leicester City play in November and true to form he made us ten minutes late for the game while getting ready to leave the house.
“He wore his Leicester scarf and found it funny that it said: ‘Leicester Til I Die’ emblazoned on it. His diagnosis gave us a window of time to spend with him making memories. He went on the ‘Beatles Tour’ in Liverpool and met up with old friends from school and university. He also loved that he became a Granddad last year and was incredibly proud to see Sofia become a Mum.”
Isabella told how her Dad was emotionally intelligent and knew the right things to say during hard times. “He would say his greatest achievement in life was his family. He had many friends from all walks of life and on hearing news of his death one said: ‘If there were more people in the world like George, the world would be a better place.”
“He lived his final months full of positivity and bravery. If we can learn anything from him, it is to live our lives openly and with kindness whilst having a laugh along the way. He will be missed but never forgotten.”
GEORGE ALEXANDER KIATKIEWICZ Born November 24, 1954. Died February 4, 2019 aged 64. He leaves a wife Heather and daughters Sofia, Isabella and Natasha.