Hank Warzybok Memorial

Hank Warzybok
November 5, 1939 – December 15, 2019.
President of Long Beach Cactus Club – 199? to 2004

Henry, or Hank as he was called by his family and friends, was born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 5, 1939, and he passed away on December 15, 2019. Hank was so happy to celebrate his 80th birthday in November, and while he was in the hospital, he was making plans on how to live for another twenty years. His big goal was to make it to 100, which, sadly, will not happen. Nevertheless, Hank enjoyed a very full and wonderful 80 years of life.
Hank, or “Junior” as he was called growing up in the very Polish neighborhood of Hamtramck, Michigan, was predeceased in death by his wife, Dee Warzybok, He is survived by his daughter, Karin, and son, Michael, as well as his grandchildren Evan and Olivia, plus too many wonderful friends to count!
After graduating from Pershing High School in Hamtramck, Hank joined the U.S. Navy and traveled the world on the USS Henley, where he trained to be an electronics technician which eventually became his career of over 30 years at TRW.
Hank married Dolores “Dee” Cisneros in 1962 and moved to Lakewood with his little family in 1964, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Although Hank enjoyed tinkering with and fixing things – he prided himself on being able to “fix the unfixable” – his true passions included jogging – he once ran a marathon, cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking with Canyon Explorers and backpacking through the Sierras with the Turkey Trekkers as well as the annual backpacking trips to Catalina with dear friends Jean, Clark, and George, traveling to places such as Africa, India, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos, whale watching in Baja, California, taking classes, for he loved to learn, and “working on the plants.”
Hank was a member of many clubs and societies including the Long Beach Chapter of the Sierra Club, Bromeliad Society, San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society, Orange County Cactus and Succulent Society, South Coast Cactus and Succulent Society, and Long Beach Cactus Club where he was a lifetime member and served as President for about 10 years.
Hank enjoyed giving presentations to various groups such as the Bromeliad Society with pictures of the flora and fauna from his travels, that is until Powerpoint and laptops came along! He volunteered for El Dorado Park’s Protect Our Watery World, going into elementary school classrooms to educate children on the dangers that toxins and pollution causes to our oceans, lakes, and rivers because preservation and conservation were very high on his list of priorities. And, he, along with his good friend, Cesar Encarnacion, collected and shipped hundreds of copies of National Geographic Magazine to libraries and classrooms in the Philippines for the past 11 years. When he read the hand-written notes from the children thanking him for the magazines, he wept with joy.
Hank will be remembered as a devoted, loving father and grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend. He was a man with a youthful, positive outlook on life who always said, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” His quirky ways and crazy sense of humor will never be forgotten. We will miss Hank in more ways than we can even imagine, and we wish he had made it to his goal of living to age one hundred. But we are thankful for him and the joyful, spirited life he lived, and we believe that he is now very much alive for eternity in Heaven with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Please consider making a donation to one of the charities Hank cared deeply about.
The Bear’s Ears National Monument
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
American Heart Association
Greenpeace


Hank was always a joy to talk to at the Long Beach Cactus Club meetings and he had the best sense of humor. His witty responses and jokes always had people laughing. He will be missed by all the people who went to his plant sales and we will never forget his jokes about the mother-in-laws chair aka the barrel cactus or Hank trying to sell people plants that never need to be watered and the customers not realizing that they didn’t need water because they were fake plants. We will always remember the stories Hank shared and cherish the plants that we have gotten from him. Our deepest condolences to the family. Hank will be greatly missed by many.

Cactus sale December 6, 2015. ‘The bearded ones’ Jim, John, Hank, Roger, and Woody

Hank was such a good friend, not only to us but to so many others. His friendship and humor is one we will always cherish. To Hank’s family we extend our deepest sympathy and may you find comfort in knowing your dad was so liked and respected.

I remember first meeting Hank at one of the plant sales in Orange County. I was trying to decide what plant to buy from him. I ended up with an aloe and a sansevieria because of course Hank said I should get both. I later started coming to the Long Beach Cactus Club and would get plants from him then. He always had a kind and helpful word. I am so glad I have my plants from him to remember him by. He will be greatly missed.

I met Hank and Jean on a TRW Wilderness Club hike on April 4, 1988. Hank would become a dear family friend and Jean would become my wife. He met us at the airport when we adopted the first set of kids. He gave us a pet Tarantula named Rosie. He was very generous and fun. Always had a joke or a story. He was a good listener too. Loved to learn new things. I think this was a common connection between him and Jean. I am so thankful for Hank. He got Jean to join the Wilderness Club. Without that, I would never have met my wife or had my children. God works in wonderful ways.

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Warzybok twice – one time after Karin and I stopped by his house to see his amazing succulent garden and the other time when Paul and I went to learn about his adventures in Alaska as we were planning a camping trip there. Mr. Warzybok appeared to be a man who lived his life with great contentment. He knew what gave him joy – nature, being with family and friends, and living life to the fullest. Paul and I appreciated his zest for life and his great sense of adventure. His stories and pictures of his Alaska trips were captivating. We ended up going and having a great time there! I am grateful that Mr. Warzybok lived his 80 years of life to the fullest!

In our 40+ plus years of friendship with Hank we enjoyed the outdoors hiking, camping, backpacking, x-c skiing and many fun evenings around the campfire sipping delicious cheap wine and sharing great stories and laughter. His presence made every occasion special and memorable.
Hank always seemed to have a kind word, an inquisitive question, or a tongue-in-cheek joke to share. And his love for the natural world and all the creatures therein was amazing.
After our move from California, Hanks
humorous mailings and letters kept our friendship and memories growing and our fondness with Hank was renewed again and again.
This we know….the world would be a better place if there were more Hank Warzyboks! We miss him greatly, but we carry great love and memories in our heart of our wonderful friendship.