Family remembers Steve Olewinski, who drowned in Shawano Lake

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- 56-year-old Steve Olewinski of West Allis drowned on Friday, July 5th in Shawano Lake, after going into the water to go after one of the family's dogs that had jumped off a boat. Now, his family is remembering him.

"He was one of the best dads ever. I couldn't have asked for anybody better. I just hope people remember him for all he's done in this community," Olewinski's son, Alex said.

For 20 years, Olewinski served on the West Allis Police Reserves. He lived almost all of his life in West Allis, and relatives say he was extremely proud of the community.

"The parades and anything that had to do with the city -- they did Historical Society, Settlers Weekend, he was always involved with that stuff," Alex Olewinski said.

Olewinski's sister, Sherry Walter says just days before his death, Steve told her about a milestone he was approaching.

"When we were sitting out at the campfire last week, he was telling us that he was two pints away from having donated 20 gallons of blood since he started donating," Walter said.

For the last six years, the family has taken a summer trip to Shawano Lake.

On Friday morning, Olewinski went into the lake after one of the family's dogs jumped out of a boat. His wife, Mary Jo called for help.

The dog survived, and relatives say it was no surprise that Olewinski died trying to save a life.

"He would've done it for any human-being, any dog, any...whatever. It just didn't surprise me. That was my brother," Walter said.

Olewinski's family says Steve would want everyone to know about the West Allis Police Reserves chicken barbecue, scheduled for July 22nd. Drive-thru sales begin at 4:00 p.m.