Cover photo for Joseph "Big Joe"  Gawrych's Obituary
1929 "Big Joe" 2023

Joseph "Big Joe" Gawrych

January 15, 1929 — August 26, 2023

Mount Pleasant


Joseph Frederick Gawrych, 94, of Mount Pleasant, SC, passed away on Saturday, August 26, 2023.

Born on January 15, 1929, in North Haven, CT, Joe was a son of the late Sophie Dombrowski Gawrych and Joseph Frederick Gawrych, Sr.

Joe is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Barbara (Bobbie) May Wallace Gawrych and his son, Steven Wallace Gawrych.

After completing high school in Connecticut, Joe joined the US Navy. He served his country from 1948 - 1952 and is a recognized Korean War Veteran. While in the Navy, Joe attended a USO dance in Charleston where he met Bobbie. They were married in 1953 and made their home in Charleston. Joe spent his adult career in the food brokerage business that spanned over 40 years. Joe and Bobbie moved their growing family to Mt Pleasant in 1965. Not long after, Joe began coaching 11 and 12-year-old boys' baseball. He coached multiple generations for over 45 plus years. The Joe Gawrych Baseball Park in Mt. Pleasant honored his service and was named for him in 2013. In addition to coaching baseball, Joe also coached football for many years. His love of these sports, seeing boys become young men, always putting the kids first, and teaching more life lessons than baseball and football skills are what made him an awesome coach!

Off the fields, Joe was well known for his vegetables, especially his home grown tomatoes. He first planted gardenias on Charlotte Street in Charleston which have been propagated for over 50 years and are now growing across the southeast United States. Big Joe, as he was known to many, was a pillar in the Mt Pleasant community, was well loved and will be missed by many friends and extended family.

Joe is survived by his sons: Michael Edward Gawrych, Paul Scott Gawrych and Zoe, Bryan Joseph Gawrych and April; and his daughter, Katie Gawrych Gilden. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Caroline Gawrych Bean and Ryan, Sarah Gilden Brady and Jay, Suzanne Gilden Zais and Brad, William Joseph Gilden and Libby, Jennifer Gawrych Weston and Brian, Steven Wallace Gawrych Jr., Paul Scott Gawrych Jr. and Chandler, Sophie Gawrych DuBose and Ren, Julia Mabry Gawrych, and Joseph Campbell Gawrych. Other survivors include 8 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, 29th of August 2023, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, Mount Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Road in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Town of Mt Pleasant and mail to: Joe Gawrych Memorial C/O Town of Mt Pleasant 100 Ann Edwards Lane Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, 843-884-3833.




To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Big Joe" Gawrych, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation - Mount Pleasant

1520Rifle Range Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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