John E. Tyssowski, businessman

John Edwin Tyssowski, founder and owner of a Howard County heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration company, died Dec. 12 of an aortic dissection at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The Finksburg resident was 58.

Mr. Tyssowski, who was the son of Social Security Administration workers, was born in Larkspur, Calif., and at a young age, moved with his family to Catonsville.

He was a 1971 graduate of Catonsville High School, and two years later, married his high school sweetheart, the former Carol "Kim" Grenier.

Mr. Tyssowski worked at Ten Oaks Nursery, Pikesville landscaping company E.L. Glaser, and Keystone Refrigeration and Arbutus Refrigeration before founding his own company, Chill-Craft Co. Inc., in Hanover in 1982.

Family members said that Mr. Tyssowski went into business with "a truck, a pair of steel-toed shoes and his kitchen table for an office."

Mr. Tyssowski successfully expanded the business to include clients such as the federal government, hospitals, commercial businesses, clubs and restaurants.

Some of the local Baltimore restaurants where his company made HVAC installations included Jay's Restaurant Group, Biddle Street Catering and the Foreman-Wolf Restaurant Group.

Other projects included Johns Hopkins Hospital, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, the Willard Hotel and the National Institutes of Health.

He also designed and installed custom wine rooms for commercial and residential customers.

Mr. Tyssowski had not retired at his death.

He enjoyed home landscaping and gardening projects, and when traveling liked to visit local arboretums and take long hikes. For more than two decades, he had been a member of the Fairways Golf Club, where he enjoyed golfing.

He was an avid Ravens fan and liked cooking for and entertaining family and friends.

A reception celebrating Mr. Tyssowski's life was held Saturday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Luke Tyssowski of Finksburg; his mother, Mildred Lund Tyssowski of Baltimore; a brother, Joseph R.S. Tyssowski Jr. of Glenwood; a sister, Judy Tyssowski Wheatley of Nashville, Tenn.; and two grandchildren.

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