Chad Walter Lizakowski

June 25, 1966August 21, 2020

Chad, 54, returned to his heavenly home on August 21, 2020. He passed unexpectedly in his home after living with early on-set Parkinson’s disease and other health issues unrelated to COVID 19.

His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his health struggles and recovery.

Chad was born to Walter and the late Sondra Lizakowski on June 25, 1966 in Grand Forks, ND during flooding season. They moved to the Twin Cities when he was a year old, and making their home in Fridley, MN. He attended Spring Lake Park High School and St. Cloud State University, receiving his MS in Psychology from UW, River Falls.

Chad worked at Cub Foods as a baker, and Merrick Inc. as a support staff to persons with developmental disabilities. He began working for Mpls. Public Schools as a School Psychologist in 1996 serving at several of their middle schools, working on their Crisis Teams and as their Autism Specialist.

Chad was an avid sports fan, especially the Vikings and Twins. He enjoyed tennis, softball, golf, and could talk sports with the best of them. Other hobbies included reading the paper everyday, good books, music, movies, relaxing at the cabin, hunting, fishing, history, and politics. His warm smile and one of a kind laugh will be missed greatly. Chad was a member of AA, leading meeting and sponsoring many.

Chad is preceded in death by his mother, Sondra (Mortenson), father-in-law, Stanley T. Wiatros, and his buddy, Joseph Zmyslo. He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 29 years, Jo Ann (Wiatros) Lizakowski. They have three children together: Maggie (Riley Doriott), Genevieve (Quentin Mann Jr.), and Joshua; grandsons Cameron and Adrian Mann-Lizakowski. He is also survived by his loving father Walter E. and cherished brother Jamie, mother-in-law Frances Wiatros, Godchildren: Rachel Wiatros, Marinna Kugler, and Piotrek Wasienski as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 26 from 5pm to 7pm at Hope Church, 7910 15th St. N, Oakdale and again one hour prior to service on Thursday. Funeral service at 11am on Thursday, August 27 at Hope Church.

Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers.

The service will be live streamed through the church website


  • Evening Visitation

    Wednesday, August 26, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, August 27, 2020


Chad Walter Lizakowski

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lori Nustvold

September 4, 2020

Chad was a great guy. I met him in 96 when he joined the psych team. He was ambitious and cared so much about the families and students. He was a great team player, and an asset to MPS. This is very sad that this terrible disease took him so young. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Rachel Zubrzycki

September 1, 2020

Chad was always kind and friendly to me, which was so appreciated in our high-stress work environment.

Alan Tharaldson

August 27, 2020

I would like to give the family my condolences. I am a school psychologist who worked with Chad at Northeast Middle School. He was always happy and we would talk about everything, including sports, work, people we knew (high school), and at times our individual struggles with health. One thing in talking with Chad that I realized was that he really loved his family.

Cathy Standish

August 27, 2020

Want to clarify what twins team we are talking about? MN or Oakdale Twins ? Will fondly remember his laugh and smile.

wendy noakes

August 26, 2020

I worked with Chad at Lake Nokomis Keewaydin Community School. What a great person! In special education meetings with parents, he spoke with compassion, knew the right words to calm families and staff fears, and focused on how to help students succeed in school. Most of all his laughter filled any room. He will be missed!

Betsy Martinez

August 26, 2020

To Chad’s family, I greatly enjoyed working with Chad for years while he was our psychologist at Northeast Middle School. He was so approachable, helpful, and always a positive member of our team. His kind and competent service was so appreciated, and he will be fondly remembered by many.

Sandra Spray-Kerr

August 26, 2020

I had the honor of working close with Chad as part of the Non-Public Special Education team. We officed together while housed at ABE off of E. Lake Street and then he continued to be involved with our team for assessments at the Non-Public schools and was actually on one of my open cases right now. He always brought up thoughtful elements for evaluations and had a lovely way of showing how much he had learned by interacting with the students that we shared for assessments. He was great with the students but also the families. He was such a valuable team member but more importantly a good soul. He was always kind and thoughtful and seemed to know the right thing to say when I might not be having a good day. He was so proud of his grandchildren and we often got to see videos and photos. His laugh and smile were just the right medicine. I will miss him. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Leina Hunt

August 26, 2020

I remember talking with Chad a lot in his office at Transition Plus. I am really going to miss his laugh and his upbeat personality.

condolences from Leina Hunt (current student at Transition Plus)

Lorna Wickham-Lewis

August 26, 2020

Dear Chad,
Heaven gained a special angel when you arrived last Friday. God definitely threw away the mold when he made you. I want to thank you for your professionalism and ability to summarize the difficult conversations with a nurturing tone that made the resolve sound reachable and measurable in the daily classroom. Chad you had this gift to listen, and made me always feel that I was heard and validated. Through the years, you helped me put difficult examples of behavior into valuable words that moved our children forward in this demanding world. I am so grateful to have our last conversation in memory. We were walking done the ramp towards the shortcut to your office, and took time to share a picture with me of your family. Your excitement fueled that famous laugh and the echo followed you to your destination. It was contagious!
I will miss the competitive chatter during our fantasy football league, but more importantly, the chance to beat you by one point!
Chad, I send you with this final thought, life whispers its greatest challenges more than we want sometimes, you taught us all what it was like to "get up" and face them head on. So, rest now dear friend, and when you're ready to take watch, know we will all be doing our best down below. Never forgotten! Thank you for doing what was best for our kids!

Smiles Always,
Lorna Wickham-Lewis
3rd Grade Teacher
LNCS- Keewaydin Campus

David Schrot

August 26, 2020

I had the honor and pleasure to serve as one of Chad’s colleagues in Psychological Services at Minneapolis Public Schools for nearly the past two decades. Chad was a superb school psychologist who always gave fully of himself to support students and their families, teachers, and administrators, as well as his fellow school psychologists. A tireless professional, Chad embraced working in the schools and being with the children. Always a source of comfort for those in crisis, he made a huge difference in the lives of so many students. He consistently did so with an upbeat, positive outlook and sense of humor and warm smile that we all now miss so very much.

Chad’s entire approach to school psychology was all about positive outcomes for children. He consistently exhibited extraordinary personal/professional commitment/advocacy on behalf of students, families, and staff by recognizing the individual needs of students and making meaningful connections with them, their parents, and fellow staff to improve academic and mental health outcomes within a multi-cultural perspective. Through the years, Chad had been a steady role model for competency, high ethical standards, kindness, and caring, contributing immensely to positive school environment. Admired and deeply respected by colleagues, students, and parents alike, Chad earned the respect and gratitude of all who had come to know him as he championed appropriate educational services for all children. He did so with high passion and integrity, as well as that tenacious healthy sense of humor.

This will be my first school year without Chad’s presence on the team. I already miss his passion and exuberance with all the hearty laughter and smiling that is so hard to come by now. I take heart in knowing that he is smiling down on all of us and guiding us to move onward to serve the children in the manner he has shown us.


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