DANIELEWICZ, John F.
John F. Danielewicz, 93, died unexpectedly on Sunday (April 22, 2012) at the Hospital of Central Connecticut. Born in New Britain on May 5, 1918, he grew up in Racewo, Poland and returned to the U.S. at age 21. John was predeceased by his beloved wife, Jennie Kwasowski of 49 years and a son Francis, a daughter Mary, a grandson Michael, and a son-in-law Thomas Nejfelt, Sr.
Survived by his daughter, Joann Nejfelt of Plainville and friend Michael Le Brun, and his four sons-Franciscan Friar Noel Danielewicz of Chicopee, MA, Thomas and Robin of New Britain, and Robert and his wife Cheryl of Portland, and Paul of New Britain with whom he made his home. His eleven grandchildren brought his much joy and happiness: Missy and her husband Mark, Thomas and his wife Miriam, Matthew and his wife Rachel, Erica and her husband Kurt, Trista, Jonathan, Jennifer, Alyssa, Justin and Megan. He was "Grand-Pa!" to his nine great-grandchildren: Jordan, Alexa, Madelyn, Paulina, Dante, Valentina, Jayden, Alyssa, and Skylar.
John also leaves behind his brother, Tadeusz and his wife Alexandra of New Britain, a brother, Casimir and his wife, Helen of Racewo, Poland. He was predeceased by his sisters, Sophie and Mary and his brother Walter. John also leaves behind many nieces and nephews in the U.S. and Poland.
A member of Holy Cross Church for over 70 years, he proudly served his God and country in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater. He served aboard the U.S.S. Essex, "The Fightingest Ship in the Fleet", with 12 battles, and an encounter with a typhoon in the China Sea. John was awarded 2 silver stars, 4 bronze stars and 7 medals including the Presidential Unit Citation. He belonged to the Veterans Council and received the "Veteran of the Year Award" on December 7, 1999.
John was employed by Fafnir Bearing Co. for 41 years, ending his career as a final inspector of jet engine bearings. He also worked part-time as a salesman for the Electrolux Corporation for 40 years, and Fleet Bank as a security guard for 5 years. He was an insurance salesman for the PRCUA, serving as President, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Deputy.
His gentle and endearing spirit served the community well in many ways. He was a Charter member of the Holy Name Society, past-President of the Holy Cross Choir, Usher and Eucharistic Minister with a tremendous outreach to the elderly and the sick. In addition, he was a member of the Parish School Board and Retreat League chairman for Holy Family Retreat Center and this year made his 30th Lenten Retreat.
Drawn to Franciscan spirituality, he helped anchor the Secular Franciscan Order based at St. Paul's, Kensington and served as Minister for 9 years and later as treasurer for 11 years. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Tierney Assembly the 4th Degree, and Color Guard. He was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, serving as commander for 2 years, a Charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion of Catholic War Veterans, Sacred Heart Post #150 Haller Post No. III, Iwo Jima Survivors, the Amber Club, Fafnir Seniors, Fafnir Union UAW, New Britain Seniors, AARP, and the U.S.S. Essex Buccaneers.
A lifetime charter member at the World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C. John served as Honorary Parade Marshall for the New Britain Memorial Day Parade from 2008-2011. He was the recipient of the Veteran's of the Year Award from the Amber Club on September 20, 2008. Finally, on November 10, 2008, John was interviewed by Dr. Evelyn Cherpak, Head of the U.S. Naval Historical Collection at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. The purpose of the interview was to gain a detailed perspective of on John's life, along with the history aboard the U.S.S. Essex during World War II that tallied some 52 pages of written text.
Your prayerful support and presence will be welcomed by the Danielewicz Family on Thursday, April 26th, from 4-8 p.m. at the Burritt Hill Funeral Home, 332 Burritt St., New Britain. A Christian Wake Service will take place at 7 p.m. Mr. Danielewicz's funeral will begin on Friday, April 27th, at 9 a.m. at Burritt Hill Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Life, concelebrated by his son, Fr. Noel, the Franciscan Friars and guest clergy at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, New Britain. Burial will be with military honors at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Among those offering tribute by their presence will be the Felician Sisters of Enfield and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi. Memorial donations can be made to the John Paul II School, 221 Farmington Ave., New Britain, CT 06053, Holy Cross Church, Restoration Fund, 31 Biruta St., New Britain, CT 06053, or the Franciscan Friars, 12300 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD.