Stefan Gawel

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Gawel, Stefan
Stefan (Steve) Gawel, 76 years old, a long-time resident of Stamford, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2012. Born April 5, 1936, he was the Son of the late Walter and Victoria Weglowska Gawel. Stefan spent his childhood and youth in Poland. He graduated with an electrical engineering degree from the Technikum Construction and Electrical Engineering School in Jaroslaw, Poland. While there, he played the accordion with the school's Musical Entertainment Group, which was selected in 1955 to perform in the World Musical Festival in Warsaw, Poland. After graduating he was inducted into the Air Force Military School, where he applied his skills by working on MiG Military aircraft. The circumstances behind Stefan immigrating to Stamford, CT in 1960 go back to his own grandparents' immigration from Poland to Sayreville, NJ in 1901, where they gave birth to Stefan's father, Walter, before subsequently returning to Poland, where Steve was born. Once in the United States, he met and married his beloved wife of 48 years, Ann Manczuk Gawel. They raised two daughters, Diane and Irene. Diane graduated from Penn State University, and currently resides in Stamford, CT. Irene attended Yale College and Harvard Business School, and currently resides in Cambridge, MA. Steve was perennially self-employed. He and his brother Joe started the Gawel Bros Plumbing & Heating Service in Stamford, CT in 1965, and he remained in the plumbing service business until his retirement. Stefan was a parishioner of the Holy Name of Jesus Church from the time he arrived in the US. He was a member of the Holy Name of Jesus Society and the Holy Name Athletic Club. He was Chairman of the Grounds and Building Committee of the Holy Name of Jesus Church. He was elected to and served multiple terms on the Lay Advisory Council. He also served as a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, representing the Polish people to Bishop Egan. While a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish American Cultural Society of Stamford, CT. He was named their 1991 Citizen of the Year. He and his wife Ann remained Co-Chairs of the organization's Polonaise Ball for over ten years. His fund raising efforts also contributed to the founding of the American Center of Polish Culture, opened in Washington, DC in 1988 to serve as a home for Polonia in the nation's capital. It has since been absorbed into the Kosciuszko Foundation. Steve was a self-taught amateur photographer, culminating in the pride he felt when counting the number of photos credited to him in the Holy Name of Jesus Parish's 75 th anniversary memorial book. He and his brother enjoyed many years of boating and fishing as members of the Halloween Yacht Club. His love of ballroom dancing began in Poland, and continued throughout his active life. Many a Saturday night he could be found at Stamford's Terrace Club, leading his wife Ann around the floor in a cha-cha. Of all his recreations, snowmobiling developed into his deepest passion, as he traveled further and further north to find the snow. A day of snowmobiling always ended with his proudly relaying the number of miles covered. In addition to her parents, he was predeceased by his sister; Helen Kryspin and his brothers, Chester and Walter Gawel. Stefan is survived by his wife, Ann and daughters Diane and Irene, and brother Joseph Gawel, and so many others who called him friend. Friends and relatives may call from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday, November 28 th at Bosak Funeral Home, 453 Shippan Avenue, in Stamford. A mass will take place at Holy Name of Jesus Church on the morning of Thursday, November 29 th at 11 am. Interment will immediately follow at St. John Roman Catholic Cemetery, Darien, CT. In lieu of flowers donations can be directed to Greenwich Woods Employee Sunshine Fund, 1165 King St, Greenwich, CT 06831. Contact: Margaret Vascones. The donations will benefit the employees who cared for him these past two years. The Gawels have entrusted the funeral arrangements to Bosak Funeral Home, 453 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT. If you wish to leave an online condolence for the family, please sign the online guestbook at www.bosakfuneralhome.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bosakfuneralhome to share your memories of Steve with his family.

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Published in StamfordAdvocate on Nov. 27, 2012
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