Bronislawa (Broni) Siwiak, born May 4, 1925 in Lwow, then in eastern Poland, died peacefully February 5. Broni was deported along with her parents to a Siberian gulag during Stalin's ethnic cleansing of eastern Poland in 1939. Upon their liberation two years later, they made their way through Russia, Persia then Kenya and to the British camps in Uganda. There she enlisted with the British Forces who transported her by ship to England, where she served as an airplane mechanic in the Polish Wing of the RAF. After the War, she married Jan, a Polish RAF fighter, bomber and reconnaissance pilot and raised three children in the UK. After migrating to the US in 1956, Broni became involved with a Polish Childrens' Dance Group at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She went on to lead the group as President for many years. In 1968, she took a bus load of children to Washington DC, where, with the assistance of the late Congressman John Rooney, the children danced for the late President Johnson in the White House, and presented him with a gift. Upon moving to Plantation, FL in 1987, Broni volunteered for the next 19 years at a local nursing home, putting on Christmas pageants, conducting prayer services and sitting with many ill residents bringing them comfort. She also served during that time as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church. After relocating to Annapolis in 2007, Broni continued her volunteering at the Caring Collection. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jan; her parents, Wladylsaw and Franciszka Filarowski; and three siblings, Stanislaw, Edward and Valeria. She is survived by her two sons, Ted and Kai Siwiak; her daughter, Jadwiga Balzano; eight grandchildren, Marek and Robert Siwiak, Kasia Romo, Joseph and Diana Siwiak, Phillip, Max and Anne Marie Balzano; and four great grandchildren, Evan Siwiak, Tomas, Markos and Ella Romo. Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, at the Hardesty Funeral Home, 12 Ridgely Ave., Annapolis. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 11, at the Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA, with interment to follow. Contributions are suggested to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Hwy., Annapolis, MD 21401 www.hospicechesapeake.org. Online condolences may be placed at www.hardestyfuneralhome.com
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Hardesty Funeral Home, P.A.
12 Ridgely Avenue Annapolis, MD 21401
Published in The Capital on Feb. 7, 2013