HADLEY - Walter M. Piziak, 92, of 13 Arrowhead Drive in Hadley, passed away on Friday, June 15, 2012, at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
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Walter was born in Northampton on April 18, 1920, the son of the late Michael and Agnes (Berestka) Piziak. He spent his childhood on Mount Tom and attended Easthampton schools.
Walter joined the U.S. Army on Nov. 9, 1942, and served with Company A of the 551st Radar Warning Battalion. He saw action in the Guadalcanal campaign. Walter was a radar crewman, and as radar was a new tool in the war at this time, forward observation stations were often clandestinely located in enemy territory. He also served in the Solomons and in the Southern Philippines. Walter received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign ribbon, the Victory Medal and the Good Conduct medal. He was honorably discharged and returned home to his wife, Veronica, and son, Robert, who was born shortly after he left for the war in 1942.
Walter and Veronica opened the first motel in Hadley, the Spruce Hill Motel. They ran the motel for over 35 years before retiring. Walter was also a familiar sight as a bus driver for the Hadley schools. Ferrying children over 31 years, he often saw two generations of the same families growing up and heading off to school. He was a communicant of Most Holy Redeemer Church in Hadley and a life member of the American Legion Post 271 in Hadley. Walter and Veronica (Zalot) celebrated 70 years of marriage in October 2011.
Besides his wife, Veronica, Walter leaves a son, Dr. Robert Piziak and his wife, Dr. Veronica Piziak, of Troy, Texas; and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. In addition to his parents he was also predeceased by his siblings, Bertha Suleski and Bernard and Edward Piziak.
The family invites you to join them on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Most Holy Redeemer Church to celebrate a Liturgy of Christian Burial for Walter. Burial with full military honors will follow in Holy Rosary Cemetery in Hadley. In lieu of flowers, donations in Walter's memory may be made to the Hopkins Academy Scholarship Fund, Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035. The family has entrusted Walter's care with the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton.
To sign a guest book, express condolences, share memories, and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
Czelusniak Funeral Home
173 North Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 18, 2012