HOLYOKE - Edward A. Ruszczyk, 85, born July 27, 1927, the tenth of 12 children to Polish immigrants Adam and Mary (Konopka) Ruszczyk of Holyoke, passed away on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, after a courageous struggle with Alzheimer's Disease, with loving family by his side at the Holyoke Soldiers Home.
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Ed is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Charlotte (Musante) Ruszczyk of Holyoke. Additionally, he is survived by his daughter Donna Shook and her husband Philip of Corpus Christi, Texas and their children, Timothy and his wife Kelly, Andrea, Daniel and Rachel and her husband Christopher, all living in Texas; his son Mark and his wife Onita (Bazauri) and their daughters Katya and Alana of Lake Worth, Fla.; his son David and his wife Janice (Hamel) and children Theresa and Andrew of Florence; his daughter Ann and her husband (Allen) Ray Hallenbeck and their children Carlee Ann, Adam, and Nicholas of Charlemont and his daughter Laura and her husband Gerald (Jaj) Gilbert and their sons Jack and Patrick of Chicopee.
He was predeceased by his son Richard who died on July 9, 1971, his sisters, Sophie Kosiba, Genevieve Haryasz, Janina Dunleavy, Stephanie Togneri, Wanda Mengel and Helen Normand and his brothers, John, Stanley, Chester and Joseph Ruszczyk.
He is survived by his sister Cecilia Fleury; sister in-laws, Olga (Okolita) Ruszczyk and Jeannette (LaBarre) Zacharkow; brother in-law Leonard Mengel; and many nieces and nephews and their extended families.
Ed graduated from the Holyoke Trade school in 1945. Shortly thereafter, he entered the U.S. Navy during World War II in 1945 and served his beloved country until 1948, later returning to serve during the Korean War from 1951 to 1952.
He was on the U.S.S. Valley Forge which circumnavigated the globe in 1947-48. Upon leaving the Navy, Ed held the rank of Aviator Electricians Mate 2.
Ed always had a love of learning and continued his education by attaining his Master and Journeyman's Electricians Licenses.
In 1954 Ed joined the Holyoke Fire Department and in 1963 was appointed as the Superintendent of the Fire Alarm Division, holding this position for 26 years until his retirement in 1989.
Widely known for providing quality service throughout the region as an electrician, Ed retired in 2009 at the age of 82.
Since 1950, he was a life member of the BPOE 902 and enjoyed many memorable moments at the Elks Club. Also, Ed was a life member of the IMSA (International Municipal Signal Association) since 1962, as well as a VFW and American Legion member.
While always trying to educate and share his passion for learning, Ed's greatest joy in life was being able to spend quality time with his loving family, especially his grandchildren.
Continuing his desire to be active in his elder years, Ed attended the Holyoke Geriatric Authority Adult Day Health program from May 2009 to July 2012. Always seeking to assist and improve, Ed was an avid Vet participant who consistently brought new ideas for activities to the program.
Our family extends a special and most sincere "thank you" to all those who blessed Ed with their tender loving care while at the HGA, Loomis House and the Holyoke Soldiers Home, especially the dedicated staff on 2 North and 3 North (Comfort Care Unit).
Additionally, we warmly thank the in-home care providers Roy and Yoli for their tireless and faithful service as well as acknowledge our thoughtfully generous Blueberry Hill neighbors. We are eternally grateful to each of you for the many blessings bestowed upon our patriarch.
The funeral will be held Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. from the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton St., Holyoke, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. in the Blessed Sacrament Church.
Burial will follow in Mater Dolorosa Cemetery, South Hadley.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Blessed Sacrament Parish, 1945 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 13, 2012