ALBERT Z., 89, died suddenly Sept. 30, 2013. Al was born in Torun, Poland on June 30, 1924, formerly of Anchor Street in Philadelphia, Moorestown, NJ, and since 1990, Sarasota, FL. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 47 years, Leonore Wolaniuk Szczepkowski. Al came to the United States, via Ellis Island, at the age of 9 in 1933. Throughout his life, he remained a staunch Republican, while maintaining a very open mind and respecting all points of view.
He enlisted in the Army
and fought overseas in WWII, was injured several times, held as a prisoner of war, was awarded the Purple Heart
3 times, the Bronze Star
, and many other medals during his service. He attained the rank of Captain, subsequently turning down a promotion to Colonel in order to return to civilian life and resume his college education. He had a passion for education and attended several univer-sities including Northeastern University and the University of Alabama, before, during and after the war. He graduated from Drexel University where he received three degrees - in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and a Master's Degree in Business Administration.
After working for several years as an Engineer, for other companies, he started his own company, SWEMCO, in 1965 with his brother, Ted Szczepkowski, his brother-in-law, Ed Wolaniuk, and longtime friend, Ed Smith. The company, now in its 48th year, is run by 2nd and 3rd generation sons and grandchildren of Al, and he celebrated the fact that a 5th generation of Szczepkowski's was born and living in what he thought was the greatest country in the world, America.
Al met his wife, Leonore Wolaniuk, at the Polish American Club in Philadelphia, and they married in 1951. Al enthusiastically supported wife, Lee's, musical career as a violinist throughout their long marriage by pitching in to make dinner for their sons and attending the many musical venues Lee played in, from classical to pop and opera to musicals. After Leonore's death, he met and married Anya Karlsson of Sarasota, FL, who was his wife at the time of Al's passing. They had many common interests and enjoyed "all things Polish", traveling and having long philosophical discussions daily.
Al is survived by and will be sorely missed by his wife, Anya, his brother Ted of Warminster, PA, sons, Robert, Carl and Richard, daughters-in-law, Andrea and Jacqueline, grandchildren, Christina (and husband Justen Scheule), Alexander, Daniel, Samantha (and husband Jacob Brickley), Maximilian, Craig, Grace and great grandson, Quinn.
Graveside Services will be private and held at the VA National Cemetery in Sarasota, FL. Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be sent to: Wounded Warrior Project - www.woundedwarriorproject.org
(web site has all info)
Or mail donations to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.