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Marian Wojciechowski

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Marian Wojciechowski Obituary
Wojciechowski Marian Marian Wojciechowski, 97, of Las Vegas, passed from this life on June 5, 2011. He was born April 25, 1914 in Polaniec, Poland, and was a 13-year resident of Nevada after living in Toledo for several decades. Marian was preceded in death by his wife Wladyslawa, his son, Lucian, and several brothers and sisters. He is survived by his daughter, Maryann Wojciechowski of Nevada; son, John Wojciechowski of North Dakota; grandsons, Craig (Jodi) Wojciechowski, of Utah, Jack Wojciechowski of Kentucky, and Todd Wojciechowski of Nevada; brother, Stanislaw (Irena) Wojciechowski; sister, Natalia Jarzyna, and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Poland and in the USA. Marian was a World War II veteran, a platoon leader who fought German forces on September 1, 1939 at the Battle of Mokra, considered to be a tactical victory for the Polish cavalry. His regiment, the 21st Pulk Ulanow Nadwislanskich, was later awarded the Virtuti Militari - Poland's highest military award. He continued fighting after Russia attacked on September 17, 1939, then joined the Polish underground resistance. He was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo in Radom, and sent to Auschwitz (Nr. 50333), Gross Rosen (Nr. 8524) and Leitmeritz (Nr. 88728) concentration camps. In the displaced persons camps of post-war Germany, he met and married Wladyslawa Poniecka, who had been a prisoner of the Gestapo prison Pawiak in Warsaw, and a survivor of the concentration camp Ravensbruck (Nr. 7532). In 1950, they came to the United States with their daughter, and settled in Toledo, Ohio, their adopted hometown where Marian's cousins had sponsored them. They became naturalized citizens in 1957, and their names are now engraved on the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island. Marian was awarded a master's degree in economics and business administration from the Warsaw School of Economics in 1937, and later continued his studies at Mannheim, Germany and the University of Toledo. During the war, he worked as auditor for the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives before he was arrested in 1942. In 1946-1947, he served as an officer in the Polish Civilian Guard formation under the command of the US Army, and later was active in Polish civic groups in the American Zone of West Germany. He also served as chief liaison officer for the groups to the Headquarters of the International Refugee Organization. In Toledo, Marian first worked as inspector at the Doehler-Jarvis plant. Then he became the owner and editor of the Polish-language weekly newspaper "Ameryka Echo" until 1961. He worked as an urban renewal technician and later as project administrator at the City of Toledo for the relocation projects of Gunckel, Ironville, Riverview, Vistula Meadows and the Old West End, which involved housing rehabilitation and community organization. From 1980-1994 he was an administrator in the Neighborhood Housing Services of Toledo, finally retiring at the age of 80. Marian moved to Las Vegas in 1998 to be closer to his family. Marian was a past commander of the Polish Army Veterans Association Post 74 in Toledo for ten years, a member of American Legion Post 545 in Toledo, and a member of the VFW as well. He actively participated in many organizations, such as the Polish American Congress, Polish National Alliance, International Institute of Greater Toledo, Toledo-Poznan Alliance, and others. In Las Vegas, he was a member of the Polish-American community centered around Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church Marian also received many honors, awards and medals during his lifetime, for his military service during WWII, his Polish Home Army underground resistance, his work with the Polish government in exile, his work in urban development and many other contributions to society. Marian was the son of a farming family, and held a lifelong insatiable curiosity and love of learning. He often said that God saved him in many unexplained situations during the horrors of war and from almost certain death. For the rest of his life, he dedicated himself to serving his community and helping others. He worked especially long hours to get tired and not have nightmares about what he witnessed and experienced in Nazi-occupied Poland. With the birth of his beloved grandsons, he finally found much joy and a measure of peace. In 2009, at the age of 95, Marian realized his wish to return to Mokra to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII. He also visited the former Polish Army Cadet Officers Cavalry School in Grudziadz, and even Auschwitz along the way. He was accompanied on this splendid adventure by his grandson Craig with Jodi, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, and Dr. Roman Rozycki of the Las Vegas Polish community. Aspects of Marian's heroic life are recounted in "Seven Roads to Freedom", "Forgotten Survivors" by Richard Lukas, materials at the Grudziadz Poland Historical Cavalry Museum, and archival documents prepared for The Anastasia Fund philanthropy, where he served as a Board Member during the past decade. Visitation will be Friday, July 15 from 2-8 p.m. at Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114-128 E. Alexis Rd. where members of the Polish Army Veterans Post 74 and the American Legion Argonne Post 545 will lead a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. and a Scripture Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. The memorial Mass will take place on Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m. in St. Adalbert Catholic Church with Rev. Paul Kwiatkowski presiding. The Lucas County Burial Corps and Polish Army Veterans will conclude with Military Honors in Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Memorial donations can be given to a charity of the donor's choice. Please view and share condolences and memories at: www.sujkowski.com

Published in Toledo Blade from July 10 to July 13, 2011
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