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MIRECKI IRENA MIRECKI Irena Mirecki passed away suddenly on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at her home in McLean VA. She was born on December 11, 1944 in Austria, in Mautthausen concentration camp after her pregnant mother was arrested by the German occupiers. Her father was killed in an escape attempt during that deportation. After the war, she and her mother returned to Poland and lived in the Wroclaw region of southwest Poland, because her parents' native territory was annexed by the Soviet Union. After enduring years of hardships in post-war Communist Poland, her family immigrated to Chicago IL when she was 18. She married Thaddeus Mirecki in October of 1967, and they raised their daughters steeped in the Polish community of the Chicago area. Her passions were the Catholic Church and advocacy of issues important to the Polish-American community, known as Polonia. She was active in a number of organizations, such as the Polish Scouting Organization (in which she met her husband) and the Emilia Plater Polish School in the Chicago suburbs, where she was President of the Parents Association. She moved with her husband and younger daughter Marta to the Washington DC area in 1987, and continued to work in advancing Polonian causes. She was a two-term president of the Washington Chapter of the Friends of John Paul II Foundation. Other activities included volunteer office work for the Polish Apostolate section of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The fall of communism in Poland presented her with new opportunities to help the people there, by involvement with social programs initiated by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Program for Poland, and ABC XXI, a program promoting parents reading to their children. Her many official functions included several terms as Chairwoman of the Parish Council of Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish and service on the Board of Directors of the American Council for Polish Culture, a nation-wide umbrella organization for regional associations promoting arts and culture. For many years she served as an officer of the Washington Metropolitan Area Division of the Polish American Congress, in the roles of Corresponding Secretary and Membership Chair. She was a founding member and Vice President of the Stefan Korbonski Foundation, an organization dedicated to publishing works combating falsehoods about wartime and postwar Polish history. She was known as an energetic advocate for Polish culture abroad, and widely recognized for her leadership. Her awards included: Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland awarded by the President of Poland, the Order Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope John Paul II, the Award for Exceptional Service from the Polish American Congress, a Certificate of Civic Achievement from the Polish American Historical Society, the Medal of Merit for Faithful Service and Manifesting the Kingdom Award, both from the Archdiocese of Washington DC. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish, 9700 Rosensteel Ave., Silver Spring, MD. Interment on Friday, December 28 at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Czestochowa Cemetery in Doylestown, PA. She is survived by her loving husband Thaddeus; her two daughters Joanna (Richard) Millunchick of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Marta (Mark Kane) of the District of Columbia, four grandchildren Benjamin, Ava, Teresa, and Cyprian, and two brothers and a sister of Mundelein, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of John Paul II Foundation, 4041 41st St. N., McLean, VA 22101.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of John Paul II Foundation, 4041 41st St. N., McLean, VA 22101.

Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 22, 2012
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