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Michael A. Peszke M.D.


1932 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Michael A. Peszke M.D. Obituary


Michael A. Peszke, M.D. died suddenly and unexpectedly at the home he shared with his wife Alice Sherman Peszke in Wakefield, RI on May 17, 2015. Dr. Peszke was born in Deblin, Poland in 1932, educated in Britain and Ireland, and lived and worked in the United States for almost sixty years. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Dr. Peszke's father, Alfred B. Peszke, was commander of the Polish VI Bomber Squadron. Evacuated to France and then Britain, Lt. Col. Alfred Peszke continued serving with the Polish Air Force as Polish Liaison Officer with Britain's Royal Air Force, and in 1944 became Chief of Air Force Planning at the Staff of the Polish Commander-in-Chief in London. For this reason, Dr. Peszke found himself in Britain during the war. Educated at schools in Scotland and England, and finally receiving his medical degree in 1956 from Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland, Dr. Peszke subsequently emigrated to the United States where he performed his residency in Psychiatry. Professor Emeritus of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Member Emeritus of the American College of Psychiatrists and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Peszke practiced for almost 40 years, primarily in Connecticut, and together with his wife Alice raised a family in Glastonbury from 1968 to 1991. Dr. Peszke combined his professional career with a parallel vocation as an independent scholar and historian, and a Member of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America. Specializing in Polish Military History, Dr. Peszke published many monographs, journal articles and four books. His most recent book, The Armed Forces of Poland in the West 1939-1946 (2013), was translated and re-published in Poland in 2015. Recently, Dr. Peszke was extremely pleased to have completed the entry for the forthcoming Oxford University Bibliographies in Military History titled "Polish Armed Forces 1918-Present." Dr. Peszke was particularly proud of his long association as a founding member of the Polish Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT. In 1974 Dr. Peszke issued a challenge from the tribune at the Pulaski Day Parade to Connecticut Governor Thomas Meskill to support the creation of the program at what was then Central Connecticut State College. For decades he supported and promoted the Polish program as a member of its Advisory Board, with financial contributions and as a speaker and lecturer. One labor of love, accomplished with a team from CCSU and others, was the Kosciuszko Squadron exhibit at the New England Air Museum in Windsor, CT. In October 2014, the Polish Ambassador to the United States presented Dr. Peszke with the Bene Merito Award in recognition of his work in promoting Poland abroad through the Polish Studies Program at CCSU. Dr. Peszke is predeceased by his parents, Lt. Col. Alfred Bartlomiej Peszke in 1966 and Eugenia Grebocka Peszke in 1983. Left behind are Dr. Peszke's beloved wife of 56 years, Alice Sherman Peszke; Michele and Edward Olender, of Longmeadow, MA; Michael Alexander and Lois Shellhorne Peszke of Old Saybrook, CT; and four grandchildren: Michael William Sherman Peszke of Meriden, CT, and Sophia Olender, Nicholas Olender and Olivia Olender of Longmeadow, MA. He wrote that he owed his love of history to his father and that his motivation for writing about history was a direct result of having become a father. Dr. Peszke's passions were his family and nature, particularly the ocean. His favorite childhood book was Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, and he had a lifelong affinity with the character of Ratty the boat-loving Water Vole: "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." There are no calling hours and burial will be private. A Memorial Service is planned in celebration of his life at Central Connecticut State University in the fall of 2015. Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of Dr. Peszke is asked to consider supporting the Polish Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University. Donations may be sent to: M.B.B. Biskupski, Professor of History, Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies Central Connecticut State University 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050 Or online to the Polish Studies Program at CCSU through the following link: https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/40924645064960 Scroll down to the blank marked "Other" and type in "Polish Studies". The gift can then be made in memory of Michael Peszke. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.


Published in The Hartford Courant on May 25, 2015
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