October 28, 1923 – Niemen, Poland
February 13, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
Paul Edward Wiencki of Calgary, passed away on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the age of 90 years.
Paul Wiencki was born in the town of Niemen, Poland on the river Niemen, where he lived with his family until the age of 16. Like so many of his generation, his life took a horrible turn with the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union. He was arrested as a counter-revolutionary and eventually imprisoned in a work camp in the Siberian wilderness of the northern Soviet Union. Rumors of the formation of a Polish Army prompted his escape from the work camp, from which he traveled the breadth of the Soviet Union, through the steppes and taiga, eventually coming to Novosibirsk and Tockoje where he joined the Polish Army. He traveled through Uzbekistan, Samarkand, Buchara and Teheran. He suffered severe privations, primarily as a result of his incarceration in the work camp. Eventually he landed in Palestine for military training and the army formed up in the western Egyptian desert. He was transported in a convoy to the Italian port of Taranto. He fought in the bloody battle at Monte Casino, following which his unit traveled up the Adriatic coast to northern Italy, where he finished out the war.
The option of returning to Poland after the war was not available, so Paul came to Canada, where he initially worked on a farm, driving tractor, and after two years joined some of his countrymen in the Crow’s Nest Pass to work in the coal mines. He met and married his wife, Verona in June, 1949. Paul and Verona had three sons, and as a result of Paul’s injuries in a mine collapse, they moved to Calgary, where he trained and then worked as an orderly, initially in the Colonel Belcher hospital.
Paul is survived by his three sons, Mark (Kate), Leonard, and Fabian (Lee); his six grandchildren, Morris (Corrine), Andrew, Laurie (Tammy), Chris (Julie), Erin (Steve) and Simon; and his seven great-grandchildren, Ashley Rose, Dax, Olivia, Natalie, Aiden, Braydon and Mark.
Paul was predeceased by Verona, his wife of sixty-one years, in 2010. Paul was the sole survivor of his birth family, and was predeceased by his father, Fabian, his mother, Feliksa, and his siblings, John, Sophie and Walter.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1307 – 14th Street S.W.) on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1307 – 14th Street S.W.) on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family wishes to express appreciation to the staff of both the Sarcee seniors’ care facility and Clifton Manor for their dedicated support to Paul over these past three years.
In living memory of Pawel Wiencki, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.Print This Obituary & Condolences