June 23, 1915 – June 5, 2010
Aleksander Jan Wozniak of Calgary passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 5, 2010 just weeks short of his 95th birthday, to be with his “lady” Helena.
Aleksander Jan Wozniak was born June 23rd 1915 in Krzywanice Poland the son of Roman and Aleksandra (Bartoshewska). He grew up on his father’s farm but chose a career as a police officer and served in Bialystok until the invasion of Poland and the outbreak of WWII. Alek escaped to Hungary and made his way through Yugoslavia and Greece to Syria where he joined the Polish Army. In alliance with the English Eighth Army under General Montgomery, Alek saw action in some of the bloodiest battles of the war including Gazala near Tobruk where he was wounded by machine-gun fire, and later in the significant Polish victory at Monte Cassino. After the war he could sometimes be coaxed to reminisce – but his stories were always about the camaraderie and the people and places he had experienced. The horrors of war, the loss of his country and the separation from his family never hardened him – he remained a gentle, kind and optimistic human being.
Alek chose Canada as his new home, landed in Halifax in 1946 and went west to Dauphin Manitoba where he once again took up farming. Two years later he decided to try mining in Flin Flon, which promised a surefire way to earn money to buy his own land and stake out his future.
In Flin Flon, he met Helena Marcuk (nee Kibin), a recently widowed mother of four boys and by all accounts the most beautiful and intelligent woman in that northern city. They were married in the deep of winter in 1949. It was an astonishing commitment and a remarkable measure of his love.
Of the Marcuks: Edward married Pat and lives in Hamilton Ontario; Leo and Mary (Calgary) have two sons Paul (Cindy) and Leo (Heather) and grandson Owen; Henry married Carol (Spruce Grove) whose children are Michael (Nicole) and grandsons Kieren and Liam; Leslie-Ann (Brian) and granddaughters Emma and Olivia; Craig; and Kara (deceased); Victor and Karen (White Rock) have two children Tanis (Daryl) and granddaughter Shelby and son Devon (Barb). The Wozniaks: Alexander lives in Courtney; and Edmund and Sharon live in Calgary with their children Sarah, John and Michelle. Dad has been a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather to all. He taught us to enjoy simple things and to treasure nature. And he showed us as much of our world as he could; flying us from Winnipeg to Vancouver Island to Ottawa and Toronto in his red and white 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air (the car had wings).
Dad could play virtually any instrument, often making music from hand-carved reeds, willow branches, zucchini vines, and when the occasion required more serious pieces – the guitar, violin and piano. And when he wasn’t playing, he loved to waltz! He took great joy in life and loved to hear people laugh. He was often the entertainer, telling gentle jokes and wearing silly hats.
In 1992, Mom and Dad were finally persuaded by the cold snowy winters of northern Manitoba to move to Calgary. Together they made many new friends. Helena passed away on January 5th, 2001. Dad remained intensely devoted to her and lived independently in his home until his death on June 5th, 2010.
He was a very good man; an inspiration to us all, and he will be dearly missed.
Alek was predeceased by his sister Irene and brother Emil. He leaves his sister-in-law Bev; and nephews, nieces, and cousins in Ontario, Poland, Germany, and Australia who remained in close contact and whose letters and phone calls added great joy to his days.
Funeral Services will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church (10827 – 24th Street S.W.) on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Tributes and condolences at www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Poppy Fund, #1, 4539 – 6th Street N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 3Z6, Telephone: (403) 265-6304.
In living memory of Aleksander Wozniak, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences