Obit: Staszak, Albert George (1920 – 1951)
Surnames: Staszak, Plonka, Jelinek, Bloczynski, Swoboda, Bielak, Flicek, Rockney, Schultz, Teeples, Vieau, Jensen, Dimmick, Fey, Shaw, Koranda, Huss
----Source: Staszak Family Memoirs Collection by Agnes Staszak Schanen
Staszak, Albert George (15 April 1920 – 17 November 1951)
Albert George Staszak, son of Joseph and Pauline Staszak, of Hatfield, came to his death on Saturday, November 17, 1951. He had gone deer hunting Saturday morning, the opening of the season. His body was found at 5:15 p.m. Monday, where he had gone through the ice on the backwaters of the Canal at Hatfield, near the boats his father rents.
He had left home about 7 o’clock that Saturday morning. He was not reported missing until Sunday night for his family was not alarmed when he did not return. It was supposed he was at the home of his brother-in-law, Leo Bloczynski, where he often stayed. When the Bloczynskis drove out to the Staszak from Sunday evening it was learned he had not been there so an alarm was immediately sent in. Sheriff Edward Rockney and his staff instituted a search that night, which was continued Monday morning, in which neighbors, friends, and members of the conservation commission and of the Nelson Muffler plant joined. About 2 p.m. Kip Schultz, of Hatfield, spotted his gun on the ice. The 20 foot hole in the ice was dragged by Robert Teeples, Joe Vieau and Coroner Sidney Jensen and they recovered his body at 5:15 p.m. It is assumed that Albert, in his hurry to get home, took a chance on crossing the ice on the backwater, which was slightly covered y snow and he could not see the thin ice in the center.
Funeral services were held for him at 2 p.m. Friday at the Ness Chapel, the Rev. Raymond P. Huss officiating. The song service was given by Rufus Dimmick with Mrs. Myrta Fey at the piano. He sang two beautiful solos.
Pallbearers were Louis Shaw, Robert Teeples, Otto Jelinek, Adolph Koranda, James Jelinek and Richard Jelinek. Burial was made in Riverside Cemetery.
Albert was born April 15th, 1920, at Hatfield, where he lived all his life except for his service in the Merchant Marine. At the time of his death he was employed by the Nelson Muffler plant in Black River Falls. He was not married. He was 31 years, 7 months and 2 days of age at the time of his death.
He was graduated from Black River Falls High School here with the class of 1938. He attended NYA School in Chippewa Falls, taking up cabinet making and then transferred to the NYA Center in Racine, where he took up cooking. In 1940 he was one of four of Wisconsin’s quota of National Youth Administration boys selected by the Maritime Commission and sent to Tampa, Florida, for intensive training for specialized ship duty. From Tampa he was transferred east to a cooking school at Boston. On December 11, 1941, just two weeks before (four days after) Pearl Harbor, he secured a position on vessels of the Merchant Marine. He traveled to many foreign countries and had many interesting experiences. In February, 1943, three torpedoes ripped and sunk the 8,103 ton Cities Service Empire, of New York, an American owned oil tanker, leaving many seamen dead, injured and burned. Albert was one of five un-injured survivors who were brought ashore at Fort Pierce, Florida. After spending a month at home he went back to New York to work on convoy ships as a Second Class Cook. He made trips to Ireland, England, Africa, South America and Japan. He also was on a boat which took part in the D-Day invasion of France and his boat was hit by a small bomb but no special damage was done. He was discharged from the Merchant Marine in January, 1946.
His hobby had been collecting souvenirs in all ports of call. He either sent them home or brought them when he came on leave and Mr. and Mrs. Staszak have a remarkable collection.
Albert was a great lover of sports. He belonged to the Hatfield Hellcats soft ball team and Vieau’s bowling team. He also loved to fish, hunt, and trap, and was always lucky. Last summer he caught several muskies in the very backwaters in which he drowned. One of them was 41 inches long. He fished in local waters and on trips to Canada. He was always lucky in bagging his deer.
He is survived and mourned by his parents, three sisters: Agnes of Milwaukee, Stella, Mrs. Charles Jelinek, of Hatfield and Mary, Mrs. Leo Bloczynski, Black River Falls and John at home. He was held in regard by a wide circle of friends and the sympathy of all goes to his family.
Among those from away who attended the funeral were: Mrs. Hattie Staszak, Mrs. Mary Swoboda, Andrew Plonka, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Staszak, all of Cicero, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs Florian Plonka, Otto Jelinek, Henry Bielak and George Flicek, all of Chicago, Ill.; and Agnes Staszak of Milwaukee.
Card of Thanks:
Most sincere thanks to all who assisted in the search, who sent flowers, money and food, furnished cars, attended the service, to Rev. Raymond P. Huss for the message, for the music, and to all who helped in any way during the loss of our dear son and brother, Albert.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Staszak, Agnes and John, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jelinek and family, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Bloczynski and son
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