Wojcinski family celebrates 51st reunion at Russell Joy Park
Perfect weather greeted the descendants of Michael and Mary Wojcinski that gathered at the lower pavilion of Russell Joy Park in celebration of their 51st reunion on Sunday, Aug. 5. Hosting this year’s reunion was the committee consisting of Molly and Eric Berg, Lori and Winston Woodard, “Stony” and Emily Woodard, Leah Woodard, Ian Henry and Amy Lyle Koperczak. Festivities began at 12 p.m., followed by chicken and beef on weck at 1 p.m. The family meeting was held after lunch, concluding with the traditional singing of the “Wojcinski Reunion Song”. The ‘White Elephant’ auction was held later in the afternoon, hosted by Erik Berg, Michiah and Mallory Wojcinski, with many prizes awarded to enthusiastic attendees. The evening activities included a hot dog and corn roast, brownies for dessert, along with the annual egg toss, water balloon “Washoo” competitions and pinochle tournament.
Natalie Marczak, of Getzville, NY and Joan Kaus of Annandale, VA are the two remaining direct members of the third generation of Wojcinskis. It has been reported by her daughter, Diane Ventresca, that Natalie will be 95 on September 12 and she is still going strong. Rita Kucharski of Erie, PA and Tom Zielinski of Van Buren were recognized as the oldest female and male descendants in attendance. Gene Wojcinski was recognized for sending in the first reservation.
There were four deaths to report. First, on February 22, we lost Ken Wojcinski, son of the late Art Esther Wojcinski, from complications related to “Dewey Body Dementia”. Ken left behind his wife of nearly 45 years, Roseann, and his children Perpetua, Jessica, Katrina, Michiah and Mikelena, sons and a daughter in law, (Jaclyn), three sisters, Sue, Janet and Pam and eight grandchildren. The very next day in Feb., the family lost Patty LeBarron, daughter of the late Bob and Helen Kittell. Patty had just returned from one of her beloved cruises to the Caribbean. Patty leaves behind her husband Alan, and her children Stacy, Paul, Shannon and Missy, sons and a daughter in law, 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild. On April 1, we lost Harry (Carl) Baumgratz of St. Mary’s, PA. He was the husband of the late Ruth (Griswold) Baumgratz, sister of remaining Woj Joan Kaus. Recently Joan called and reported her and her husband Norb Kaus have moved to an assisted living facility. Harry’s son, our cousin Jim Baumgratz has reestablished contact with us, as has Joan’s daughter Julie. Finally, on April 16, we lost our youngest member to pass this year, Ed Warren, who fought a battle with cancer. Ed is the son of David and Ann Warren, grandson of the late Felix MaryAnn Wojcinski. He left behind his wife, Jennifer and two children, in addition to his sister and brothers, Dawn, Eric and Michael. A moment of silence was observed in their memory, and in memory of all Wojcinskis who have passed before.
There were three births to report! Brooke and Paul Jakubowski had twins on November 13, a boy Andrew, and a girl Emilia. Brooke is the daughter of Susan and Mike Weaver, and the granddaughter of the late Arthur Esther Wojcinski. The twins will make 15 great grandchildren for the late Art Esther. Also, Melissa and Keith Olson of Jamestown had a daughter, Penelope on Sept. 15; Missy is the daughter of the late Patty and Allen LeBarron of Ladson, SC. The new great granddaughter makes 25 great grandchildren for the late Bob Helen Kittell, and two great-great grandchildren, thus far. Also, Stony Emily Woodard are expecting in September! Stony is the son of Lori Winston Woodard and the grandson of the late Henry Eleanor Wojcinski. Congratulations to all!
Three weddings were reported this past year: Brian Wojcinski and Chrissy Butcher will celebrate one year on Sept. 23, the same date as Brian’s parents. Brian is the son of Bill the late Cathy Wojcinski, grandson of the late Phil Mary Ann Wojcinski. Sarah Cooke married Alex Wukman last Nov. 10, in Houston, TX. Sarah is the daughter of Paulette Scott Cooke, of Germany who will be returning to the states! Also, Traci Frank married Nicholas Bloch last July 2, at Disney World. Traci is the daughter of Natalie Tim Frank of West Palm Beach, FL. Sarah Traci are the granddaughters of the late Ed Florence Wojcinski. One engagement we know of: Jared Koperczak and Jaclyn VanZile were engaged on Christmas Eve last year. He is the son of Amy and Lyle Koperczak and operates the Koperczak Dairy Farm with his brother and family; he is the grandson of the late Henry and Eleanor Wojcinski!
There were several high school graduations reported, all from the Kittell branch of the family! Chase Adamowicz, son of Stacy and Joe Adamowicz of Arlington, TX graduated. He is the grandson of Allen and the late Patty LeBarron; Megan LeBarron, daughter of Paul and Barbara LeBarron, graduated from high school in South Carolina. Megan is also the granddaughter of Allen and the late Pat LeBarron. Also, Dylan Mlacker, son of Melissa and Keith Olson, graduated from Frewsburg High School. Dylan is also the grandson of Allen and the late Patty LeBarron. Bryan Berek, son of Brian and Linda Berek, grandson of Susan and Richard Lilley, graduated from Silver Creek High School. Wyatt Irish, son of Kory Irish and Mariah Irish graduated from Silver Creek High School. He is the grandson of Kathleen Dean. Finally, Patrick Pokigo, son of Justin Irish and Tammi Rosario, grandson of Kathleen Dean, graduated from Frontier High School. Congratulations to all!
There is one member of the family serving in the Armed Forces: Alex Dean (Air Force), has been recently promoted to Tech Sergeant and is stationed in Wichita Falls, TX as an instructor; for the next four years. Alex is the son of Kathy and the late Bruce Dean, grandson of the late Bob and Helen Kittell.
In other news: Jacob Kucharski, son of Jason and Susan Kucharski, has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricane in Round seven of the NHL draft!! Jacob, an Erie, PA area hockey standout as a goalie, is the grandson of Rita and Ken Kucharski of Erie, PA. Also, Matthew Shuler and Crystal McAdoo and their children Natalie and Maura, have moved to Loveland, Colorado for a new job. Matthew is the son of Pam Wojcinski-Edwards, and the grandson of the late Art and Esther Wojcinski. Another milestone to announce was the fact that Connie and Bobek Wojcinski’s company, “Bobek’s Auto Transmission” has been in business for 40 years this year! Mallory Wojcinski, Bobek and Connie’s daughter, has been participating in the Roswell 5K Walk for the last several years AND has been the top fundraiser for the event for three years in a row! This year’s walk, Mallory is dedicating to her cousin Ed Warren and the entire Warren clan will be walking in his memory. Congratulations to all!
In traditional family competitions, the results were as follows: the “Washoo” competition was won by Bobek Wojcinski and Stony Woodard, who received tough competition from the team of Amy Koperczak and Michiah Wojcinski. Stony Woodard was a double winner, taking the “egg toss” crown with his partner, Linda Zielinski. Finally, the Pinochle championship was won by the team of Ken Kucharski and Winston Woodard Jr. in a landslide victory over three-time champs, the Wojcinski Sisters. Many thanks to Erik Berg, Michiah Wojcinski, Leah, Stony and Emily Woodard, Ian Henry, and Willow and Amy Koperczak for their entertaining activities for the kids and all!
Traveling furthest to attend this year’s reunion were Monica and Bob Benedict, from Twinsburg OH. Family members travelled from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and various parts of Western New York. Plans for next year’s reunion are TBD; please keep the first weekend in August open. on your calendars.