Stanley K. Tuczkowski, 103, of Mahwah, NJ passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 7, 2021. Stanley Kosciusko Tuczkowski was born on April 30th, 1918 in the small, rural town of Sobotniki, Poland. His childhood was a harsh one, having lost his father when still a toddler, and not being welcomed by a stepfather and his children. He learned many trades during his youth to help provide for his family and for himself. WWII literally broke out on his front doorstep, and he left to join the Polish Army to preserve his homeland. He survived many battles in WWII. He endured being caught and forced into a Siberian labor camp until an eventual release over a year later. From there, he rejoined the Polish Army as a messenger motorcycle courier going in between various Allied front lines. One of the best stories he had was when transporting some messages from one Allied front line to the other, he realized he had driven across the line into the German occupied territory. He always remarked how incredible it was to have survived "high-tailing it out of there, with bullets whistling past". He fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino, helping to raise the Polish flag along with the Allied flag on what was to be one of the most pivotal WWII battles. His collection of WWII awards and medals is something his proud family will honor forever. When WWII ended, the lines of Poland’s boundary were re-drawn, and his family’s land was absorbed by Russia. Not wanting to return to live in what he no longer considered his homeland, he lived in England for years, working as a tradesman, before coming to the US in the 1950s. Eventually, he brought his childhood neighbor and sweetheart, Adela, over to the US as his wife. He and his family lived in Kearny, NJ, where he worked for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, ConRail, then NJ Transit, in Hoboken, Track 95, for almost 30 years as a tradesman before retiring in Mahwah in 1989. In the day when dignitaries rode the trains from county to county, state to state, and wanted their cabins made to order, he took such pride when they asked for him by name to provide whatever "built-in berthing accommodations" they wanted because of his skill at personalized wood-working. His biggest loves included his family, first and foremost; picnics; playing cards; cabinetry; and mastering his skills at fixing whatever was broken. Even if sometimes he broke it even more, as was the case in his later years. His family, neighbors and friends, remember one thing above all about him: he was a hard worker and he was a fighter, all the way to the end. There was nothing you could tell him not to do, rationally, because of his failing eyesight, or his age. If he wanted to, he did it, period. He never wanted to leave this life. His nicknames of the "Energizer Bunny" and "That Stubborn Mule" will, I'm sure, carry over to the next journey. He is preceded in death by his beloved late wife, Adela, and leaves behind a daughter, Emily, who cherished him. He also leaves behind an incredible life story that includes 103 years of memories.
Somewhere, we all hope he is meeting up again with the family and friends that he knew and that went before him, and they are greeting him with open arms, as the Lord is. May the Angels fly with you, Dad.
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