Walter S. Wasowski, 97, of Union passed away at his home on December 3, 2015.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 1212 Kelly St. in Union on Monday, December 7th at 10:15am. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Friends are invited to visit at Bradley, Haeberle & Barth Funeral Home, 1100 Pine Ave. in Union on Sunday from 4 to 8pm.
Walter was the beloved husband of 45 years to Barbara (nee Rosinski) who predeceased him in 1990. He was the loving father of Walter and Nancy (French) who survive him, with their spouses Francee and Daniel French. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren Lara, Karen and Kristen, great grandchildren Morgan and Elliot, his twin brother Stanley and sister, Marion.
The Early Years
Born 27 May 1918 to Mary (Gorska) & Walter Wasowski
Factoid: After his elder brother John, Walter was the next eldest (at least not disputed by his twin brother Stanley) of the 2nd & 3rd sons, followed by brother Leo, and sisters Marion and Angela.
Not much is known of his early childhood, except that he lived at 412 John St., East Newark. He attended grammar school at Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Harrison, graduating in 1931. This was followed by four years at Harrison High, graduating in 1935. Again, little was known of his school experience (perhaps because they didn’t have a school basketball program!).
What did take up much of his energy during the years around and immediately after high school was basketball. With no program at the school, he and his brothers were forced to play for a series of local club teams, such as the Polish Falcon’s, St. Cecelia’s, and the YP’s. While most of their games were played locally, they did make at least one foray out-of-state. And like General Grant, they swept through the south, laying waste to Atlanta, during that memorable road trip in the mid-thirties!
With the U.S. still in the throes of the depression, jobs were hard to come by in those years. Walter joined the C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps), working on Long Island for some time, before eventually landing a job at DuPont, in the late 30’s. He also attended Drake School in Newark, earning his certificate as an accountant.
The War Years
With war looming (and perhaps the draft board providing additional incentive) Walter enlisted in the Army on the 2nd of May 1941. He was assigned to the Signal Corps, and served in the U.S., and overseas in Iceland, England and France. As he tells it, while assigned to Company A of the 34th Signal Construction Battalion, he and his good friend General George Patton took a tour across southern France in 1944, and he eventually wound up in Eastern France, in the town of Nancy. We’re still trying to find out what happened in Nancy, and why his daughter is named after it. From there, he returned to the U.S. on furlough in February, 1945, and he and Barbara Rosinski were married on the 11th of March, 1945. He was still in the U.S. when Germany fell, and was separated in Fort Dix, N.J. on 12 May 1945 as a 1st Sergeant in the Signal Corps.
With his Army training in communications, and thanks to an influential Company Commander, Walter was able to land a position with the N.J. Bell Telephone Company shortly after his discharge. He remained with the Company for his entire second career, retiring in 1980 as an engineer after 35 years service. His last project was the then major expansion of Newark Airport.
He and Babs had one son born on 3 Jan 1946 (remember wartime urgency!), and a daughter Nancy (can we get an answer about that name?) born on 2 Jan 1952. They originally lived on Manor Avenue in Harrison, N.J., but later moved to Union in 1957, where he resided until his death. He was active with St. Michael’s Church as a lector, and also with the Union Council 4504 Knights of Columbus, (eventually serving as Grand Knight and District Deputy), the Columbian Club (the swimming pool) and as a fourth degree Knight. His hobbies included repairing radios and televisions before the advent of solid state electronics, softball, basketball, bowling and golf.