Let’s see… I have two Martins, two Walters, two Josephs, a James, a Richard and a John. I celebrate them all today.
The “Martins” are the anglicized versions of the Polish, Marcin (both Great-Grandfathers – Marcin Wojtanik and Marcin Kura).
The succession of Walters ends with me; Walter Francis (Grandfather) and Walter Edwin (Father) broke the name in; I just added some flair.
One Joseph (Great-Grandfather, Josef Jakubowski – Paternal Grandmother’s father) lived well into his nineties (as did many of his progeny). One daughter, Theresa (a Felician Nun – S.M. Consolata) lived days shy of her 100th birthday.
Joseph (Jozef) Kura was my mother’s father. He was my mentor and role model, having spent many hours together in my formative years. A naturalized Polish immigrant, I didn’t know a day without his influence until the day he passed in September of 1974.
James (Maciej) Wasiela was my other Great-Grandfather, (my mother’s, mother’s father). Richard Wojtanik was my Godfather (Dad’s brother) and John Burkowski, my Father-in-law, is the only living celebrant – he is of a diminished capacity in the throes of Parkinson’s and Dementia, but still holding onto this precious life.
Congratulations to my brothers as well: Paul, Tim, Ken (Wojtanik) and Brother-in-law Ray Sahr for carrying on the “tradition”. Happy Father’s Day to every last one!