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Joseph T. LesniakMarch 12, 1946 ~ October 1, 2017 (age 71)
Joseph T. “Kielbasa Joe” Lesniak, 71, passed away October 1, 2017 at Life Care Center of Wilbraham surrounded by his loving family. Born in Lukowa, Poland to the late Stanislaw and Wladyslawa (Dupka) Lesniak, he immigrated to the United States in 1969 and had been an Indian Orchard resident for the last 48 years. Joe worked as head custodian for the Hampden/Wilbraham public school district for many years. In the late 1980’s through the 1990’s, Joe’s passion for making the perfect kielbasa lead him, along with his wife, brother-in-law and sister-in-law to open the Polish American Market in Wilbraham. He also catered the Sunday Polka dances with his family at the Ludlow Polish American Citizens Club. A faithful parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church, he sang in the choir for 37 years and was an active volunteer on many committees, including the annual parish festival. In 2009, Joe was honored as a Hometown Hero by the American Red Cross for pushing a 9-year-old boy out of the path of an out of control car outside Stony Hill School in Wilbraham where he was working as a custodian and crossing guard. He loved listening to polka music, played many instruments, especially the harmonica and even composed polka songs for several musician friends. A true chef at heart, Joe had a passion for food and loved to cook and entertain for family and friends. He was the best host and had a true zest for life. He also enjoyed fishing and going to the casino.
He leaves his wife of 49 years, Barbara (Wurszt) Lesniak; 3 daughters, Dorothy Lewis and her husband Timothy of Ludlow, Halena Ramos of West Palm Beach, FL and Irena Tomas and her husband Jamie of Indian Orchard; 3 grandchildren, Joey and John Lewis and Izabella Tomas; a sister, Katarzyna Poluha of Poland; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Tadeusz Mazur of Poland, Leonia Lesniak of Poland, Jane and Walter Pielecha of Ludlow, Joseph Wurszt of Ludlow and Stanley and Irena Wurszt of Ludlow and also many nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends. He was predeceased by his parents, a brother, Jan Lesniak and a sister, Maria Mazur.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017 assembling at 10:00 a.m. at Nowak Funeral & Cremation Services, 15 Ludlow Ave., Springfield and proceeding to Immaculate Conception Church for a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Aloysius Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. For further details and expressions of sympathy, please visit www.nowakfuneral.com.