Donald J. Kozaczka, 82, of Ludlow, died peacefully at home on Sunday, August 8, 2021 after a long illness with the comfort of his family. Born in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield on July 6, 1939, he was the son of the late Walter and Victoria (Marcinek) Kozaczka. He was a proud graduate from the High School of Commerce; his study of business started his thirst for knowledge. He was an active member of the alumni community, planning many class reunions. He served in the Marine Corp from 1959-1963 receiving his honorable discharge with the rank of sergeant.
Don’s career began at New England Telephone followed by 20 years as a firefighter for the City of Springfield. He owned and operated Atlantic Exterminating for more than 50 years. As an entomologist, he was an expert in the pest control business holding both a pesticide certification and construction supervisor license. He loved to share that knowledge and expertise with audiences on his local radio program “The House Doctor”.
He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hiking local mountains and parks and had a lifelong love of fishing. He was a member of the Western Mass Fly Fisherman club. More importantly he loved sharing the outdoors with family and friends. He loved taking hikes with his children and grandchildren at Skinner Mountain. His high school group of fishermen had many “big fish” stories from their travels together. He enjoyed travel all over the world; two of his most memorial trips were a safari in Botswana and meeting cousins in Poland. His favorite places were here in New England; he looked forward to his annual trips to Cape Cod and Newport and was most at peace sitting next to his wife, casting a line at the pond they called home.
He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Rebecca S. (Jones) Kozaczka. He is the father of Jill Kozaczka, Barry Kozaczka, Lisa Frederick, Brian Frederick and Kelly Ligsukis. Don is also survived by his sister, Helen Vaselacopoulos; and former spouse, Patricia Kozaczka; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and loving nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Alice Kozaczka and Irene Chmura.
Funeral Services for Don will be on Thursday, August 19, with Calling Hours from 11:30am-1:30pm at Nowak Funeral & Cremation Services, 15 Ludlow Ave., Springfield. A Prayer Service will follow in the funeral home at 1:30. Committal Services with Military Honors will then be at 3pm at the Mass. Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. Due to the ongoing COVID situation, masks will be required for those in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don’s memory may be made to either the American Cancer Society, https://donate3.cancer.org/ or to the RD26 Foundation, www.rd26.org., or to RD26 Foundation, Inc., P. O. Box 555, Wilbraham, MA, 01095.
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