John Stanley Gawlik, 101, of Seneca Street, Indian Orchard passed away in his home May 15, 2020. He was born October 21, 1918 the son of Stanislaw and Katherine Gawlik. He was a lifelong resident of Indian Orchard except for his active military duty. He was a graduate of Springfield Trade School.
He joined the Navy in 1939, where he traveled the world. During his military career he was able to circle the globe aboard the troop transport ship, West Point, crossing the equator four times. He later was aboard the aircraft carrier Gambier Bay when she was sunk off the Island of Samar in the Philippines. John and his fellow survivors spent two days in the shark infested water awaiting their rescue. He received a Purple Heart at that time which remained a source of pride throughout his life. After his return to civilian life he worked for Chapman Valve for 44 years, retiring in 1981.
John returned home after his military duty where he married his wife Amelia Zaganiacz of Gilbertville. They went on to be married for 63 years until Amelia died in 2007 after a long and happy marriage. He is survived by their three children and their families. Rose Marie and her husband Al Perry of Chicopee, Barbara Dymon of Agawam and his son John M. Gawlik of Indian Orchard. He also leaves his grandchildren Alan Perry, his wife Kimberly, Michael Perry, his wife Kristen, Carriann Bailey, her husband Peter and Daniel Gawlik. There are also great grandchildren Alan Perry, Thomas Bailey and his wife Chelsea, Amanda Bailey, Madeline Perry and lastly great great grandson Joey Bailey.
John remained an avid follower of local politics and remained informed of events in the world throughout his life. He read the Springfield paper from front to back and watched the news daily. He enjoyed discussing current matters. He was a loyal fan of the New England sports teams Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins and Patriots. He remembered stats and the stories of highs and lows for those teams throughout the years. John also loved gardening and Bingo in his spare time. He was a long-term member of Immaculate Conception Church in Indian Orchard and the Polish American Veterans Club.
John lived at home with his son during his later years and with the assistance of Home Instead Senior Care, Trinity Health Hospice care and the special assistance of Connie at Greater Springfield Services was able to leave this world to be reunited with his wife from the comfort of the home he built and lived in for so many years.
Funeral services for John will be held privately for the immediate family. Burial will be at the MA Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. Nowak Funeral & Cremation Services is entrusted with arrangements.
Donations in his memory may be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St, Springfield, MA 01104 or online at www.donate.lovetotherescue.org. To offer online condolences, please visit www.nowakfuneral.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John S. Gawlik, please visit our floral store.
Shriners Hospital for Children
516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104-2396,