Today’s Obituaries: April 4: Greenwood, Smardz, Walker

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Sylvia B. (Meserve) Greenwood, 91, a longtime resident of Haverhill, died March 31, at Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill. She was a co-owner and the receptionist of Mr. Wayne Hair Stylist in Haverhill. There will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial takes place Friday, April 5, 11 a.m., in All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. A private family burial service in Saint Joseph Cemetery, Haverhill will immediately follow the funeral mass.

Stanislaw K. Smardz, 99, of Haverhill, a leader in the post-war Polish émigré community of Massachusetts and the City of Haverhill, died April 1. Like most Europeans of his generation, he was irrevocably shaped by the events of World War II, which forever altered his future. He was born of Polish parents Sept. 18, 1919, in Recklinghausen, Germany, where his father had found work in the civil service at a time when Poland was partitioned among Germany, Russia and Austria.

The Soviet Red Army marched into eastern Poland on Sept. 18, 1939—his 20th birthday—and after living several months under occupation, he fled to France via Romania and Italy, to join a newly forming Polish army in exile. When that effort foundered for lack of funds and weapons, he made his way to Toulouse, where, with the help of the Polish consulate and the émigré community, the enrolled in the university to continue his studies. This quiet period lasted until 1944, when he was rounded up in a Gestapo raid on his student residence and transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, and then to a series of smaller satellite camps, finally ending up in the Harzungen camp in central Germany.

After the Allies entered Germany in 1945, the Nazi guards marched the prisoners out of the camp and abandoned them in a field in the middle of the night.  Picked up on the road by an American convoy, Stan was taken to a field hospital, where he met his future wife, Krystyna Szyszkowska, a Polish national who had been taken into forced labor in Germany after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Unwilling to return to a Poland now under Communist rule, the couple spent five years in German DP camps before receiving political asylum and emigrating to the United States in 1950 and settling in Haverhill with their three small children (a fourth was born in America) and the possessions that fit in a single wooden trunk. He worked a series of menial jobs while learning English at night and taking correspondence courses in radio and television repair.  Eventually, he took the civil service exam and landed a position as a draftsman with the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard, where he worked for more than 25 years.

A life celebration takes place Sunday, April 7, from 3-7 p.m. at Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill. The funeral takes place Monday, 9 a.m., from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial, at 10 a.m., in All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. Burial will take place at a later date in Our Lady of Czestochowa Cemetery in Doylestown, Penn.

Shane M. Walker, 40, of Haverhill died April 2, 2at Holy Family Hospital. He attended Haverhill schools and was a graduate of Haverhill High School, class of 1996. He was employed in sales with Verizon. Calling hours are Friday, April 5, from 4-7 p.m., at Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. A funeral service follows in the funeral home at 7 p.m.

Click here to submit an obituary or memorial notice.

Comments are closed.