Susanne Lotarski, PhD, 1942 – 2017
A lifetime activist in Polonia, President of PAC Washington Metropolitan Area Division for the past 11 years, National VP for Public Relations for four, and VP of the Polish Institute of Arts and Siences in America, died from cancer on July 9, 2017. Professionally, she worked at Columbia U. with the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, taught political science at Vassar, her alma mater, and was Director of Central & Eastern European Trade at the Department of Commerce, reaching the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary.
Her father, Casimir Lotarski, was one of the founders of the Polish American Congress in 1944, and also served as Censor of the Polish National Alliance. Sadly, she leaves no family
More details will be placed on the Division’s website.
Hilary Czaplicki, 1928 – 2017
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Hilary Czaplicki on Sunday, May 21, 2017. Hilary was a long time Polonia activist, a member of the Polish American Congress (PAC) serving as Vice President and a National Director at Large, and the Censor of the Polish National Alliance (PNA). He will be truly missed by the Polish American community. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. President Frank J. Spula and the National Office of the Polish American Congress.
President Lech Kaczynski & First Lady Maria Kaczynska
Members of Presidential Delegation to Katyn,
April 10, 2010
Les Kuczynski, National Executive Director of PAC, 1947 – 2008
Les Kuczynski, the National Executive Director and long-time office of the Polish American Congress (PAC) and Polish National Alliance, died on August 19, 2008 at age 61.
Press release and biography
Col. Casimir I. Lenard, AUS (Ret) 1918 – 2007
Casimir Lenard, veteran of three U.S. wars and fighter for the betterment of the Polish American community and the people of Poland, dies on December 7, 2007 at age 89.
Edward J. Moskal, 1924-2005
President of the Polish American Congress, 1988-2005
The Polish American Congress has learned of the passing of the following PAC leaders during the past few years. Please remember these individuals who gave their time and talents to the Polish communities they served. These individuals were honored with a moment of silence at the annual PAC Council of National Directors Meeting held in Chicago, October 19-20, 2022.
Compiled by Dr. Mark Pienkos, National First Vice President, Polish American Congress
April 3, 1929 – January 10, 2020
Longstanding and faithful member of the Polish American Congress. Theresa was active in her PAC – Central New York Division, as well as serving as a member and chair of the Council of National Director’s Resolutions Committee. She was extremely proud of her Polish ancestry. Theresa could always be depended upon to serve in whatever capacity she was asked to – including assuming leadership roles.
Tadeusz “Ted” Cisek
June 3, 1923 – December 8, 2021
Tadeusz was a long-time member of Milwaukee’s Polonia; having been recognized multiple times for his tireless volunteerism to such organizations as the Polonia Sport Club, the Polish Army Veterans Association of America, and the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division. Mr. Cisek served honorably in the Polish Army under the command of General Władysław Anders and was a courageous participant of heroic battles of Monte Cassino, Bologna, and Tobruk.
September 10, 1954 – April 13, 2020
Andrzej was a member of the Polish American Congress for many years. He served as a Vice President and more recently as National Director representing the Illinois Division. Mr. Gędłek worked on several initiatives aimed at enhancing the image of the Polish Community in Chicago, as well as initiatives to save and retain historical knowledge and awareness of major events in Polish and Polonia history. As PAC – Illinois Division National Director, he was one of the most energetic, active, and innovative members serving in the State Division.
Delphine Dolly Honeycutt
1938 – January 23, 2021
Dolly was the President of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America from 2011-2015, and President of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America Charitable and Education Fund through 2020. She took great pride in her Polish heritage. She enjoyed traveling to different states to meet members of the PWA, coordinating annual Polish Christmas Wigilia dinners at the Munster Carmelite monastery, and her trips to Poland.
1949 – May 18, 2020
In addition to his position as vice president of the Downstate New York PAC, Mr.Janeczko was national president of the Sea League PL (Liga Morska). The Sea League acts as color guard at patriotic and religious events held in New York. One of these events is the annual commemoration the PAC sponsors in memory of the heroic Polish priest, Father Jerzy Popieluszko, whom the Communists murdered in 1984.
October 10, 1922 – October 2, 2022
Leonard was a Major in the Polish Army under the command of General Władysław Anders and participant of heroic battles of Monte Cassino, Bologna and Tobruk. In the United States, Leonard was actively involved in the Polonia Sport Club, Polish Scouts, the weekly Polish radio program, and the PAC – Wisconsin Division. Major Jędrzejczak received recognition not only for his bravery, but also for his commitment to share his many talents with others in promoting Polish traditions, history, and values.
September 8, 1932 – January 8, 2021
Frank was a very active member and past president of the Polish American Congress, Downstate New York Division, Pulaski Association Businessmen, Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, and the Polish National Alliance. Mr. Milewski distinguished himself in his work as chair of the PAC Anti-Bigotry Committee which he took a leadership role for many years. He was always dependable and very committed to his Polish roots.
March 17, 1928 – December 12, 2018
Virginia was Past President of the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation from 2005-2017, Past President of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America from 1999-2011. She was Treasurer of the City of Detroit, Treasurer of the Detroit Board of Education, Trustee of the Detroit Police and Fire System. Virginia was a 41-year member of the Detroit Municipal Credit Union and also the first woman elected to the Board of Directors as its President.
May 20, 1947 – May 1, 2021
Richard will be remembered for his civic and charitable community contributions. He was a past Cheektowaga Town Councilman, School Board Member, past President of the Polish American Congress and active in various Polish American organizations. Richard served as President of the PAC – Western New York Division and was instrumental in the on-site planning for the Polish American Congress’ 70th Anniversary Celebration in Buffalo, New York in May 2014.
Fr. Carl A. Urban
1940 – March 14, 2020
Fr. Urban was a longstanding and faithful member of the PAC – Central New York Division, where he served as the Division’s Chaplain. His regular attendance at PAC Council of National Directors meetings featured Fr. Urban always giving the invocation. His quiet demeanor provided many in attendance to understand the importance of listening and respecting one another’s viewpoints.
Bishop Emeritus John W. Yanta
October 2, 1931 – August 6, 2022
Bishop Emeritus John W. Yanta, of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Diocese of Amarillo, was a leading voice for Polonia in Texas throughout his priestly life. Until his death at age 90, he remained active and engaged active as Chairman of the Board and President of the Polish Heritage Center at Panna Maria Foundation.
John Yanta was the first Texan of Polish descent to become a Bishop. He always had an interest in his Polish ethnicity and heritage and was a charter member of a group of priests founding the Polish American Priests Association (PAPA) of Texas in 1970. He founded the Polish American Congress of Texas in 1971, serving as President for five terms. Bishop Yanta coordinated Pope John Paul II’s visit with Panna Maria parishioners and Texas Polonia on September 13, 1987. Among his many honors was serving as the general chairman of the Father Leopold Moczygemba Centennial in 1991. He also founded the Polish American Council of Texas in 2011. On June 13, 2019, Bishop Yanta was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Polish President Andrzej Duda for his life-long work on behalf of American Polonia.
At the October 23, 2021 Grand Opening of the Polish Heritage Center, Bishop Yanta stated:
“Our immigrant ancestors gave us a distinctive first class beginning and I,
as one of the descendants, realize the debt I owe to them. We must pass on
their history of faith, of taming their new land and overcoming hardships
for future generations. I thank God for being with us, step by step,
along the way. For me, it’s my call to stewardship. I knew God wanted
mto do something: to memorialize our Polish ancestors and preserve
the past for the future generations.”
October 15, 1948 – September 9, 2022
The Polish Museum of America mourned the loss of PMA Life Member and Polonia activist Sharon Zago. Thanks to her efforts, The Polish Museum of America received a treasure of artifacts, art, and Polonian memorabilia from The Polish Women’s Alliance of America Charitable and Educational Foundation. Sharon worked with various Polish nonprofit organizations and without any doubt, loved Polish people and culture and was always ready to help. A leader in the Polish community.