Chester Stanley Owocki

In memorium

July 10, 1921 - December 12, 1997


My Dad, Chester S. Owocki, passed away Dec. 12, 1997. To help preserve his memory, I am collecting here items from his memorial service, together with various contributions of writings and pictures submitted by his friends and family. If you have something you'd like to contribute to this endeavor, please see the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Items included so far include:

  • His obituary in the Cape Cod Sunday Times.

  • The program from his Liturgy of Christian Burial

  • Prayers and eulogies at his funeral mass, by his grandchildren and children:
  • Christopher and Cassandra Ellis
  • Poem by Jessica Young

  • , great-granddaughter, read by Anne Marie Young, her mother, granddaughter
  • Christine Morrison
  • Patiricia Ellis
  • Diane Halunen
  • Stanley Owocki
  • A letter about my Dad that I wrote to Brown Alumni Magazine.

  • Obituary

    p. B-4, Cape Cod Sunday Times, Sunday, December 14, 1997

    Chester S. Owocki, 76

    Operated appraisal service; served in WWII, Korean War
    Brewster - Chester Stanley Owocki, 76, died Friday at the Veterans' Administration Hospital in West Roxbury after a brief illness. He was the husband of Lucille M. (Zaremba) Owocki. They had been married 55 years.
     Mr. Owocki was born and raised in Chelsea where he was a 1939 graduate of Chelsea High School. After graduation he joined the Coast Guard and served with the Navy in the North Atlantic throughout World War II. In 1943 he was promoted to chief petty officer, the youngest person to hold that rank at the time, and he was decorated for his meritorious service.
    After the war, Mr. Owocki owned and operated a gas station and auto repair service in Chelsea. At the start of the Korean War, he joined the Air Force and went to Korea where again he was cited for his outstanding service. He remained in the Air Force for 15 more years, moving with his family throughout the United States, and to Spain. He retired in 1967 as a master sergeant.
    After retiring from the military, he began Clipper Bay Appraisal Service of Cape Cod in Yarmouth and Brewster, which he operated until his retirement in 1990. The company handled appraisals for insurance companies on Cape Cod, the islands, Southeastern Massachusetts, and northern Rhode Island.
    Ten years ago the Owocki's moved to Brewster.
    An avid sportsman, Mr. Owocki was particularly a baseball enthusiast. While in Spain he had been Umpire in Chief of the U. S. Armed Forces European Baseball League. On Cape Cod he had trained umpires and been a Little League and Babe Ruth coach, and in 1968,  he was coach of the Cape Cod Colt Tourney Baseball Championship Team.
    He had been a member of the Polish Society of Cape Cod and Islands for many years.
    He is remembered by his family as one who could fix or repair whatever needed mending and the man who coined the family saying,  "happy to you''.
    Besides his wife he leaves three daughters, Chistine M. Morrison of Marietta, Ga.,  Patricia Ellis of Coral Gables, Fla., and Diane K. Halunen of Brewster; a son, Stanley P. Owocki of Landenberg, Pa.; four sisters, Phyllis Hildreth of Chelsea, Jesse Rooney of Peabody,  Sabina Correnti of Malden, and Lucy Stawicki of Chelsea; 12 grandchildren; and eight greatgrandchildren.
    A funeral will be 10 a.m. Tuesday from  the Nickerson Funeral Home, 77 Eldredge Parkway, Orleans, followed by a Mass at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Cape church in Brewster.
    Calling hours will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tormorrow at the funeral home.
    Donations in his memory may be made to the Amvets, 336 Palmer Ave., Falmouth, MA 02540 or the VFW, Box 875, Brewster, MA 02631.
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    Liturgy of Christian Burial

    to be celebrated
    in Loving Memory of

    Chester Stanley Owocki

    July 10, 1921 -- December 12, 1997

    Our Lady of the Cape Church
    Brewster, Massachusetts

    Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 11 o'clock

    Order of the Liturgy

    Presentation of the Pall grandsons

    Michael Freeman
    Gregory Halunen
    Peter Halunen
    Christopher Ellis
    Kevin Owocki
    David Owocki
    Entrance Hymn ``Be Not Afraid'' #557

    First Reading Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

    Sarah Owocki, granddaughter
    Responsorial Psalm The Lord is My Shepherd
    Gregory Halunen, grandson
    Gospel Matthew 11: 25-30

    General Intercessions Grandchildren

    Cassandra Ellis
    Christopher Ellis
    Offertory Song ``Prayer of Saint Francis'' #563

    Presentation of the Gifts Granddaughters

    Ann Marie Young
    Mary Kathleen Taylor
    Jessica Halunen, Greatgranddaughter
    Communion Song ``You Are Mine'' #613

    Eulogies Children

    Christine Morrison
    Patricia Ellis
    Diane Halunen
    Stanley Owocki
    Meditation Song  ``All I Ask of You'' #618

    Recessional Song ``On Eagle's Wings'' #472

    This morning's pallbearers are the grandchildren of Chester S. and Lucille M. Owocki

    I'd like the memory of me to be
    a happy one.
    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles
    when day is done.
    I'd like to leave an echo whispering
    softly down the ways
    Of happy times and laughing times
    and bright and sunny days.
    I'd like the tears of those who grieve
    to dry before the sun
    Of happy memories I leave behind
    when day is done.

    - Anonymous

    ``Happy to you!''

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    Text of prayers given by grandchildren Cassandra and Christopher Ellis:

    God, the Almight Father, raised in Christ his Son from the dead; with confidence we ask him to save all his people, living and dead.

    Please respond: Lord hear our prayer.

    For Dziadzi, who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he may now be admitted to the saints.
    We pray to the lord.

    For Dziadzi, who ate the body of Christ, the bread of life, that he may be raised up on the last day.
    We pray to the lord.

    For all those who suffer in sickness, especially Lucille Rooney and John Correnti, that God my comfort them, and for all the
    compassionate people who tend to the sick, especially the doctors, nurses, and staff at the West Roxbury Veterans hospital, who cared
    for Dziadzi and for our family, may they be sustained in our appreciation for the dedication to doing God's work.
    We pray to the lord.

    For our deceased relatives and friends, whom Dziadzi has joined in heaven, especially:
         his parents Gladys and Stanislaw  Owocki,
         his dear brother Henry Owocki,
         his brother-in-law Bob Hildreth and Edward Rooney,
         Babci's parents Maryanna and Walter Zaremba,
         her sisters, Vera and Agnes, and their husbands,
         Walter Barys and David Pretty, and all Dziadzi's friends,
         especially Louie Handler and Joe Kozwalski,
    that they all may rejoice together in reunion with Dziadzi's loving soul.
    We pray to the lord.

    For the family and friends of our Driadzi, that they may be consoled in their grief by the Lord, who wept at the death of his friend Lazurus, and for all those who have helped us, that they may have the reward of their goodness.
    We pray to the lord.

    For our Babci, that God and the Blessed Mother may watch over her through this time of sorrow. May her loving memories keep her filled with the sunshine she always radiated in Dziadzi's eyes.
    We pray to the lord.

    For all Dziadzi's friends and fellow soldiers, who died defending this great nation that Dziadzi loved and served so courageously  himself. May our hearts honor them and all Dziadzi's fellow veterans for their unselfish bravery.
    We pray to the lord.

    For our holy father, Pope John Paul, the people of Poland, and for all their Polish-American brothers and sisters, that they may be continually inspired by their culture's traditions of family, faith and strength, traditions which were always such a great source of pride for our Dziadzi.
    We pray to the lord.

    For all of us assembled here to worship in faith, that we may be gathered together again in God's kingdom.
    We pray to the lord.

    God, our shelter and strength, you listen in love to the cry of your people: hear the prayers we offer for our departed brothers and sisters.
    Cleanse them of their sins, and grant them the fullness of redemption.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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    A poem by Jessica Young, great-grandaughter, read by her mother, Anne Marie Young

    yellow is the color of the sun
    the sun is the center of all light
    light is the brightness of our world
    our world is the setting for a war
    a war is the darkness of everyone's life
    life is a thing that ends
    end is the opposite of beginning
    beginning is the start of a life
    life is something that can be lost
    lost are the thoughts of peace
    peace is something we hope for
    hope is something you can't reach
    reach for the stars
    stars shining bright
    bright like yellow
    or dark like night

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    Eulogies by his children:

    Christine Morrison, eldest daughter

    My Dad was a giant man.
    His size was not measured by his height or girth, but by the vastness of his reach in being able to touch so many lives and make them better.

    My Dad was a gentle man.
    He fixed what others would have left broken, whether these were a lamp, a clock, or a  broken heart.

    My Dad was a strong man.
    He used his strength to protect his country, his wife, his family, and his friends.

    My Dad was a proud man.
    He was proud of his Owocki name; his Polish heritage;  his accomplishments; his country; his beautiful wife of 55 years;  his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

    My Dad was a quiet man.
    He was eloquent in his ability to listen to any problem and complaint that we brought to him.

    My Dad was a wealthy man.
    His riches were not measured by his bank account, but by the treasure of unquestionning love and happiness he gave to so many of us.

    My Dad is my hero.
    I am grateful for the gift he was to us and happy for the time we had with him. He has and continues to be the wind beneath my wings.

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    Patricia Ellis, middle daughter

    Still awaiting transcript....

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    Diane Halunen, youngest daugter

    (note: "Dziadzi" is Polish for "Grandpa".)

    Dziadzi could fix anything.

    Everyone in our family knew that.

    So when one of his children was frustrated because of a car that would not go - or one of his grandchildren was sad because of a broken toy, we could always be soothed. There was always some comfort in the words,
    "Bring it to Dziadzi; he can fix anything."

    He would bring from the Brewster Swap Shop the broken, unusable, and ugly discards of others and turn them useful and even beautiful again. In each of our homes there is a toaster popping, a coffee-maker perking, a lamp shining, a TV blaring, a chair, a table, a bike, a lawnmower that once lay useless to anyone.

    I would like to share two special memories of the many that have come to mind, to demonstrate this wonderful gift he had.

    First , a few years back when we were staying with my parents in their basement apartment, I was busy through the evening and early hours of Thanksgiving morning, baking for the traditional dinner. During that same time my Dad was in his fixit shop next to the kitchen trying to repair a cuckoo clock that had been bought in Germany,  but had been badly broken many years earlier. Every so often I would check on his progress while bringing him a sample taste of something baking. Now, my Dad's hands are big and the two thousand or so parts of this clock spread across his workbench were very small, so when I looked at all those little wheels, and small  links of broken chain, and splinters of wood, I said:
    "Give it up, Dad, that bird will never cuckoo again!"
    My Dad, indifferent to my  skepticism, just kept on. And, at 2:00 AM, as I was pulling a baking tray from the oven, with everything and everyone else quiet in the house, I heard that bird, "Cuckoo. Cuckoo." I ran into the shop, and my Dad was leaning back in his chair, with that smile on his face, and that beautiful clock in front of him - and everytime he pushed to 12 and 6, that bird would pop out of his house, and sing.

    My second memory goes back many years earlier when my oldest  daughter, Anne Marie, was just a little baby under two, and recovering from an illness that almost took her from us. During that period of recovery, relieved that she would be all right, we were nonetheless frustrated that this once very happy child lay there in her crib at the hospital, looking so sad and distant.

    We tried everything to make her smile. We tried one foolish thing after another. Then my Dad walked into her hospital room. He stood at the  foot of  her crib and without a word as she sadly stared up at him, he pulled from his pocket a little winding toy - a clown bear with cymbals.

    He wound it and put it on the rail of her crib. The little bear marched along the top of the crib, banging his cymbals proudly, and when he came to the end, he fell off. Anne Marie's eyes brightened, her chin quivered, and she burst into laughter. That day my Dad, her Dziadzi, fixed the broken spirit of my daughter, and returned her beautiful smile to us.

    So today we, his family, turn to him once more with our broken hearts, comforted in knowing that he will fix them.

    He can fix anything.

    Stanley Owocki, son, youngest child

    My father loved and cherished all his progeny.
    But 46 years ago yesterday his fervent prayers were answered in the birth of his only son.
    He named that son after his own father, who had died just two and a half months earlier.
    The day before his father died was the day of his wife's brother's wedding.
    Perhaps not fully comprehending the gravity of his father's illness, or perhaps seeking some relief from the stress of worry,  but in any case loving always a good time, that night he celebrated too much, and the next morning was unable to answer his father's dying call.
    Never forgiving himself for this, he was certain God's punishment would keep him too from ever knowing a grandchild that could carry on his family's name.
    Thirteen years ago he basked in God's mercy as he held his christened grandson in his arms.
    And now he at last can sit again with his father, and reap the final unburdening of his full forgiveness.

    Six weeks ago, at my sister's son's wedding, I last sat together with my father.
    One week ago, I learned through my mother's call of his imminent surgery.
    Six days ago I held his limp and suffering hand and prayed he knew I was there.
    Four days ago, I rejoiced in the end of his suffering.
    Over the last three days,  I have felt his comforting love shine down on all of us.
    But today I feel most strongly that particular love he, and his father, kept for those of us who carry their namesake.
    And for tomorrow I pray that love carries us forward, to the day when we fathers and sons are all joined together, again, and for the very first time.

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    If you have stories or pictures that would help preserve our memories of Chester Owocki, please send them to me via either email at, or by post to: Stan Owocki, 22 Peter Christopher Dr., Landenberg, PA 19350

    Last updated: December 29, 1998

    Link to Stan Owocki's home page