Adam Franciszek Woznicki, our wonderful Tatus and Dziazi, a gentle and loving man who exemplified warmth, generosity, compassion and strong morals, earned his eternal reward as he passed peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus, in the comfort of his home, on Monday, April 12, 2021. He just celebrated a birthday and was 96 years young.
Adam was born on April 6, 1925 in a small beautiful village in Konskie, Poland, one of 4 children to Bronislawa and Antoni Woznicki. As a young boy, he worked on the family farm, rode horses and took care of the family’s livestock and crops. He told us many stories of his life in the village and that he still had time for mischievous play with his childhood friends.
When Germany invaded Poland during WWII, Adam learned survival skills as a young teen. Under Nazi occupation, he was forced into slave labor. He was ordered to dig trenches for the German Army on the Western Front and mandated to provide hours of labor on outlying farms. Execution was the alternative but he was determined to stay alive.
After the war ended, he met the love of his life, Malgorzata “Margaret” Skrobiranda, and hoping for a better life, they married in an old airplane hangar in 1945 at a displaced person camp in Germany, which was their first home. The year 2020 marked Adam and Margaret’s 75th year wedding anniversary.
Their first child, Diane was born 2 years after they wed, and in 1950 Adam took his family and immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Newark, N.J. It took 13 long days of crossing the Atlantic Ocean before he and his family arrived in America.
Adam did not hesitate to work hard to learn the English language and earn his U.S. citizenship. He was thankful to find employment in a new country and began working many hours to support his family so they could have a better life. He was very, very proud to be an American, and in his delightful Polish accent could recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing God Bless America.
Adam worked as a machinist in the tool and dye industry until his retirement. He was the proud owner of many interesting tools and machines that he kept in his basement workshops in every home they owned in N.J. He would frequently bring home machine pieces that he created to proudly show his family. Eventually, his industry began manufacturing parts for computers, which he performed with precision and skill.
Adam and Margaret welcomed their second daughter, Dorothy “Dot” in 1963 in Irvington, N.J. They lived there until 1977, then settled in Manville, N.J. until they retired. Adam and Margaret spent endless hours enjoying their massive garden, harvesting a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables. Adam’s home was his pride and joy, and he worked every weekend doing home improvement projects or landscaping their beautiful yard. He loved to do it all – he was truly our Mr. Fix-It.
Besides working, Adam loved socializing and celebrating with friends at every opportunity he could get. Parties, weddings, anniversary celebrations - he loved seeing friends and catching up on the latest news. Adam loved music and dancing and learned to play both the accordion and violin by ear. He was a man that was well liked by all and had a smile that could melt anyone’s heart.
After retirement, Adam and Margaret following their daughters to the West coast and moved to Leisure Village in Camarillo, CA. where they lived for the last 27 years. Even though they left many good friendships behind in N.J., they easily created a new circle of friends in California, especially due to Adam’s kind and welcoming demeanor. Although they would no longer have a basement, Adam still created a workshop for himself in his small garage, where he housed both new and old tools that he collected throughout the years. He would go to his daughters’ homes weekly to help with anything that was in need of repair, painting, or even pruning trees and flowers. And if anyone else happened to be doing the work, Adam would look over their shoulder to make sure the job was done right.
Adam and Margaret were active members of the Oxnard Joslyn Lawn Bowling Club. They enjoyed their newly found sport and the fellowship of new friends for many years.
Adam was also very proud of his Polish heritage. He and Margaret were members of the Polish Eagle Lodge in Ventura, CA, and the National Polish Alliance in Chicago, Illinois. They both loved attending Polish mass whenever it was available at the local churches. Adam loved to dress to impress, and would look dapper in the variety of suits and classy ties he owned. He had the look of a true gentleman.
Adam’s faith in God was strong, as were his Catholic roots. He enjoyed reading his Polish prayer books. If he wasn’t able to attend mass on Sundays, he would watch it on TV. He and Margaret were devout parishioners of Padre Serra Parish in Camarillo. They were one of the founding families that began attending the church shortly after it opened at its current location in 1995. When it became too physically challenging to attend church in person, Adam and Margaret received home visits along with communion on Sundays which they appreciated and loved, from a wonderful parish Eucharistic Minister.
Adam’s true legacy were his children and his grandchildren. He was so proud of all of them. He and Margaret raised their daughters to be respectful, hardworking, dedicated and strong spirited women. They went above and beyond to give their children everything they did not have as youth in a destroyed county – an education, clothes to wear, food on the table, and a roof over their heads. By the fruits of their labor, they were fortunate to raise a teacher and a nurse. In 2001, Adam and Margaret were blessed to receive 3 grandchildren in the same year! In 2005, they welcomed their 4th grandchild. Helping to raise their grandchildren was truly the highlight of their lives. It gave them great purpose as well as a desire to stay healthy and strive for longevity.
Adam was absolutely the very best Dziazi to his grandkids. He would sit and play with them or watch them play for hours. He was very entertained by all their backyard shows and performances. He and Margaret would babysit at a moment’s notice. He even relearned how to change diapers again. Adam loved to check the local store ads and shop for sales, always delivering treats like grapes, apples, and cookies to his beloved grandchildren, or as he called them his “kochani wnuczki”.
During the past few years, Adam fought hard to stay strong and keep his health, but began losing much of his independence. He was very loved by all of his wonderful caregivers from SK Homecare. He was full of smiles and jokes for as long as it was physically possible for him. He enjoyed watching all his old time TV favorites like the Andy Griffith show, Gunsmoke, Bonanza and Rifleman. He was still able to do 3 exercise sessions each week and managed to get a good night’s sleep on most nights. His smile and sense of humor kept him alive and strong. He simply loved life. A family friend once called him “the salt of the earth”. Although it became hard in his later years, Adam’s life was a life well lived.
During the last 2 years, Adam was also cared for by an incredible team of professionals from Assisted Home Health and Hospice services who provided him with the additional care and support both he and his family needed, with the utmost dignity, compassion and love.
Special thanks to Dr. Rajala and the entire team at Assisted, Dr. William Speitel, Dr. Avan Patel, Dr. Shaun Patel, Dr. Micha Rojany, and Dr. Paul Silverman, who throughout the years, provided him with their expertise and care that was always in his best interest.
Adam’s family would also like to extend thanks and much appreciation to all his caregivers from SK Homecare, for their outstanding, loving, skilled, and dedicated 24/7 home care, to Bill Passmore, Eucharistic Minister from Padre Serra Parish, for his weekly uplifting home visits to Adam and Margaret, to Deacon Joe Torti for visiting and praying with us, as well as to Terry Duncan, Exercise Therapist, who provided Adam with unconditional love and friendship and an amazing workout routine for the past few years.
Adam was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Chester of N.J. and Richard of Poland, his sister Valentyna of Poland, and in August of 2020, his loving wife of 75 years, Margaret of Camarillo. He is survived by his daughters Diane (husband Rick), and Dot (husband Mark), grandchildren Wyatt, Minda, Matthew and Bryce, and loving nieces and nephews in N.J., Canada and Poland.
A graveside service and celebration of Adam’s wonderful life will be held at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park on Monday April 19, 2021 at 1:00pm.
Tatus ~ you are not truly gone ~ you will live in our hearts forever ~ thank you for the many blessings you gave us through your strong spirit and undying love for your family
Kochamy Cie Zawsze Tatus i Dziazi