Our family history would not be complete unless we also added Joseph Sporysz. He was born in 1889. Everyone called him “Uncle Joe” but I believe he was a nephew or cousin of Dziazia (Grandfather Stock). He was Polish and very proud of it. Poland was a people without a nation at the time.
When WWI started, the United States was not yet a part of the war and Uncle Joe decided to fight for his old country. Since Canada was already in the war, he went to Halifax, Nova Scotia and on to Europe. It was around the time that the French munitions ship blew up in Halifax Harbor. He joined the Poles, probably wearing a Russian uniform, to fight against Germany. He may have been fighting on the western front. He was injured with mustard gas and recovered in France. I know he was in Alsace-Lorraine in France located on the Rhine across from Germany. He spoke highly of the French.
In the fall of 1918 when the German Axis was defeated, Austria/Hungry was also defeated, being part of the Axis. The Poles moved swiftly towards statehood. In 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles, Poland was given its land back after about 125 years of being divided among other countries. Joseph was proud to have a small part in helping Poland become a solvent nation again.
By now the Bolshevik Revolution had occurred and Joseph put on the uniform of the Polish army to help fight the communist insurgents. The communists were defeated in Poland. He came back from the war in the early 1920’s.
Before and after the war, Joseph worked as a mason. He also helped to build both the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Zoo.
Uncle Joe lived with various relatives through the years or rented a room as a boarder. He lived with Ross and Hattie Burgard the last 10 or 11 years of his life. He always took pride in his work and one day, when he lived with Ross and Hattie, he walked across the field to check on some renters that Ross had painting the outside of the house to pay for rent. A little later he came back and Hattie asked how the paint job was coming. Uncle Joe in his usual quiet way said, “Those people paint everything; the kids, the bushes, their clothes.”
He never drove and having lived in furnished homes he didn’t accumulate the usual unnecessary possessions most people collect. He could speak several languages and did enjoy reading several newspapers in various languages. He always said if he could make it through the winter to spring he could make it through the year. He only made it until April 7, 1975 and died at the age of 85. At the time of his death all of his possessions fit into a small suitcase.
Please note: Above information provided by Sue (Burgard) Darmafol
Here is some additional information on Joseph Sporysz:
Various records give his birthdate as 03 Jan 1890, about 1887 or 31 Dec 1889. He immigrated to the United States in 1911 (click here to view a copy of the passenger manifest). He was living in Toledo when he registered for the WWI Draft (click here to view his WWI draft registration card). His obituary in the Monroe Evening News stated that when he died he was survived by several cousins from the Temperance and Erie areas (click here to view his obituary)
Click here to read the application for Joseph Sporysz to serve in the Polish Army in France in 1917. Also included in the information is a brochure concerning the Polish Army in France. Click here to read his application in Polish.
Click here to read letters written to Catholic parishes in Poland concerning records for Joseph Sporysz. Also included are copies of the responses from the Catholic parishes. Click here to read a copy of the info sent from Poland in Polish.
Helen Wrzesinski was Martha Stasiak's (Jankowski) sister. She was born in Germany October 28, 1884. She married Michael Wrzesinski (b 18 Aug 1878, d 02 Aug 1941 - age 61) at St. Hedwig church on October 9, 1906. Helen died July 4, 1952. (Age 67)
Martha & Helen with Ted & William Wrzesinski
Helen Wrzesinski & Joe Dusseau (1938)
Michael & Helen had five children:
Ted: Born 31 Oct 1907, Died 13 Aug 1967 (Age 59)
William: Born 28 Jan 1909, Died 28 Nov 1995 (Age 85)
Edmund: Born 13 Aug 1910, Died 13 Sept 1986 (Age 76)
Helena: Born 2 May 1914, Died 22 Oct 1918 (Age 4)
Stanley: Born 3 Jan 1916, Died 24 Oct 1954 (Age 38)
Ted Wrzesinski was born October 31, 1907. He married Julia Maciejewski (b 22 April 1917, d 09 February 1979-age 61). He died August 13, 1967 (age 59). Ted’s godparents were John Jankowski and Martha Stasiak.
Ted and Julie had four children:
Ted Jr., Phyllis, Carol & Ed Wrzesinski (1996)
Phyllis (Sturek) born in 1941
Carol (Landin) born in 1945
Theodore born in 1947
Edward born in 1949
Wrzesinski Children Family Information:
Phyllis Wrzesinski (Sturek) Family:
The firstborn of Ted and Julie Wrzesinski, Phyllis’ family grew up at 513 E. Central, Toledo, OH, the home of Grandmother Helen Wrzesinski, located in a Polish neighborhood. She knew early in life she would become a teacher, and eventually became the first Wrzesinski family member to graduate from college. Her first teaching assignment was at Whitmer Sr. High School, where she taught English, and newspaper journalism. Later, Phyllis taught at Central Catholic High School, joining her husband Bob Sturek on the faculty. Now retired, Bob taught American history, drivers’ education, and coached football and basketball. They were married July 12, 1969 at St. Hedwig Church. Their three children -- Sandy, Corry, and Julie --are graduates of Central Catholic, as was their grandmother, Julie Wrzesinski, in 1935. Bob and Phyllis both attended Woodward High School and graduated from the University of Toledo with baccalaureate degrees in education, in different years, and didn’t meet one another until later. Nearly every month they travel to Indiana to visit their three grandchildren: Ryan, Casey, and Hannah.
After her children graduated from college and started leaving home, Phyllis went back to school. In 1999 she graduated from Lourdes College with an associate degree in occupational therapy. Today she works at Flower Hospital a few days a month; her intention is to retire in June 2009. She previously worked full time for Lake Park, and Heartland of Perrysburg.
Phyllis enjoys cake decorating for family special events, including for her two daughters’ weddings and her grandchildren’s birthdays. This hobby began when her children were small but, over time, her cakes have increased in size. (see photos of cakes below) Phyllis is presently active at St. Clement Church as a reader and communion distributor. Bob’s interests revolve around sports, especially the football teams of Central Catholic and the University of Notre Dame. He raised his three girls to have a similar interest in sports, but was unsuccessful in making them Notre Dame fans.
Cakes By Phyllis Sturek
Phyllis, Corry, Sandy, Julie and Bob Sturek (1984)
Phyllis and Bob have 3 children:
Sandra Sturek (Winterhalter) born in 1970
Corry Sturek (Voll) born in 1971
Julie Sturek born in 1981
Sandy Sturek (Winterhalter) Family:
Sandy has a physical therapy degree from Bowling Green State University, and is manager of rehabilitation services at Toledo Hospital. Her husband Bob Winterhalter is a business manager at Merillat Industries, America‘s Cabinetmaker, in Adrian, MI. Bob and Sandy met at Central Catholic, attended BGSU together, and were married in1994 at St Clement Church.
Bob and Sandy’s 11- acre property in Riga, MI is the site of many family gatherings because of a pond for swimming and fishing activities, tractor rides for the kids, and a family favorite -- playing with Maizey, their yellow lab retriever.
During the summer, Sandy spends a lot of time tending to her flower gardens, while Bob is usually busy on various construction projects around their beautiful home and property. They also do a lot of canning, a tradition carried down from grandmother - to mother - to daughter. Bob and Sandy are also very active members of Regina Coeli Parish in Toledo.
Sandy Winterhalter & Ryan Voll, Bob Winterhalter with Casey Voll
Corry Sturek (Voll) Family:
Corry, an occupational therapist, is also coordinator of the therapy rehabilitation center at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lafayette, IN. Corry met her husband, Craig Voll, at Eastern Michigan University. Craig, born is originally from Cleveland, OH. They were married in 1996 at St. Clement Church in Toledo.
Craig is an athletic trainer/physical therapist for Purdue University and is also president of the Indiana Athletic Trainers Association . His affiliation with the Purdue football team enables family members to get tickets to their favorite games during each season, but there are never enough tickets to go around for the Purdue-Michigan game.
Both are also very busy raising their three children, born in Indiana: Ryan, Casey, and Hannah. Corry has even found time to teach a Sunday school class at her church, and to complete her master’s degree in science this past year through Ohio State University. Meanwhile, Craig is finishing up his doctorate in teaching - administration at Purdue.
Casey, Ryan & Hannah Voll
Julie is named in honor of her grandmother, Julie Wrzesinski. An Eastern Michigan University and Central Catholic graduate, Julie is a registered dietitian, now working on her master’s degree in public health at the University of Toledo. She will graduate in December 2008.
Her fieldwork experiences have included a paid internship with The Dannon Company, promoting the health benefits of yogurt and dairy products, at Kroger grocery stores. The company paid for her and another 25 participants in the program across the country, to enjoy all-expenses -paid trip to their USA headquarters outside New York City. She and another friend in the UT program enjoyed this special recognition weekend, which included an evening riverboat cruise/dinner in view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
She formerly worked for two years as a clinical dietitian at St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia, MI.
Julie Sturek with Hannah Voll
Carol Wrzesinski (Landin) Family:
Ted Wrzesinski Family:
Ed Wrzesinski Family:
William (Boleslaus) Wrzesinski was born January 28, 1909. He married Lottie (b 02 December 1909, d 03 April 2004-age 94). William and Lottie had one son Robert. William died November 28, 1994 (age 85)
Edmund Wrzesinski ( Wagner) was born August 13, 1910. He married Sophie Maciejewski (b 29 June 1915, d 28 Aug 1981 – age 66). They had one daughter Joanne (b 14 Sept 1937, d 25 Nov 1949 – age 12) (See newspaper article). Edmund died September 13, 1986 (age 76)
Edmund & Sophie (Wrzesinski) Wagner
Julie (Maciejewski) Wrzesinski & Stanley Wrzesinski
Stanley T. Wrzesinski was born January 3, 1916. He married Barbara Burkard (b 10 Feb 1920, d 26 Nov 2002 – age 82) on June 13, 1942 at St. Peter and Paul Church. Stanley and Barbara had one son, Michael. Stanley died October 24, 1954 (age 38)
Baptismal, Marriage and Death records from St. Hedwig Catholic Church.
Obituary records from The Toledo Blade.
WWI Draft Registration for Michael Wrzesinski.
Passenger Immigration records for Michael Wrzesinski.
Naturalization documents for Michael Wrzesinski
Death certificates from the State of Ohio
1920 Census for Michael Wrzesinski Family