Thaddeus J. Piekos, passed away at his home in White Plains on Feb. 12 "Ted" was 101 and was predeceased by Teresa Helena Irza Piekos, his wife of over 60 years.
Born in Woonsocket, to the late Pawel and Julia (Skurka) Piekos, he had six siblings: Joan Piekos Giard, Stanley Piekos, Francis Piekos, Joseph Piekos, Francis Struzik, and Anne Piekos Dansereau.
Ted had fond memories of growing up in Woonsocket during the Great Depression. His family's life centered around St Stanislaus Church, where he was an altar boy and assistant for Father Rozpad. Aside from duties in church, Ted drove Father Rozpad on his rounds to bless food for holidays and held the Bible for him during graveside services at the St Charles Polish Cemetery. Ted attended Saint Stanislaus School and Woonsocket High School, playing baseball in school and with the PNA Amateur League. Life could be hard, with a washtub on the kitchen floor for bathing, but Ted always felt that life was good. He was able to make enough money from delivering The Woonsocket Call and working in the mills to help his family during the Depression and pay for the start of his college studies.
Although his college education was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Intelligence Division 51st paratrooper Squadron during WWII, he was proud to have served in the first allied invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch, and many Italian Campaigns . During his time at war, he was able to see the result of his earlier work at U.S. Rubber, which helped to supply the Allies with blimps and lifeboats. When the war ended, he returned to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University and later earned additional graduate degrees in school administration and library science.
Ted had a long career in education, beginning in the fifties with the Woonsocket Public Schools, but spending the bulk of his career as the Chairman of the Math Department of White Plains High School in N.Y. He enjoyed the variety of life in New York, including town concerts, Broadway plays, botanical gardens, museums, New York sports teams and the Red Sox, but often rooting for the underdog of the moment. He enjoyed a wide range of restaurants, ocean breezes and wildlife. He enjoyed traveling with his family on visits to Rhode Island, Florida and Bermuda. In his later years, Ted was a much-sought after model for artists and was a supporter of wildlife and domestic animals.
People often asked Ted why he thinks he was blessed with such a long life. Ted would answer, "God has been good to me." and also credited his lifelong eating of Quaker Oats for breakfast, and for having had good development due to delivering the Woonsocket Call on a very long route, before and after school, his dog Jake, by his side.
Ted is survived by his daughters, Jan (John) Owens of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, Marilyn Woodside of York, Maine, and Paula Piekos of White Plains, NY, many nieces and nephews, and his loving cat, "Kitty". He was predeceased by pets Jake, Big Boy, Bluebelle, and De Cinq Minutes.
A funeral mass will be held for Ted at 11 A.M on August 9th at Saint Stanislaus of Kostka Church on Harris Avenue, Woonsocket. A graveside service will be held at the Polish cemetery (St Charles) on Farm Street in Blackstone for Ted and his sister Joan. They will be joining their respective spouses.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Saint Stanislaus of Kostka Church in Woonsocket or The Veteran's Memorial Museum, 78 Earle Street in Woonsocket, 02895. Kubaskafuneralhome.com