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Henry A. Swierczynski, 96, born in Katowice, Poland, longtime resident of Springfield, Vermont, most recently of Keene, New Hampshire, died April 4, 2022. Under the Nazi occupation of Poland, his family initially fled the advancing armies. Returning to their home, Henry attended technical high school and a German-provided part-time job at the town airfield. This forced labor was not without its advantages as Henry pilfered parts for hot plates, he made and sold on the black market. He also learned to fly gliders and boasted that he flew 100 glider flights by the time he was 16. Henry’s father, Seweryn, had been an insurgent during the Silesian uprisings against Weimar Germany and so, he was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Henry’s father survived this only to be sent to a forced labor camp. Henry escaped Poland and the Germans to join the British Eighth Army in Italy where he served with the Polish Second Army Corps as an artillery forward observer, including at Monte Cassino. After the war, he pursued an engineering degree at Instituto Industriale de Corridoni, Fermo, Italy, and Millom Engineering College, UK. In Toronto, Canada, he met his wife, Nora, with whom he shared 68 wonderful years. Henry was predeceased by his parents, Seweryn and Elzbieta; and his sister, Sonia Koziol, of Katowice, Po land. He is survived by his wife, Nora (Darling); children, Sonia Swierczynski (Tom Kelley), Andrea Carey (Phil), Diane Howard, Deborah Swierczynski, Peter Swierczynski (Lisa) and Barbara Stonesifer (Brooke); 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He endured the family Labrador retriever but truly loved his retirement dog, Pikus. He retired as VP of Engineering at Fellows Corp. Henry also pursued his other passions: skiing, jazz and especially, tennis and art. He was an accomplished artist, painting hard edge geometric abstracts featured in many exhibitions and collections, including that of Dartmouth College. Henry played tennis until age 90 while also coaching his family and the SHS Girls team. Henry served others through the Springfield Rotary Club, including going on many service trips to Honduras where an addition to an elementary school was named in his honor. He also worked with the Miller Art Center in Springfield, including as president, for several years and with Habitat for Humanity. Services will be at a later time.
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