46th Wojcinski family reunion held at Russell Joy Park

On Sunday, August 4th, more than 70 descendants of Michael and Mary Wojcinski gathered at the lower pavilion of Russell Joy Park in celebration of their 46th reunion. Hosting this year’s reunion was the committee consisting of Bill Wojcinski, Bob & Connie Wojcinski, Dave and Ann Warren and their respective families. Festivities began at noon, followed by dinner at 1 p.m. which included reunion cake. The family meeting was held afterward, concluding with the traditional singing of the “Wojcinski Reunion Song”. There were games and activities for the children and adults, as well as a Chinese auction held later in the afternoon, with many prizes awarded to enthusiastic attendees. The evening activities included a hot dog and corn roast, with brownies for dessert, along with the annual pinochle tournament, games for the kids and beer pong.

Rita Kucharski of Erie, Pa., and Tom Zielinski of Van Buren were recognized as the oldest female and male descendants in attendance. Two deaths were reported, that of direct descendant Ruth Mary Baumgratz of St. Mary’s Pa and indirect descendant Catherine Zielinski Wojcinski, wife of Bill Wojcinski. A moment of silence was observed in their memory. Living direct descendants of Michael and Mary Wojcinski now number 237.

One new family member was reported: Jedrik Kenneth Wojcinski, born on Dec. 8, 2012. He is the son of Mikalena Wojcinski and the grandson of Ken and Roseann Wojcinski. This new addition is from the branch of the late Arthur and Esther Wojcinski family. “Jedrik” means “warrior” in Polish. Rita Kucharski reports that she is going to be a great-grandmother this coming December, as her grandson and his wife, Jonathan and Heather Polanski, are expecting.

Several family members are currently serving in the Armed Forces: Airman 1st class Alex Dean, currently stationed in Tucson, Ariz., has been deployed to Osan Airforce Base in South Korea. He is the son of Kathy and Bruce Dean, grandson of the late Bob and Helen Kittell. Also serving are Michiah Wojcinski, U.S. Navy, and his sister Mikalena Wojcinski, also U.S. Navy in Virginia. They are the children of Ken and Roseann Wojcinski, grandchildren of the late Arthur and Esther Wojcinski.

Traveling farthest to attend the reunion this year were Mikalena from Norfolk, Va, and Monica Benedict and sons Kyle and Blake, of Twinsburg, Ohio. Molly and Erik Berg were recognized as sending in the first reservation, Elaine Zielin and Scott Wojcinski were recognized as submitting the last reservation.

A”spousal curfew” altered the outcome of the pinochle championship this year, and due to the late hour, a tie was declared. Two teams were awarded a “co-championship” which saw seasoned veteran pinochle players Dave Warren and partner Tom Zielinski deadlocked with young pinochle “prodigies” Emily Sobilo and Stony Woodard. Mikalena Wojcinski captured the singles beer pong championship, and joined her cousin Kyle Benedict in taking the doubles beer title.

Family members came from Twinsburg, Ohio, Erie Pa,, Norfolk, Va., Campbell, N.Y. and various areas of western New York to attend this year’s reunion.

The reunion committee for next year the 47th consists of the families of Karen Wojcinski, Lori and Winston Woodard, Amy and Lyle Koperczak and Molly and Erik Berg. The event will be held on or around the first weekend in August.