William Marsh was the grandson of Ignacy Mierzejewski, the son of John Mierzejewski. William was born William S. Mierzejewski in Toledo on January 21, 1922 to John Mierzejewski and Anna Myzlinski and baptized in St. Anthony’s parish on January 28, 1922. Baptized Boleslaw, it seemed his family provided him with the Anglecized name of William.

Per the 1930 census, the family was residing at 1021 Hamilton and William was 8 years old.

William entered the military and volunteered for the Office of Strategic Service, a predecessor to the modern CIA. While in the OSS , he was assigned to operations in Yugoslavia. Thanks to his son, Bill, there are photos of him while in the service.

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh)

William S. Miezejewski (Marsh)

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh), OSS, possibly in Bari, Italy

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh), OSS, possibly in Bari, Italy

An undated article was found that mentioned William’s service in the OSS. The date of the UP wire service is noted as 10/1, but the year is unknown. It is likely that this clipping came from the Toledo Blade and the date that the article was published was likely after World War 2. The article is transcribed below:

3 FROM TOLEDO ON HERO LIST

Soldiers Hit Behind Lines of Enemies

Washington, Oct. 1 (UP)—Super-commandos of the Office of Strategic services did heroic work behind the enemy lines in France, Italy, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia and China.

OSS revealed here today the names of the 800 highly trained volunteers from the army, including three Toledo men, who parachuted into enemy territory and worked with underground Allies to create chaos in German and Japanese occupied areas.

Listed among men who operated in Yugoslavia were Staff Sergt. W. S. Mierzejewski, 1021 Hamilton St.; T/5 F. G. Smolinski, 218 Detroit Ave., and W. J. Spiropoulus, 530 Nesslewood Ave., all of Toledo, and Staff Sergt. Steve T. Randolph, Bowling Green, O.

T/5 William Klingensmith, Bowling Green, was assigned to Norway and Lieut. Mills C. Grandes, Sandusky, O., to France.

The OSS men all spoke the languages of the country in which they were to operate. They functioned in parties of eight to 30 men, landing at night and contacting “partisans” in occupied territory, with whom they joined to strike the enemy in vital and vulnerable spots.

Of the 805 members of the OSS groups, 335 have already been decorated individually, by the U. S. or Allied governments.

After leaving the military, William lived in the Sidney, Ohio region. Here he met and married Dorothy Fronsoe.

William and Dorothy Marsh

William and Dorothy Marsh

William also joined the Ohio State Highway patrol in 1947; upon joining the OSHP he changed his last name to Marsh. He was assigned to the Troy Post 55 in 1948.

William S. Marsh, OSHP uniform

William S. Marsh, OSHP

Troy OSHP Post 55

Troy OSHP Post 55

William passed away October 4, 1962 at the age of 40. Dorothy, his son Bill, and his siblings then moved to Miami, Florida in 1970.

Bill Marsh is seeking information on his father’s history, particularly with the OSS. If you can provide any data, please leave a message here and I will follow up.

Let’s talk Mierzejewski. Lots of confusion on this family, remember my grandfather married a Mierzejewska. So, it takes some time and patience untangling names and relationships. Earlier, I had identified a John (Jan) M. Mierzejewski as my grandmother’s brother. See this post updated on July 13, 2010 and this post from August 1, 2010.

However, I’m going to focus on my grandfather’s family here. And these relationships are confusing because my grandmother and grandfather each had siblings who were named alike. The John or Jan Mierzejewski who is today’s subject is descended through my great-grandfather, Antoni Mierzejewski. Antoni had a son named Ignacy. John is the son of Ignacy Mierzejewski and Marianna Goclowska Dabkowska. My grandfather, Wladyslaw (Walter) is the son of Ignacy and another wife, Budziszewska. So Walter and John were half-brothers.

This post will set the stage for a following post on John’s son, William. William, or Bill, was an OSS officer who served in Yugoslavia in WWII. Bill had changed his last name to Marsh after leaving the OSS to serve with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Much of the information presented here was provided by Bill’s son, William (Bill) S. Marsh (Mierzejewski).

John was born in Tomasze, Poland on November 15, 1894 per his Word War II draft registration card.

Interestingly, John provided his residence for the World War II draft registration on Vance Street. A number of my mother’s relatives had resided on Vance.

Per the 1930 census, John was residing at 1021 Hamilton. This census indicates that John is living with his first wife, Anna (Joanna) (Mizlinska or Myslinska) and his children:

  • Josephine
  • William
  • Adelaide

Also noted on this census is a roomer, Edward. Edward is likely John’s brother.

John served in WWI and because of his service, became a naturalized citizen.

Thanks to Bill Marsh, there are several photos of John:

John Mierzejewski in uniform

John Mierzejewski

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John Mierzejewski, far left, uniform

John Mierzejewski, far left, uniform

If you can identify anyone in these photos, please leave a message here and I will follow up.

John passed away on August 17, 1970. His obituary as published in the Toledo Blade the same day and is transcribed below:

John Mierzejewski

John Mierzejewski, 74, of 1435 Nebraska Ave., owner of John’s Carry-out for 20 years, died Monday in Howard’s Convalescent Home, Swanton, O., after a long illness.

Born in Poland, Mr. Mierzejewski lived in Toledo 46 years. He worked at the Mather Spring Co. 30 years, retiring nine years ago, and also ran the carry-out with his wife.

Mr. Mierzejewski was an army veteran of World War I, a member of the Wroblewski Post, American Legion, and of the Toledo Health and Retiree Center.

Surviving are his wife, Jennie, daughters, Mrs. Adelaide McCartney, of Berkey, and Mrs. Josephine Galliers, of Toledo, and nine grandchildren.

Services will be Thursday at 1 p.m. in Sujkowski Mortuary, with burial in Toledo Memorial Park. The body will be in the mortuary after 7 tonight.

A few weeks ago, I had met with some of my Erdman relatives. While I never knew this while I as residing in the Dayton, Ohio area, they were always living just a few files from me down I675 in a nearby suburb. It was a wonderful lunch. My sister came over with me on the drive to Dayton and we met cousins we never knew before and had a lovely afternoon! How cool can that be?

The conversation at one point turned to funeral cards, and someone had brought a number of cards along. One of these cards was for my grandmother, Anastasia Plenzler. I’ve always found this to be a rather sweet tradition. I’m not sure if this is a particularly Catholic tradition or if it is practiced in other religions, but it seems Poles always made sure there were plenty of these cards available at the visitation or memorial service. I always thought of it as a sweet tradition because not only did these cards provide the name and basic information about the deceased, they also provided as special or poignant prayer for the dead. Some may find this a morbid tradition but to me it is a nice reminder of the deceased. Usually for my family, these were provided by the funeral home although I understand these can be done individually or through other means. I am unsure if this is a tradition begun in the 20th century after it was common to view the deceased in a funeral parlor or if this was a tradition started prior to that–if the family had these cards made even during times that the deceased was “laid out” at home or a the home of a close relative. Their purpose seemed to be to provide a small reminder of the deceased  and a prayer.

This discussion led me to remember my mom had her own collection of these cards. Here are a few of these that I’ve scanned:

Updated family tree information for the Mierzejewski families in Toledo can be found here: Related Information

I have a photo of my father while he was in training at MacDill in 1944. What makes this photo special is that my father actually wrote the names of the men in his crew on the back.

Here is the photo, taken June 10, 1944.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

Here is a scan of the legend. The legend is transcribed below the image.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field Crew 22 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field, June 10, 1944
Crew 221

June 10, 1944

Top Row
Left to Right

Pilot Flight Officer Ramsey, California
Co-Pilot Flight Officer Vaughn, New York
Navigator Flight Officer Peck, Pennsylvania
Commander Flight Officer Strickland, Virginia
Engineer Sgt. Tague, Chicago, Ill.

Bottom Row, Kneeling

Assit. Engineer Cpl. Reynolds, Waist Gunner, Oklahom
Radio Operator Sgt. Barth, Pennsylvania
Me (Edward Mierzejewski), Ball Turret Gunner, Ohio
Armourer Sgt Casey, Waist Gunner, New York
Assit. Armourer Sgt. Ratje, Tail Gunner, California

Perhaps a family member or friend of these men may find this picture of interest to them.

My father was a member of the 49th and 96th Bomb Squadrons. For more information: http://www.2ndbombgroup.org/

~~~Update 08.08.2010~~

Note that that I originally posted the wrong burial information for Wladymir.  I confused him with another Walter in the family! The burial record now reflects the correct link to the Calvary Cemetery record. Original post otherwise remains as it was written.

~~~~~

Wladymir (Walter) was the elder brother to my grandmother, Helena Mierzejewska. He was born June 20, 1881 in Borowcze, Poland to Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewska. Wladymir arrived in the US sometime about 1907 or 1908, settling first near Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was married at this time to a woman likely named Bertha and had two daughter while living in Pennsylvania named Sophia (Zofia) and Cezslawa (Charlotte). It was through Zofia’s passport application that I located him first in Pennsylvania. It appears as if Zofia and Wladymir’s second wife (Zofia refers to her as her stepmother on the passport application) traveled to Poland together in 1921 and were leaving Poland in 1924. The passport application provides Zofia’s birth date as April 10, 1909 and states she was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The 1920 census places Wladymir in Toledo, Ohio at 1060 Hamilton with his wife listed as Bernice. Additionally, Wladimir is living with daughters Sophia and Charlotte as well as with brothers Kalixity and Edward. I am unsure of who Edward really is. He may be a brother to Wladmir who returned to Poland or another relative in the family. Another area for research in the future.

I located a manifest for Wladymir returning to the US from Europe via the Saxonia dated March 1, 1924. Wladimir appeared to be traveling alone to visit a friend, Jozef Mozolewski Eichendorfer in Berlin, Germany. His last permanent residence was provided as Berlin, Germany with his stated intention of returning to Toledo, Ohio. His brother, John, is listed as a relative with John’s address as 1763 Buckingham. Oddly, the manifest states that Wladimir is Estonian and Hebrew! See line 2 of the manifest.

The 1930 census places Wladymir back in Toledo, but living at 1060 Hamilton. His wife is listed as Bernice and they are living with daughters Sophie, Charlotte, and Hedwig (Hattie). Hattie was born in December 22, 1918 in Ohio per her state of Ohio death record. Interestingly (as goes the theme for my family), Hattie’s death record lists her mother as a Mierzejewski.

Wladymir died June 24, 1975 per a death record through St. Hyacinth’s parish. The death record through the parish is transcribed below:

Name: Mierzejewski, Walter
Cemetery: Calvary
Age: Date of birth: 93
Nearest Kin: Daughter, Harriet Wadas
Died: June 24, 1975
Buried: June 27, 1975
Officiating Priest: Rev. Bede J. Slominski
Sacraments: All
Adm. by: Rev. Frank Slupski

His obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on June 25, 1975 and is transcribed below:

Walter Mierzejewski

Walter Mierzejewski, 93, of 4605 May St., died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital. He was employed by the former Kaiser Jeep Corp. as a machine operator 25 years, retiring in 1953. Surviving are his daughters, Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, Mrs. Charlotte Okurowski, and Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be Friday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Hyacinth’s Church. The Rosary will be recited Thursday at 7 and 7:30 p.m. in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

Wladymir was buried in Calvary Cemetery. The burial record is transcribed below:

No.: 79672
Name: Walter Mierzejewski
Residence: 4605 S. May St.
Age: 93
Cause of death: Prov. Death. Cert.
Date of Interment: 6/27
Grave: N-1/2,  E-1/2
Range or Lot: 215
Section: 42
Funeral Director: Sujkowski
Remarks: 1571

I have little information on Wladymir’s daughters other than some scant marriage information and death information about two of his daughters.

Sophie married Walter Owczarak and she passed away on March 21, 1982. Her obituary is transcribed below:

Sophie Owczarzak

Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, 72, of Imperial Drive, died Sunday in the Lake Park Nursing Care Center, Sylvania. She worked at the former Electric Autolite Co., Surviving are her husband, Walter, and sister, Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Christ the King Church. Scripture services will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Ansberg-West Mortuary, where the body will be after 2 p.m. Tuesday. The family requests that any tributes be in the form of contributions to charity of the donor’s choice.

Hattie married Leo Wadas and she passed away on June 4, 2002. Her obituary from the Toledo Blade is transcribed below (I do not have a scanned or electronic copy of the original obit, but it was posted here):

Published: Jun 06, 2002 THE TOLEDO BLADE

Wadas Harriet R. Harriet R. Wadas, age 83 of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 at Swan Creek Health Care Center. Harriet was born in Toledo on December 22, 1918 to Walter and Bernice MIERZEJEWSKI Harriet retired from Champion Spark Plug where she worked for over 30 years. She was a member of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish. Circle 8-Alliance of Poles, Wroblewski Post 18 Auxiliary, and the Logsdon-Walla Post 639 Auxiliary. Harriet was a kind and loving person who will be greatly missed by all that knew her. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Leo Wadas. Surviving are 3 nieces and 3 nephews.
Friends may call at the Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home, 3838 Airport Hwy. on Friday from 4 to 8:00 p.m. where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. followed with Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. A Scripture Service will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the mortuary.

Finally! I’ve confirmed that John Mierzejewski is a sibling to my grandmother, Helena. Thanks to a piece of information I could not locate–an obituary from the Toledo Blade via Garret–I have a piece of the puzzle.

Here is a transcription of the obituary (it can’t be scanned, poor quality and Google archives does NOT have this):

J. M. Mierzejewski

John M. Mierzejewski, dietitian’s helper in Riverside Hospital, died yesterday in the hospital after a short illness. He was 52.

Survivors are his wife, Theofila, sons, Corporal Milton, Romulus Field, Mich., and Leonard, Toledo; daughters, Mrs. Helen Abrass, Mrs. Frances Lubinski, Mrs. Lillian Gawronski, and Virginia; brother, Wladyslaw; sister, Mrs. Helen Mierzejewski and five grandchildren, all Toledo.

Services will be 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Sujkowski Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

John died December 30, 1945.

Some trivia: Milton was nicknamed “Mackie.” I remember my father talking about him, but did not know how they were related. Dad simply called him “his cousin.”

John and his wife, Theofila, had seven children, one of whom is still living:

  • Helen (1913-2004) (m. Joseph Abrass)
  • Frances (1916-2009) (m. Joseph Lubinski)
  • Lillian (1918-2005) (m. Thadeusz Gawronski)
  • John (1921-1920)
  • Milton (1923-1987) (m. Stephanie Nowak)
  • Virginia (1927- ) (m. Donald Jezak)
  • Leonard (1929-1994) (m. Jeanne Trudell)

More updates later.

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