Obituaries » Mitchell S. Kuzdzal
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November 16, 1924 - March 10, 2021
Mitchell S. Kuzdzal, 96, of Chicopee, passed away on Wednesday, March 10, at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
He was the former Principal of Chicopee Comprehensive High School from 1979 until his retirement in February of 1995. In September of that year, the Chicopee Comprehensive High School Football Field and Athletic Complex was renamed The Mitchell S. Kuzdzal Field.
He started his career in 1953 as a teacher of Accounting, Business and Polish at Chicopee High School. He transferred to Chicopee Comprehensive High School when it opened in 1962, later becoming the Vice Principal until he was named Principal in 1979. His retirement in 1995 ended a forty-one year career in education for the Chicopee Public Schools.
Mitchell did various volunteer work upon retirement throughout the surrounding communities such as teaching English at various industries and Junior Achievement while being a recipient of numerous awards for his volunteerism. He taught Junior Achievement to local students from elementary age up to high school age for many years bringing in guest speakers from politicians and industries to teach the students about businesses and how to succeed. Mitchell received multiple awards for his involvement with Junior Achievement such as the Junior Achievement’s Gold Peak Performance Award.
Mitchell was born on November 16, 1924 in Chicopee and was the son of the late Joseph J. and Mary Anna (Sypek) Kuzdzal.
He was a 1942 graduate of Chicopee High School, where he co-captained the 1941 football team and the 1942 baseball team. He received his Bachelor Degree in Business Adminstration with a major in Accounting from American International College and continued his education at Westfield State College earning advanced degrees in Education.
Mitchell was a communicant of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr where he also served as a lecturer for many years and was a member of the Holy Name Society.
He was a World War II Marine Corps Veteran who served on Tinian Island where he witnessed the Enola Gay mission. During his military enlistment, Mitchell was stationed among other locations and had an honorable discharge on December 7, 1945 from the N.B. Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland.
He was a former commander of the Polish American Veterans, Andrew Balut Post, a member of the Chicopee Lodge of Elks 1849, Oregon Sportsman’s Club and Retired Teachers Association of Hampden County, West Chapter.
In 1995, when Mitchell retired, Congressman Richard Neal presented him with the US Flag that flew over the US Capitol on that day.
In 2008, Mitchell received a letter from President George W. Bush on being named a Daily Point of Light, a volunteer award given to those who dedicate themselves to helping others. He was invited to attend the ceremony in Texas to receive this award.
Mitchell had many hobbies and interests but above all, he treasured and valued his time and love for his grandchildren.
His greatest love was being able to attend and watch his grandsons, Matthew and Michael play sports. He was their most loyal and dedicated fan while never missing any of their games from age of 5 until their collegiate careers ended while also enjoying his time with them on the golf course.
Mitchell also loved to grow flowers and vegetables in his garden along with dabbling in the kitchen cooking and baking a variety of food. His specialties were an array of Polish dishes and homemade pies.
Mitchell could always be seen taking walks around the city and at the Chicopee State Park or playing golf. Mitchell was the type of person who treated everyone with respect, he would listen, help and offer advice. He was known and proud of telling his Marine stories and saying “Hi” to everyone he encountered on his journeys.
Mitchell is survived by his wife of sixty-eight years, Jane (Przybycien) Kuzdzal; a daughter, Maryann Kielbasa and her husband, Peter of Ludlow, a son, Timothy Kuzdzal and his wife, Joanne of Chicopee and four grandchildren, Matthew and Michael Kielbasa, and Rebecca and Adam Kuzdzal. He also leaves his sister-in-law Helen (Przybycien) Czajka and his loving nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Mitchell is predeceased by his brother, Frederick Kuzdzal.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mitchell S. Kuzdzal to the Shriners’ Hospital for Children at 516 Carew St. Springfield, MA or a charity of their choice.
Calling hours are on Thursday from 4 to 7 PM at Cierpial Memorial Funeral Home at 69 East Street in Chicopee. Mitchell’s funeral will be held on Friday, March 19, 2021 from the Cierpial Memorial Funeral Home on 69 East St. in Chicopee at 9 am followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial in the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, 566 Front St. in Chicopee at 10 am. Burial will be at St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Due to Covid-19 for those attending, please remember social distancing and to wear a mask.