Jozef Kalwa, 91, of Denville, New Jersey, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 8, 2019 at John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Edison.
Born May 19, 1928, at Ostra Gorka, Poland, to Maciej and Anna (Rusek) Kalwa, Osadniks of the Kresy Wschodnie, Jozef was the third of five sons.
The family was declared an enemy of the state by Stalin when Russia invaded Poland in 1939. Deported to a Russian Lumber Labor Camp near Archangelsk, above the Arctic Circle, Jozef, his brothers and mother were forced to scavenge to survive. A former corporal with the Polish Army, Jozef's father, received help to escape west to relatives in Przybys?awice, Poland. The family would not be reunited for over ten years.
Granted amnesty in 1941, Jozef along with his Mother and four brothers traveled south to Guzar where the Polish army was re-forming. They crossed the Caspian Sea and came under British protection in Iran. Jozef was stationed in Palestine at a British Cadet Camp throughout World War II. While a cadet in Palestine he joined the military band and did boxing, volleyball, and football for sports.
After the war ended, his parents returned to Poland. Jozef and his four brothers chose to settle in Nottingham, England. Determined to take full advantage of the opportunities education offered him, in 1952, Jozef certified as a General and Psychiatric Registered Nurse at Nottingham General Hospital, England. He became a British citizen in 1959.
Married for over 64 years, Jozef met his beloved wife Krystyna Borkowska in 1953 at Burton on the Wolds, England. She too was a Polish exile and survivor of a Siberian labor camp.
In 1962, Jozef immigrated to Rainbow Lakes, New Jersey which would become his home for the next 50 years. He became an American citizen in 1967.
A dedicated family man, Jozef worked tirelessly to provide for his family every opportunity denied him in his youth. A Registered Nurse for over 25 years, he was employed at Morris View Nursing home, and at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, where he ultimately rose to the position of Nursing Supervisor. A believer in leading by example, his co-workers all held him high regard and often let his children know what a great man he was.
A farmer by birth and an avid gardener at heart, Jozef loved spending time tending his blueberry and blackberry bushes and to the end his tomato plants. Many of his Hosta plants have found places in various family gardens. An enthusiastic bridge and snooker player, he also enjoyed fishing, building bird houses, and spending any free time at the former Polish club, Morksie Oko in Jefferson Twp, NJ.
He was an active and dedicated member of Polish American Veterans Association and the American Legion Post 451, volunteering considerable time to both organizations as their treasurer.
His greatest trait was his generosity.
He is preceded in death by his four brothers: Lucjan, Zygmund, Eugeniusz, and Roman, and his beautiful wife Krystyna.
A dedicated father and devoted grandfather, Jozef is survived by two sons, Richard (Janet) of Lake Hiawatha, NJ and Andrew (Juli) of Wilmington, NC, and a daughter, Elizabeth Geraghty (Michael), of Cranford; along with 10 grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family at the Codey & Mackey Funeral Home, 107 Essex Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005 on Sunday, July 14 from 2-6pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Cyril & Methodius Church, 215 Hill Street, Boonton on Monday, July 15 at 9:00am. The interment will follow at Our Lady of Czestochowa Cemetery in Doylestown, PA at 12:00pm. To share a memory or condolence, please visit www.codeymackeyfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a Veterans Association.