Joseph E. Bak
HADLEY-Joseph E. Bak, 94, of 27 North Maple St. in Hadley passed away peacefully on Saturday morning at Cooley Dickinson hospital after a brief illness. Joe was born in Hadley on March 23, 1922 to the late John and Anna (Jandzinski) Bak. He graduated from Hopkins Academy. Joe joined the Merchant Marines and served during World War II in the Atlantic shipping lanes, one of the most dangerous assignments due to the German U-boats' relentless attacks. Joe returned home in 1945 and attended Stockbridge School of Agriculture after the war. He worked for the University of Massachusetts Amherst over 27 years in the Physical Education Department. Joe enjoyed spending time with his family, often traveling to Texas and North Carolina to spend time with his children. He was a longtime member of the Hadley Young Men's club and a lifelong devoted communicant of Most Holy Redeemer Church in Hadley. Joe enjoyed singing in the church choir as well as "manning the grill" at the church food booths. He also enjoyed all sports, woodworking and spending time at J & J Farms with the boys. His wife, Statia "Tibby" Bak predeceased him. Joe loved being around his siblings and his many wonderful nieces and nephews, he cherished the times spent with them. He leaves his three children: a special daughter, Colleen Bak, with whom he and "Tibby" lived with their entire lives and made their home in Hadley; his daughter, Diane Babson and her husband Jeff of Richmond, Virginia and his son, Dennis Bak and his wife JoAnn of San Antonio, Texas; a grandchild, Brianna, three step-grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He also leaves his brother, John Bak of Amherst and sister, Anne Hanieski of Hadley and several nieces and nephews. Joe was predeceased by his siblings; Edward, Stanley and Anthony Bak and his sister Mary Kicza. Calling hours at the Czelusniak Funeral Home will be Monday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. The funeral will be Tuesday at 9 a.m. from the Czelusniak Funeral Home followed by a Liturgy of Christian burial at 10 a.m. at the Most Holy Redeemer Church in Hadley. Burial will follow at the Holy Rosary Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Holy Rosary Cemetery Fund, Russell St., Hadley MA. 01035. To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
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