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Life was hard in Austrian Poland in the late 1800s. Financial hardship, illness and death affected families in ways that sometimes make it difficult to trace our family stories.  In one of my genealogical lines there is the story of a man who married a woman. She gave birth to two children, one of whom died. A couple of years after her child died, she herself died, leaving her husband with a young son. He in turn married another woman who gave birth to two sons. Then the original father of the boys died, leaving the young woman with three children.

She married for a second time and gave birth to yet another son. The new husband secured a place in America and eventually the rest of the family came.  I do not know yet what happened to the wife and husband after the early years of the century. If anyone can tell me about Joseph and Helena Stoklosa, I would love to hear it. Are the the same Stoklosas who lived in Michigan? I am not convinced that they are. Also, was Joseph  himself a widower? There is mention of three other siblings still in Poland in 1960.

In the meantime, here is the basic information about the brothers of this convoluted story, as told in their obituaries.

Walter Prusak

Son of Maciej Prusak and Julia nee Kosowski

Born 6 Jan 1886 at Przeciszow

Died 4 April 1948 at Bayonne NJ

Walter Prusak, 61, dies at hospital. Walter Prusak, 61, of 161 West 4th Street, died Thursday at Bayonne Hospital after a brief illness. Born in Poland, he had lived in Bayonne 53 years. He was employed as a weaver by the E. H. Cardinal Company of Jersey City for 20 years and was a member of the John Sobieski Society, Branch 53 Sons of Poland; Polish Roman Catholic Union of America; St. Anthony’s Benevolent Society and the Moniuszko Musicians Society. He is survived by his wife, the former Nellie Jarek; a son, John; two daughters, Julia and Mrs.Wanda Stupinski, four grandchildren, and a brother, John. The funeral will take place Monday from the residence. A solemn high mass will be celebrated at Mt. Carmel Church at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Antoni Prusak

Son of Maciej Prusak and Julia nee Kosowski

Born 14 June 1888 at Przeciszow

Died 2 Nov 1889 at Przeciszow

John W. Prusak

Son of Maciej Prusak and Helen nee Momot

Born 11 Dec 1893 at Przeciszow

Died 21 September 1976 at Blasdell NY

PRUSAK-John W.of Blasdell, N.Y., suddenly, Sept. 21, 1976, beloved husband of the late Mary Prusak (nee Balon); dearest father of Mrs. Michael (Frances) Skora, Walter (Starling) Prusak, Ted (Clar Prusak, Frank (Alice) Prusak, Stanley (Alice) Prusak, Mrs. Bernard (Mary)Panfil, Leonard (Rita) Prusak  and the late John Prusak; brother of the late Walter Prusak, Frank  Prusak  and Stanley Stoklosa; brother-in law of Verna Stoklosa, Mrs. Joseph (Julia) Kryszak, Albert Peglow and the late Lottie Kozik, Leo Balon,

Louis Balon, Anna Maurer, Edna Balon, Julian Balon and Sophie Peglow; also survived by 26 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held SaturdaySept. 25 at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home, 3748 So. Park Ave., Blasdell and at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Mr. Prusak was a member of the Holy Name Society, Polish National Alliance No. 1889 and a retired member of the U.S.W. of A. Local No. 2604.

Frank H. Prusak

Son of Maciej Prusak and Helen nee Momot

Born 21 Jun 1899 at Przeciszow

Died 18 Nov 1947 at Hamburg NY

Frank H. Prusak of 187 Buffalo St. died last Tuesday. He leaves surviving his widow, Mrs. Helen Letkowski Prusak, four children, Frank Jr., Edwin, Raymond and Leo; and two brothers, Walter Prusak of Bayonne, N. J.,and John Prusak. Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning from Mother of Good Counsel Church. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Stanley Stoklosa

Son of Helen Momot Prusak and Josef Stoklosa

Born about 1900 in or near Przeciszow

Died 8 September 1960 at Blasdell NY

Stanley Stoklosa of 79 Marlowe Avenue, Blasdell, passed away at the OLV Hospital on September 8 after a recent illness. A native of Poland, Mr, Stoklosa had been a resident of Blasdell for over 30 years. The Bethlehem Steel Co. employed him as a Level Operator in the Strip Mill. He was a member of the Our Mother of Good Counsel Holy Name Society, the Polish National Alliance, Group #1889 and the Steelworkers CIO Local #2604. Services were conducted from The Colonial Memorial Chapels, Inc. 3003 South Park Avenue, Monday morning at 9:00 and from Our Mother of Good Counsel Church at 9:30. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edward Roche officiated at the Requiem Mass, assisted by Rev. Manhardt and Rev. Miller. Rev. Sermak assisted in the Sanctuary. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery. Mr. Stoklosa’s surviving family consists of his wife, Verna Stoklosa; his children, Mrs. Robert (Florence) Carroll, Stanley Jr„ Raymond, Mrs. Daniel (Dorothy) Keefe and Mrs. Robert (Sylvia) Welczak; his brothers and sister, John Prusak, of Blasdell, and John, Walter and Anna, all of Poland; and thirteen grandchildren.