Melanie Spychalski

Spychalski Family Photo Collection

From the collection of

Melanie Spychalski

Taken around 1935 1943 - 1945


The Stephen & Salomea (Daszynski) Spychalski Family

The Spychalski family has its roots in the village of Miedylisie, near Juncewo, in Powiat Wangrowiec, Posen,  in 1792,  which was a part of Poland claimed by Prussia.  In late May of 1872, Andrzej and Agneska (Cholewinski) Spychalski, with their young family, boarded the Ship Hansa bound for America.  They arrived June 3, 1872 and immediately took the train to Indiana and took up residence on the West Side of South Bend, living at 948 Sample Street.   Stephan Spychalski was the sixth child and the first son of Andrzej and Agneska (Cholewinski) Spychalski to be born in the United States on  Nov. 22, 1876.  Stephen spent his entire life in the South Bend area. He was employed by the Street Department. In his younger years he was active in the politics in the West Side of the City and was a member of the West Side Democratic and Civic Club. He was one of the organizers of St. Adalbert's Catholic Church. 

On Sept. 4, 1900, in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church at Terre Coupee, he married Miss Salomea Daszynski, the daughter of Constantine & Agnes (Loboda) Daszynski  born August 18, 1883 in this city. They began their married life on the farm owned by Salomea's Mother, Agnes Daszynski in Crumstown, Warren Twp.  Farm life wasn't for them so they moved into South Bend, living on Grant Street.  This union will produce eleven children,  Andrew J. (Spencer), Anastasias, Clement, Edwin, Theofil , Irene,  Honoreda, Mary and Frances, all of South Bend; Leocadia who became Sister Mary Firmina and Teckla, who became Sister Mary Hilaria, both Felcian Sisters. Stephen will pass away on May 3 of 1946 and  Salomea will follow October 19, 1957. They rest together at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Salomea was the oldest child of seven born to Constantine and Agnes Loboda Daszynski.  Constantine was born in Prussian Poland where he took his education seriously and went to University, obtaining a law degree.  In 1880 he made the decision to emigrate to America so on June 22, 1880 he took the ship Weser from the Port of Bremen to the Port of New York where he took the train to Indiana.  He found the language barrier too formidable to overcome so he was forced to change careers and went to work at Oliver Plow Works.  On July 18, 1882, he married Agnes Loboda, the widow of Frank Gaebler, who had passed away on March 28, 1882, leaving her with six young children.  Agnes was born in Luzny, Poland, in March of 1850 and married Frank Gaebler in 1869 in Krolikowa, Poland.  Frank, Agnes and their young son John left Poland behind and arrived in America in 1872.  They lived at 794 Laurel Street in South Bend until Frank's death.  When Constantine and Agnes married, they made the decision to leave South Bend and buy a farm in Crums Point, now Crumstown, Warren Township, to raise their growing family.  Because he was an educated man, Constantine tried to supplement his income by doing the books for various Polish Clubs but his pay was in liquor instead of money which was to his detriment, ending with his early death on May 18, 1898.  He was laid to rest in Cedar Grove Cemetery at Notre Dame.   Agnes lived another thirteen years, passing away on November 1, 1911 and was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery.

Added 02/22/2007 Added 02/22/2007 Added 02/22/2007

The Jerry & Julie (Spychalski) Kurdys Family  

Jerry Kurdys was born July 31, 1938 in South Bend and died March 4, 1992 in South Bend.  He was the son of George and Gladys Piotrowski Kurdys.  George Kurdys had a Polka Band for years and when he gave it up Jerry took it over.  Jerry also was the host of the Polka Party Radio Show which was aired on Sunday mornings.  When Jerry passed away his wife, Julie took it over and kept it going until last September, 2006, when she retired.    Jerry married Julie Spychalski April 24, 1968 in South Bend and they have one child.  If I can find a better photo of Jerry I'll send it.  Julie really enjoyed hosting the Polka Party Radio Show.  She had the help of Jerry's sister, Clara Szigeti in keeping the tradition going.    The family and  siblings went to Washington H.S., though, the last class to graduate from the old building on Sample Street.  As an aside, Julie Spychalski  was in the first graduating class from the new building.   

(Added 02/23/2007)

Sister Mary Hillary Leocadia Spychalski 1904 - 1990








           Sister Mary Hillary, the former Leocadia Spychalski, was born to Stephen Spychalski and Salomea Daszynski Spychalski of South Bend, Indiana on November 21, 1904 and was baptized in St. Hedwig Church. As their first daughter, she was the second oldest of 11 children, five boys and six girls. In 1910 when St. Adalbert Parish was formed, the Spychalski Family transferred to that parish, and the following year Leocadia entered the newly opened St. Adalbert School, which was staffed by the Felician Sisters.

            During the years between her graduation from St. Adalbert School and her admission to the postulancy, Kadzia, as she was called, worked at a local bakery and had also entered the Felician Sisters aspirancy in Detroit but returned home after a year and a half because of poor health. After each day’s work at the bakery, Kadzia brought a cookie to Thecla her baby sister, who eagerly awaited this daily treat from her big sister whom she eventually followed to the convent, later becoming Sister Mary Firmine.

            In 1922 on the feast of St. Joseph, Leocadia entered the postulancy. She was the fourth of eighteen young women from St. Adalbert Parish to join the Felician Sisters. Later that year four other young women from the parish also became postulants with three of the five remaining in the religious life. Recommending Leocadia as a candidate to the community, her pastor spoke of her flawless character and of her membership in the Children of Mary Society of which she served as President. Leocadia was invested and received her religious name the following year, made first profession of vows in 1924 and pronounced final vows in 1930. A community member for sixty-eight years, Sister Mary Hillary served God faithfully in the apostolate of Catholic education as an elementary school teacher for fifty-one years. In 1975 she began another phase of ministry, as a part time teacher and aide at St. Anne School, Monroe for one year followed by nine years of conscientious service in the card shop at Madonna College. In 1985 Sister Hillary was admitted to St. Joseph Hall and became involved in the full time ministry of prayer and suffering as a resident patient in the infirmary.

            During the course of her life as a Felician Sister, Sister Hillary prepared for ministry in teaching as a student at Detroit Teachers College, the University of Detroit and other colleges before earning Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in education degrees from Mary Manse College, Toledo. Her teaching assignments took her to the following schools: St. Stanislaus, Ludington; St. Mary’s, Parisville; St. Adalbert, South Bend; St. Marys, Alpena; O. L. of Mt. Carmel, Wyandotte; St. Stanislaus, Jackson; St. Hedwig & St. Stanislaus, Bay City; St. Stanislaus & St. Adalbert, Toledo; Queen of the Apostles & St. Florian. Hamtramck and Detroit’s St. Albertus, St. Stanislaus, St. John Cantius, Corpus Christi, St. Casimir, O. L. Help of Christians and Guardian Angel Home.

            For all her years in religious life Sister Hillary was remembered as a person who enriched community living by her positive outlook and pleasant disposition. She took personal interest in each of the sisters with whom she lived and because of her wide range of interests in people and events, she was a good listener and provided moral support when needed.

            Sister Hillary’s disposition, her reliance on God and her faith filled resignation to his will were evidenced in the last months preceding her death. Having endured the amputation of several toes and the painful sufferings of cancer as well as a fractured shoulder, Sister Hillary demonstrated no anxiety about her medical condition or impending death. “God will take me when I’m ready” she told Sister Firmine. God found Sister Hillary ready for eternity on Tuesday, March 6, 1990 when he called her to himself at 7:30 p.m. in Angela Hall of the Motherhouse Infirmary. Sister Hillary was 85 years old at the time of her death and 68 years in the religious life.         

Return To: Saint Joseph County, Indiana INGenWeb Site


Started: Friday, February 23, 2007

Updated: Friday, February 23, 2007 09:06:33 PM