Honouring the memory of a distinguished veteran and centenarian

Written by Toni Lavigne-Conway | Special to the Valley Gazette

A man of many talents, devoted husband, beloved father, grandfather, and decorated veteran, Zygmunt (Zen) Fedorowicz of Barry’s Bay died at the monumental age of 100. This vibrant man was able to stay in his home on Bleskie Road until three days before being admitted to St. Francis Memorial Hospital where he spent his final days.
He is described by his grandson Peter Wozniak as, “a man with a large presence, in every sense of the word. I remember when I was young, I thought of him as a giant, but a gentle one who told my sister Jolanta and I many incredible stories. I’m pretty sure he made them up just for us. It’s a memory that will always be with me.”

As a young boy growing up in Zaleszczyki Poland (now part of Ukraine) Zen was a typical active boy. He loved music and learned to play the accordion early on, something he would do for the rest of
his life. 

Like so many other families living in that era, his too would endure the harsh realities of war. They experienced hardship, separation, and horrific injustices during the throes of war and Hitler’s reign. 
Zen faced this head on, anxious to join the army. He was so eager, that he lied about his age on the application, saying he was the required 17 years old when in fact he had only just turned 15. His family notes that this would later lead to confusion about his real age for many years.

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