WW2 Veteran, Canadian Citizen, Friend
Born: April 17, 1919
Died: December 25, 2012 in Brantford, Ontario
Interred: St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Brantford
In 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland from the west and the Russians invaded from the east. Boleslaw Wilbik, along with tens of thousands of other Poles, was sent to Siberia, where he endured extreme cold, starvation, and overall spiritual and physical deprivation.
The Russians and Nazis eventually turned against one another, and the Russians allowed many Poles to flee south to Palestine and join the Allied Army. The Polish Army, 3rd division, Carpathian Lancers, under General Anders, fought in Italy at Monte Cassino and Bologna. Mr. Wilbik was a platoon leader; at Cassino and sustained wounds. After three weeks in the hospital he was determined to return and join his fellow soldiers.
In 1946 he came to Canada, got married and started a Brantford business called Wilbik’s. He was an active member of the Polish Hall, the Polish Vets and St. Joseph’s Church. He lived to see the Polish Veterans monument unveiled in 2011 and had his last two outings with me, one at the Polish Villages and the other at the Veterans’ luncheon in November, 2012.
He was a kind, gentle man with a great sense of humour. He loved to laugh and loved hamburgers and fries. Slawomir Dobrowolski and family had Mr. Wilbik at their house often. Mr. Wilbik was loved by my four children and was certainly a man that will be missed.
He died with dignity and enriched our lives and all those that knew him, be it for a long time or just in a first meeting. Mr. Wilbik’s wife, Kazimiera Starchurski, died December 28, 2008. It was four years to the day that Mr. Wilbik was laid to rest beside her.
Mr. Wilbik, we salute you and smile, knowing you are without pain and with your wife, God and all your friends and comrades.