Janina Maliszewski

Funeral services and a Mass of Christian burial for Janina Maliszewski, nee Tatur, were Aug. 5, 2009 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1923 Fillmore Street, Davenport. Burial was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Mrs. Maliszewski passed away July 28, 2009 in Towson, Maryland at 90 years old. Her family was at her bedside. She was a resident of Davenport for 58 years. At the time of her death she lived with her son in the beautiful Maryland Hunt Country on a farm named after her family’s place where she grew up in Poland. In 1938 Janina Tatur married Wladyslaw Maliszewski. They had three sons, Leonard, Stanislaw, and Kazimierz. She was predeceased by her husband of 50 years in 1988, and her son Kazimierz in 2006. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Holy Family Catholic Church or Davenport Friendly House.

Mrs. Maliszewski was born on April 8, 1919 into two old Polish szlachta families in the home of her grandparents in Tarkanowka, Poland (in what is now Belarus). Her parents were Wladyslaw Tatur and Stefania Tatur, nee Kisielewska. She was born in the midst of the Russian Civil War which engulfed that region. She grew up on the land holdings called Zastaria which had been in her father’s family for generations. The family lands were turned into collective farms by the communists. In the terror which resulted from the communist takeover in the Soviet Union, her father, five uncles, and her brother Roman perished in the Gulags, were executed or died resisting the communists. She herself was shot through the leg while pregnant with her second son.

During World War II Zastaria was occupied by the Germans. When the Germans retreated toward the end of the war, Mrs. Maliszewski, her husband and her then two sons escaped the onslaught of the communists by walking west across Poland carrying her infant son. The journey was extremely dangerous with frequent aerial bombings and strafing. They spent the remaining months of the war working as forced laborers in Germany. When the war ended, the family was assigned to various Displaced Person (DP) Camps until 1950. The camps were in the British Occupied Zone, and the British authorities had them scheduled to leave for Venezuela. However, through great fortune and return of a good deed, the family unexpectedly received papers that they were sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, Iowa to come to America.

They sailed to the United States on the troop carrier General Sturgis and arrived at Ellis Island November 24, 1950, with five dollars, friendless and extremely seasick. They boarded the train west and arrived in Davenport in the midst of a late November blizzard. Through the generosity of the people of the First Presbyterian Church, the family was provided clothing, housing and jobs for both parents. Shortly afterwards, through the help of a young Fr. Maynard Brothersen, Mrs. Maliszewski found St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.

One of the things that Mrs. Maliszewski took considerable pride in was being a "good saver". She worked cleaning houses and for many years her sewing skills created beautiful church vestments for dioceses all over the country. She followed stocks, regularly watched Wall Street Week and invested keenly with the funds she earned. Never willing to indulge herself, she parlayed her earnings into more, and continually added to her savings for her family whose interests were so close to her heart. Her efforts enabled her to put her three sons through the University of Illinois, Princeton University and St. Ambrose University.

Mrs. Maliszewski was a loyal parishioner of Holy Family Church, Davenport, and was active in church life. She also volunteered at the Friendly House. She enjoyed the two years she spent at the Heritage Court at Schuetzen Park prior to moving to Maryland. Though she spent her last months away from Davenport, her heart never left the city on the Mississippi. She and her family are extremely grateful for being sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church. The people of Davenport gave the Maliszewski family a second chance for happiness in pursuit of the American Dream in the heartland of America.

Janina Maliszewski is survived by her sister Marysia Tatur Pronin of Nihzny Novgorod, Russia, her sons and daughters-in-laws Leonard (Kathy) Maliszewski and Stanislaw (Julia Jitkoff) Maliszewski, her grandchildren Paul Maliszewski, Steve Maliszewski, Aleksandra Tatur Maliszewski, Stanislawa Maliszewski, Roman Maliszewski, and Rictavia Maliszewski and her great grandchildren Janina Tatur Anderson and Elliot Ross Maliszewski. And her son Kazi’s long time companion Phyllis Jayne Viner. She was extremely grateful for the loving care she received from Marisa Garcia.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Janina’a obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.

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