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Eugene Dziedzic, author, educator, civic leader, passes away

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

A prominent educator, author and civic leader from the Mohawk Valley passed away on Tuesday at the age of 67.

Eugene E. Dziedzic was born in Utica on February 4, 1946, the son of Michael and Helen (Synkowska) Dziedzic. He was educated by the Felician Sisters at St. Stanislaus elementary school in Utica before graduating from New York Mills High School in 1963. After obtaining a baccalaureate degree from the State University of New York in 1967, he earned a Master's degree from Syracuse University in 1972 and pursued post graduate work at Colgate University.

He married Nancy Cox on August 10, 1968, at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Onondaga Hill, NY and the two resided in Deerfield, NY for many years.

Mr. Dziedzic taught social studies at Whitesboro High School for thirty four years, teaching American History and Economics, before retiring in 2001. He taught Polish American studies at Utica College for several years. He has also produced and presented radio vignettes and television programs on the Polish American experience and its history. He was the author of several articles on both ethnic and education themes.

In 1990, Mr. Dziedzic co-authored United We Stand: The Role of Polish Workers in the New York Mills Textile Strikes, 1912 and 1916. In 1991 he and his colleague were honored by the Polish American Historical Society and were awarded the Oskar Halecki Prize for the best book published on the Polish experience in America. In 2002, he also authored "Utica's Polonia," a chapter in the book Ethnic Utica. In 2004 he co-authored New York Mills: The Evolution of a Village. Most recently, he co-authored his third book, a photographic local history entitled New York Mills, Images of America.

Mr. Dziedzic was active in many civic organizations. He was a member of the General Casimir Pulaski Memorial Association, and served as corresponding secretary of the Kopernik Memorial Association of Central New York. He was a member of the Polish American Historical Association, a member of Lodge #2066 of the Polish National Alliance, a member of the Oneida County Historical Association and the New York Mills Historical Association. He was also a member of the Yorkville Seniors.

He was a member of Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Mary's Our Lady of Czestochowa in New York Mills and served as an usher.

Besides his wife, he leaves a son, Christopher Dziedzic and girlfriend, Rosalie Catalano of Binghamton, NY, and son Matthew and Daughter-in-law Nicole Dziedzic of Whitesboro, NY along with two granddaughters, Sophia Dziedzic and Maria Dziedzic. He also leaves a mother-in-law, Verna Cox, of Onondaga Hill, NY, a brother, Raymond Dziedzic of Hamburg, NY, a sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and John Kelly II of Cheektowaga, NY, brother-in-law James and wife Nancy Cox of Clay, NY along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, friends may consider contributions to St. Mary's Our Lady of Czestochowa in New York Mills.

The funeral will be held on Friday morning, May 17, at 9:00 AM from the Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home, 40 Main St., Whitesboro, and at 10:00 AM at Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Mary's Our Lady of Czestochowa where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in Sts. Stanislaus & Casimir Cemetery, Whitesboro. Calling hours will be Thursday, 3:00-7:00 PM.

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