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John H. Szlyk Jr.

John H. Szlyk Jr.

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John H. Szlyk Jr.

Retired Army Reserve Col. John H. Szlyk Jr., 94, died Nov. 19, 2011, in Fredericksburg.

Born and raised in Worcester County, Mass., the third of five children, he worked in his family's businesses, Forest Market and Szlyk Milk Transportation.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 45 years, Marion Kislak Szlyk.

During World War II, he served as a tank commander in the 3rd Army, 6th Armored Division, participating in the campaigns of Normandy (D-Day plus 4), Northern France, the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), the Rhineland and Central Europe. Near the war's end, he was a liberator of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the French Liberator Medal and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters.

After the war, he remained in the United States Army Reserve, rising to the rank of colonel. Having served as the commandant of the 1049th U.S.A.R. School and director of the Command and General Staff Department, he received the Meritorious Service Medal for his highly respected teaching and administrative skills.

Col. Szlyk was active in the Polish-American business community, and a founder of the Quo Vadis Club of Worcester. He was devoted to his family, and proud of his service to our nation.

Col. Szlyk leaves his two sons, Richard J. Szlyk, M.B.A., of Fredericksburg and John J. Szlyk, M.D., and his wife, Betsy Busch, M.D., of Chestnut Hill, Mass.; he also leaves his sister Eugenie M. White and her husband, David, of Eastham, Mass.; his brother Zenon P. Szlyk, M.D., and his wife, Florence P., of Dudley, Mass.; three grandchildren, Gregory R. Szlyk, M.D., and his wife, Carrie I. Szlyk, M.P.H., of Fredericksburg; Sonia Szlyk, M.D., and her husband, Ivan Petrovitch, M.D., of Bethesda, Md.; Benjamin Szlyk, B.A. (arts and technology), of Chestnut Hill; and three great-grandchildren, Clara Szlyk, Luke Szlyk and Zander Petrovitch. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Antoinette Nosel Szlyk; two brothers, Edward and Stanley Szlyk; his sister Stella Breault; and his daughter-in-law Veronica Salvadore Szlyk.

The funeral will be held on Saturday, Nov. 26, from Callahan & Fay Brothers Funeral Home, 61 Myrtle St., Worcester, with a Mass at 10:30 at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, 34 Ward St., Worcester. Burial with military honors will follow in Notre Dame Cemetery. A visiting hour will also be held on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 9 to 10 a.m. in the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Col. Szlyk's memory may be made to the Massachusetts Veterans Shelter, 69 Grove St., Worcester, Mass. 01605; or to the Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass. 01609.

For directions and online condolence book, please visit

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