The world lost a lot of smiles, winks, warmth and generosity when Henry ‘Hank’ Krawiec died Tuesday night, February 6, 2018 after an unprecedented and heroic 10 month battle to overcome a massive stroke he experienced in April, 2017. Although it initially appeared Henry would not survive the stroke, against all odds he not only survived, he worked hard to improve. He was known for his good humor and mild flirtations. He liked everybody and they liked him as well.
Born on a farm in Somers, CT, on November 1, 1924, the third son of Jacob Krawiec and Stephanie Gavalek Krawiec, Henry was a gentle child who even as an adult referred to his mother as “my best girl”. When the family lost the farm during the Depression, and moved to the city, Henry was tasked with taking his wagon to the railroad tracks to gather spilled coal with which the family might heat their home. He worked as a teenager as a janitor at an East Hartford music hall where he met many famous musicians, including the Dorsey Brothers and Helen O’Connell.
During WWII, Henry served in the Navy on the Destroyer Escort the USS Barr, which was torpedoed off the coast of Africa. While undergoing repairs in drydock in Boston, he met and fell in love with Lorraine Smith, a feisty Irish woman from Brockton, MA. He saw action in the Pacific Theater, including Okinawa, and even went ashore in Japan a month after the Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was part of a mission to free prisoners and assess the damage. In 1946, he and Lorraine married. Initially, they lived with her parents, which created challenges for the two lovebirds.
After the war he worked in a gas station, attended night school to learn accounting, and set his sights on raising a family, and making sure “We always had a roof over our heads.” He lived most of his adult life in Brockton, MA, first on Battle Street then Pearl Street. He moved to Wareham, MA to enjoy his retirement years and lived in the Little Harbor area. His beloved wife of 60 years, Lorraine ‘Smitty’ Krawiec’s, own journey ended on this planet in 2006.
Henry is survived by his four children, Stephen Krawiec and his wife Georgiann of Rehoboth, Richard Krawiec and Sylvia Freeman of Durham, NC, Robert Krawiec and his wife Gwenn of Sandwich, and Janice Madden and her husband Steve of Carver. Henry was proud of his 6 Grandchildren Jesse, Alyssa, Daniel, David, Nicole and Jake; and thrilled to have 2 Great Grandchildren, Alexander and Jackson. He also leaves behind his beloved dog Wally.
A lover of all animals, but especially dogs, in lieu of flowers people are encouraged to make a donation to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. https://www.mspca.org/donate-now/
His funeral will be on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Chapman, Cole and Gleason, 2599 Cranberry Highway, Wareham, MA. Interment will follow at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Visiting hours will be Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 5-8 PM.