Alfred J. Simmons, 89
Shrewsbury – Alfred J. (Szczurko) Simmons, of Shrewsbury, formerly of Worcester, passed on to his heavenly rest Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 in Ichabod Washburn Hospice Residence, with his family gathered by his side. He was 89.
Born on April 20, 1923, in Worcester, he was the son of polish immigrants Jacob and Cecelia (Maziopa) Szczurko. Raised in a Polish neighborhood within Worcester, he attended Our Lady of Czestochowa and simple values were instilled in him at a young age: work hard, remain faith-filled and take care of your family.
He honorably served his country in the United States Army during World War II proudly serving in the Yankee Division L Company 328 Regiment. Fred received the Bronze Star, three Battle Stars, and the Combat Infantry Badge while serving his country.
While in Austria, he was photographed aside an American bomber named “Peggy” and little did he appreciate its significance. Upon returning to the United States, he met a woman named Margaret “Peggy” Brosnihan who lived in the Cambridge Street neighborhood of Worcester. On February 8, 1947, they married in Sacred Heart Church and moved to Shrewsbury in 1956 to raise their family. Upon retirement they spent many winters enjoying their Bradenton, Florida home.
An electrician by trade, he worked in the electrical department at the Wyman-Gordon Company in Worcester and finished his 47 year career as a foreman of his department.
He was a founding and charter member of the Knights of Columbus Adelphi Council No. 4181; life member of the Worcester Chapter Yankee Division Veterans Association; life member of the Central Massachusetts Chapter 22 Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.
While on hospice he was asked by a member of his care team if he would be willing to be interviewed about his life and share his story. He initially agreed, but changed his mind because, as he told the care team member with such profound and sincere conviction that his life was very easy to summarize and reflect upon. He pointed to a picture on the wall of his bedroom and with tears of happiness in his eyes, he said very simply, “that expresses my before and after.” On the wall hangs a picture of God and his family. The discussion was completed. We trust and pray Fred has now met the God he worshipped and is in the company of his daughter, Diane (Simmons) Pagano who died December 9, 2011.
In addition to his wife of 65 years, Peggy, he leaves his children, Carol A. Forchielli and her husband, Kenneth, of Shrewsbury and Brian F. Simmons and his wife, Rosemary, of Colleyville, Texas; his son-in-law, Michael Pagano of Shrewsbury; his grandchildren: Kelley Pagano; Melissa Forchielli and her fiancé, Ed DeMars; Jennifer (Pagano) Albrecht and her husband, Brian; and Marc Forchielli and his wife, Jill; Stacey Anderson and her partner, Kellie; and Richard Anderson and his wife, Erica; his great-grandchildren: Marin and Ian Albrecht, Mia Forchielli, Richard and Olivia Anderson, and Virginia and James Hutton; his siblings, Daniel Szczurko and his wife, Peg, of Worcester and Melbourne, FL, and Frank Szczurko and his wife, Euna, of Bowling Green, KY; Dorothy (Szczurko) Tufano of Port Richey, FL, Mary (Szczurko) Muir of Dunedin, FL, and Teresa (Szczurko) Scarrci of Clearwater, FL; many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor and remember Fred's life by gathering for calling hours at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center on Monday, Oct. 22, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and again at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury, where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Adelphi Council #4181 members will meet at 6 p.m. for their ritual. Burial with military honors will follow in Saint John's Cemetery, Worcester.
Honor Fred's memory with a contribution to St. Mary's Parish, 18 Summer St., Shrewsbury, 01545 or JHC Hospice, 629 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609.
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