Feb 4: Florian Woitowicz, was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed rock collecting.

Florian Woitowicz was born September 25, 1921, in Westford, the son of Florian Peter Woitowicz (also given as Wojtowicz) and Zofia “Sophie” Maselbas. He was the 5th of their six children. Laura (b. c. 1911) and Alexander (1913-2007) were born in Salem, Mass., Gertrude (1914-2004) in Beverly, Mass., and Josephine (1919-2013), Florian (1921-2010) and Sophia (2913-2018) were born in Westford.

On October 6, 1951, Florian married Mary Jeannette Brule (1921-2003) in St. Catherine’s Church, Westford. She was also a native of Westford, the daughter of the French Candians Rosaire and Marie Alice (Lamy) Brule. Rosaire, born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Montérégie, Quebec, came to Westford in 1919 and married Alice Lamy the following year. Jeannette was the oldest of at least ten childen born by 1940. Rosaire’s parents, Adélard & Jeanne (St-Laurent) Brûlé, also moved from Quebec to Westford to work in the worsted mills; they lived at 19 Story Street, Forge Village in 1940.

Florian served in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II. He worked as a self-employed building contractor for Woitowicz Construction, was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed rock collecting. He and Jeannette spent most of their lives in Westford where they raised three children, Anne Marie, Kevin and David.

Florian was the son of Florian Peter Woitowicz (c. 1885-1949) (given as Floryan Peter Wojtowicz in his 1924 Declaration of Intention) and Zofia “Sophie” Maselbas (c. 1887-1978). Florian Peter was born about January 2, 1885, the son of Michal Woitowicz and Annan Kurmiel. He came to America in 1904 at the age of 18, one of the earliest of Westford’s Polish/Russian immigrants. He sailed from Hamburg, Germany, on the S.S. Graf Waldersee of the Hamburg-America Line, departing on February 27, 1904, making stops at Boulgne, France, and Plymouth, England, and arriving in New York March 20, 1904. His German passenger manifest gives his nationality as Russian, although he was Polish as his New York immigration manifst and his Declaration of Intention indicate. The manifest gives his last residence as Galinki, which is located in northern Poland about 170 miles northwest of Grodno, Belarus. However, he gave his birth place in the federal census records and in his Declaration of Intention as Grodno-Poland, so perhaps he was working in the north of Poland at the time of his emigration.

Sophia (Maselbas) Woitowicz was born in Bialystok, Poland, about 1887, the daughter of Tomasz & Juzfa (Goarmianka) Maselbas. Bialystok is located about 50 miles southwest of Grodno, Belarus. Her brother, Peter Maselbas, immigrated to Lowell; he died October 23, 1962. Florian Peter died at his home on Story Street, Forge Village, on December 30, 1949; he would have been 65 years old on January 2, 1950. Sophie died August 26, 1978, aged 91, at Nashoba Hospital, Ayer. Both are buried in St. Catherine’s Cemetery.