Retired Sgt. First Class Jan Koszulinski, 92, formerly of Fayetteville passed away on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
Sgt Koszulinski was born on January 1, 1927 to Roman and Agatha Bojkewicz Koszulinski in Lvov, Poland. The son of a shop keeper he had two siblings, Irene (predeceased) and George.
He was the loving father of Jean (Dottie) Koszulinski, Annette (Larry) Burick and Michael (Cindy) Koszulinski along with his predeceased daughter Maria Shamdasani and predeceased grandson Rakesh Shamdasani. He also leaves behind his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren: Philip (Theresa) Koszulinski with baby on the way; Jenny Koszulinski; Shane (Tabatha) Horton and children Mackenzie, Jaren and Justyn; Jennifer (Johnathan) Cox and son Bennett; Michael Koszulinski II; Ali (Ray Anthony Figueroa) Fisher and children Ryan, Joey, Emily, Anthony & Nicole; Monica Conner and children Harper and Piper; Roshan (Angela) Shamdasani and children Hayden and Landon, and Rakesh Shamdasani (deceased). Also, Chyenne (Nicole King) Brooks and children Samantha and Jackson and his life long friend, Yvette Brooks.
He started going to school at age 7. At the age of 12, as he was walking the 5 miles to school, the Germans started dropping bombs on the oil refinery (this ended his parochial school education). At the age of 15 (1942), during the Nazi occupation of his homeland, he was forcibly taken as a slave laborer to BMW in Munich Germany where he worked 12 hours a day, six days a week in a foundry. He remained as a slave laborer till the end of the war, surviving the allied bombings by the Americans during the day and the British at night. He endured hardship and hunger but always chose to accentuate the positive. He worked there until May 1945 when they were liberated by the US Army. He then stayed in a DP (displaced persons) camp. He was never to see his parents again or his siblings till over 50 years later.
Freed by the American army he briefly served with the Civilian Labor Force as a POW camp guard, guarding some who would eventually be tried at the Nurnberg War Crimes Trials. Eventually went to Belgium to work in the coal mines for several years. Then to Gandrange, Moselle France where he was a guard and dog handler, The Intelligence Unit XVIII Airborne Corp at Ft Bragg, NC.
He eventually re-joined the Civilian Labor Force as a munition’s depot guard, where he was recruited to serve in the US Army as one of the first recipients of the Lodge Act. The Lodge Act was passed in 1950 sponsored by Henry Cabot Lodge to create a force to defend Europe from the evils of Communism. Citizenship was granted to each soldier who completed 5 years of honorable service. He and his family became American Citizens in 1957.
His 23 years of service in the US Army with the 3rd and 10th Special Forces was admirable. He was extremely proud of his Green Beret and loved playing the Ballad of the Green Beret each morning as he meticulously put on his uniform. His career relocations include Bad Tolz (Bavaria) Germany, Ft Jackson South Carolina, Ft Campbell Kentucky, Frankfurt / Hanau / Wiesbaden Germany and Ft Bragg NC. Sgt Koszulinski also served three tours of duty in South Viet Nam including time during the Tet Offensive.
He was able to communicate in writing with his mother prior to her death after a long search with the International Red Cross. In the 1990’s he was able to bring his brother and sister to the United States for a wonderful reunion.
Upon his retirement in 1973 he continued to enjoy the company of family and friends. He loved athletics and could be seen riding his bicycle throughout town into his late 80’s. He was an avid gardener who cultivated up to 4 large gardens each year. Fiercely independent he could also be seen doing roof work at a tender age of 91, cutting his grass weekly and still occasionally riding his bicycle.
A funeral service with full military honors will be held at 12 pm Monday, January 14, 2019 in Rogers and Breece Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Greg Day officiating. Burial will follow in Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home prior to the service from 10 am to 11:45 am at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Liberty Lane Hospice House at W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC or Calypso Baptist Church PO Box 248 Calypso, NC 28325.