Richard was born on 9 Dec 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joseph & Emily (TROKA) ZALEWSKI. He was the 2nd child of three after his older sister Irene and before his younger brother Robert. The family was living at 826 Bremen St in Milwaukee at the time. His middle name was actually Melvin at birth, but it was changed to Joseph a bit later on.
Aviation Machinist’s Mate, 3rd Class Richard Zalewski served in the United States Navy in World War II Service started: Oct 1940 Unit(s): Service ended:
In October 1940, Richard joined the US Navy. He was stationed in Pensacola, Florida in Spring 1941 as an Aviation Support Equipment Technician when his mother suddenly passed away on 1 May 1941 of a stroke. The story goes that he could not afford the trip home for her funeral and just happened to find a $20 bill on the ground that he was able to use for his ride home. There are letters in the family collection that his mother wrote to him in April 1941, so these would be the last words he had from her, which is probably why he kept them.
During most of World War II, Richard was stationed with the US Navy in Hilo, Hawaii where he was a Aviation Machinist’s Mate, 3rd Class. They were responsible for “maintaining aircraft engines and their related systems, including the induction, cooling, fuel, oil, compression, combustion, turbine, gas turbine compressor, exhaust and propeller systems” and many other things.
When Richard returned from the war, a young woman named Mary Jane CORRIGAN was living with her aunt and uncle, Edy & Ethel (CORRIGAN) STRELKA in Milwaukee. Edy Strelka was Richard’s first cousin, so Richard and Mary Jane met and after some time were married on 11 October 1947 at St. Gall’s Church in Milwaukee.
The family lived in Milwaukee where their first two children were born. In about 1955, the family moved north to the “suburbs” in Cedarburg, Ozaukee, Wisconsin where they lived for the rest of their lives and had one more child.
Richard worked with the US Postal Service in Milwaukee for many years, retiring in 1978. On 18 April 1999, Richard passed away from a quick bout with Pancreatic Cancer. He is buried at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg.
↑ 1.01.1 The Milwaukee Journal, "Birth Record," birth annoucements, The Milwaukee Journal, 12 December 1921, Son to Joseph F. Zalewski - 826 Bremen St; online images, GenealogyBank (accessed 19 March 2011).
↑ Richard Zalewski, Death Certificate, Ozaukee County, Vol 65, Page 56.
↑ Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 24 March 2021), memorial page for Richard Joseph Zalewski (9 Dec 1921–18 Apr 1999), Find A Grave: Memorial #5182185, citing Saint Francis Borgia Catholic Cemetery, Cedarburg, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Brian Zalewski (contributor 37741715) .
1930 US Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) 40-158, Sheet 18A, h.24 f.33, Richard Zalewski; digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1810731 : accessed 11 June 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002).
1940 U.S. Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) 72-294, Sheet 8B, Household 179, Richard Zalewski; digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2000219 : accessed 2 April 2012); citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.
1950 U.S. Census, federal, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) 73-472, Sheet 2, h.26, Richard J Zalewski entry in Richard J Zalewski Household; digital images, NARA (https://1950census.archives.gov/ : accessed 1 April 2022).
Wright's Directory of Milwaukee (N.p.: Wright, 1938), p.1299, 1940 - Richd J USN r2553 N Richards; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 17 March 2011.
Maternal relationship is confirmed with a 23andMe test match between John Zalewski and GK, 3rd cousin. Predicted relationship from 23andMe: "2nd to 3rd Cousin based on 1.76% DNA shared across 6 segments."
Paternal relationship is confirmed with a MYHeritage test match between John Zalewski and P.K., first cousins once removed. Predicted relationship from MyHeritage: "1st cousin once removed - 2nd cousin based on 5.5% DNA shared across 16 segments."
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Richard by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: