OBITUARY

Jadwiga Janina Ratajczyk

December 27, 1933June 5, 2021

Jadwiga Ratajczyk, age 87 of Holland, passed away Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Jadwiga was born on December 27, 1933 in Warsaw, Poland, the first daughter of Stefan and Helena Hejno, and granddaughter to Konstanty Hejno, who fought for the independence of Poland in 1918. As a little child, Jadwiga experienced German Nazi occupation of Poland while living in Warsaw. She would forever remember the days of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and the terrible effects of war on her country. During the war she lost her beloved uncle Stefan who fought in the Warsaw underground resistance movement, and watched another uncle, Kazimierz, leave his family and country to fight in the Royal Air Force of England against the Nazis. She saw her city of Warsaw destroyed by bombs and witnessed the horrific deaths of her fellow citizens at the hands of the Nazi occupants. Despite these traumatic events she always remained an optimist and believed in a better future.

After World War II she married Leonard Ratajczyk, and they celebrated 50 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2002. In the 1980s their sons left Poland and found a new home for themselves and their families in the USA. To be closer to them, Jadwiga and Leonard followed them to America.

Jadwiga worked hard and earned her retirement in her new home country. She had a wonderful life with her family and friends. She was optimistic, strong, classy, and admired by everyone who came to know her. Everyone who listened to her tell stories about her life was captivated by the way she spoke and by the incredible life she had led. They admired her strength of character in the face of obstacles, and her sense of humor and ability to laugh even in the face of tragedy.

Surviving are her two sons Miroslaw (Ewa) Ratajczyk and Walter (Anna) Ratajczyk; granddaughters Agnieszka Landman and Agata Ratajczyk; great-grandson Benjamin Landman and great-granddaughter Ashley Landman; sister Halina Springer; as well as many extended family and friends in Poland, the UK, and around the world.

A private graveside service will take place at Pilgrim Home Cemetery.

Please visit www.lakeshorememorial.com to leave a message or memory for the Ratajczyk family.

Services

  • A Private Graveside Service will be held.

Memories

Jadwiga Janina Ratajczyk

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Norine Pothoff

June 13, 2021

I first met Iga walking her dog around the pond at Crystal Waters. We visited every time we met on our walks. I will miss Iga’s beauty, stories and elegant demeanor. I loved her and will not forget her. May Iga’s family and friends be comforted.

Carla Ryan

June 13, 2021

Iga was my first and best friend at Crystal Waters. We spent many hours together sometimes just riding to the lake and walking the breakwater. We also had lunch together once a month whenever possible. I was fortunate to have known somebody like Iga. U shall miss her very, very much. All my sympathy goes out to her family.
Carla Ryan

Trudy Pannapacker

June 9, 2021

Family of Jadwiga J Ratajczyk
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So very sorry this brave, strong, lovely lady has left us.
She profoundly loved her family and friends.
Jadwiga's absence is a bleak day.
Prayers are said for her and her family.
God bless all of you .
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Trudy Pannapacker

Karol Krogulski

June 7, 2021

Auntie will always be in our memory.
Hania i Karol Krogulski.