Ron's aunt and uncle
Northern California  (1942)
Left:  Joseph Felix Kaczmarek  (1914-1995)
Right:  Devina (Taggart) Kaczmarek  (1915-2000)
Born in Bay City, Michigan, Joe spent his formative years in Chicago, Illinois, and always called the Windy City home.
As a precocious ten-year-old, he and a friend rode a cattle train from the freight yards of Chicago to Mexico and back.
During World War II, he served as a foot soldier with the famed 7th U.S. Infantry Division, first on the coast of northern
California, where he met and married his wife, Devina, and later in the Pacific Theater where his unit participated in the
Allied "island-hopping" campaign toward Japan.  Hitting the beach on every island from Attu to Okinawa, Joe was one
of a fortunate few to survive physically unscathed.  After the war, Joe and Devina, with their young daughter Marie Ann
(1942), settled in the city of Lynwood, in southern California.  In rapid succession thereafter, three more Kaczmarek
daughters arrived: Helen Joyce (1946); Joan Frances (1947); and Janis Mae (1949).  By the mid-1950's, the family had
relocated to Eureka, California, Devina's home town, nestled on the rough coastline about a hundred miles south of the
Oregon state line.  There, Devina taught elementary school while Joe worked in a lumber mill.  Some years later, Joe
landed a position with the California State Department of Highways from which he eventually retired.  At the onset of
their golden years, Joe and Devina moved again, this time farther north to Gig Harbor, Washington, in closer proximity
to their daughters, grandchildren, . . . and a growing multitude of great-grandchildren.

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