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Obituary - Leo J. Cieslak

Leo J. Cieslak

Date of Passing: June 18th, 2010

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Memorial contributions may be made to Oriskany Falls Fire Department, PO Box 582, Oriskany Falls, NY 13425.

Leo J. Cieslak, 84, of Knoxboro Road, Oriskany Falls, died unexpectedly on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare Center. He was born in Utica on September 16, 1925, the son of Walter and Agatha Banach Cieslak and attended Utica schools. Proudly serving our country, he was a World War II veteran of the US Navy. On July 26, 1947, Leo began his loving marriage to Stella Wolanski at Holy Trinity Church in Utica. He was a 50 year member of the Local 112 United Association of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry from which he retired in 1986. He was also a life member of the Kelley-Phillips American Legion Post #569 of which he was a Past Commander and served various offices for over 40 years. Leo enjoyed retirement, where he spent much of his time volunteering in the Village of Oriskany Falls. He was a charter and life member of the Limestone Ridge Historical Society where he shared his love of local history. Leo helped with many projects at the Kelley-Phillips Post, the Historical Society, the Clark Memorial Library, and St Joseph's Church, of which he was a member. Leo was a lighthearted man with a infinite collection of jokes and stories to tell to whoever was around to listen. He made every outing an adventure, whether driving across the country with Stella and his sons, fishing trips to Canada, or a few laps around the yard with his grandchildren in the tractor cart. He also took great pride in his woodworking projects and gardening. Surviving are his adored wife of sixty-three years, Stella; one sister, Helen Lebiednik of NY Mills; one brother, Stanley Cieslak of Utica; three sons, Joseph Cieslak of Oriskany Falls, James and his wife, Donna Cieslak of Waterville, and John and his wife Jan Cieslak of Lowville; four grandchildren, Heather, Kevin, Alicia and Monica; one great-grandson, Brycen; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers and five sisters. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial for Leo on Tuesday at 10 am at St. Joseph's Church, 229 Main Street, Oriskany Falls. Calling hours will be held on Monday, from 4 until 7 pm at the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home, 210 E. Main Street, Waterville. Interment with military honors will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Members of the Kelley-Phillips Post will meet Monday at 6:30 pm at the funeral home. The family extends special thanks to the Volunteer Ambulance members.


Dear Aunt Stella and family, I will always remember Uncle Leo as a warm and funny guy. I adored our visits and wish we had more of them! Love and blessings to you. Louise
Louise Cefaratti

Stella and Sons, I have great memories of Leo with the Amos Patriots and for getting my Leo interested in history. I am sure your Leo and mine had great stories. I am sure on their many rides to work they tried to out do each other with their corny jokes and stories. I hope the many memories your family have will keep Leo alive forever. I am sure the grandchildren have some of their very own favorites that they will always tell about Grampa. How wonderful that you got to have him for so many years. You both will always have a place in my heart.
Judy Schrader

Leo was, simply, a wonderful guy whom we got to know quite well during our nation's Bicentennial era. His obvious knowledge of history and sense of patriotism were most evident. Nobody will EVER make a better "Gen. Herkimer" at the Battle of Oriskany, as documented in Paul Keesler's 1978 book "One Quarter Mile To Go". He is missed, and will always be remembered fondly.
Bill & Rene Lloyd