Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I call him Pops. Joseph Paul is on his birth certificate.  That certificate bears only statistical fact. Date and place that he was born, and to whom he belonged at that moment of birth. Were it simply that people came into this world - and then leave after a number of years - then I suppose I could bear the thought of the purely-factual-no-embellishment-style of obituary. But, this man was not ordinary - not in our eyes! I believe no human to be "plain ordinary"... we're much more than dates and places. Each of us has a story to tell. So Pops needed a written send-off filled with emotion and love, neigh - not grandeur - yet heartfelt and substantial - full of substance, just like he. An honor was bestowed me and I was asked to pen Joseph Paul's departing facts.

My Father-in-law passed away this week. It came as no surprise. Unfortunately we've had years of fear that time was not on his side. Hubby would say that Pops was living on borrowed time. My Joey definitely used that time wisely! He was going to get full use of that which he "borrowed". We can say with clear absoluteness that our days were often guided by our hearts.. did Pops want a game of dominoes; was he energized for a card game more than Solitaire?  Hey Pops? - wouldn't you say that your son made those quiet, puzzle-filled days a bit more sunny? I know the response would be YES! if you were able to speak with us again..

Pops? thinking of some of those last moments with you...  maybe you can enlighten us. You sure knew how then (and all of your years) to make people laugh... What the world did you want me to know about kapusta??  :-)  We've thought about you saying "kapusta, Shari.... it's not just pusta ...
it's kapusta"  Alrighty!!  somehow your mind was thinking back to Polish cabbage, and now? NOW that silly thing you said makes me cry, and at the same time starts me to smiling!

In the end kapusta, pickles and your request for water will remain with me all my days.
Your dry humor, devilish smirk, complete generosity, kindness and gentle ways are how your family will describe you and keep you ever alive in our hearts!

                     Nigdy będziemy zapominać was
                                    (in Polish - we will never forget you)


How I described this dear man, that I have been lucky enough to call my Father-in-law for 24 years ~

Joseph Paul Niczewicz

A giving and gentle soul, Joe passed away

on December 1, 2012 at the age of 79. Born

and raised in Troy, NY where much of his

family still resides.

Joe enlisted in the US Navy, and served on

the USS Midway 1951-1955. Stationed at

Moffett Field. This is how he came to the

west coast, and but for a brief return to NY,

made his home here in Santa Clara.

Joe raised his two sons in this home filled

with laughter, card games, sports activities

and endless devotion and love.

Retired from City of Santa Clara after 31 years.

Meeting his much adored wife, Frances at the

City of SC. Married for 44 years.

Joe joins many loved ones in heaven - including

his parents, and some of his 10 siblings. He will

be reunited with his beloved son, Chuck. Joe is

survived by his wife Frances, son Joey , Daughters-

in-law Shari Nicsevic & Germaine Houston,

Grandchildren George (Juliet), Janelle Ginestra, and

Great Grandson Charlie. He will be grieved by his

large family from coast to coast. His warm lap will be

missed by his dog companion, Kala.

Joe was a giving man; his fulfillment to dote

on his family. In knowing the spirit of this kind man’s

world, we are left with a fine example of how a life

should be led.

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