Stephen Sadowy

Obituary of Stephen Sadowy

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Stephen Bartholomew Sadowy, Jr. passed away on November 16, just short of his 97th birthday. Born in Troy, NY on November 30,1916 to Julia Dobrianska Sadowy and Stephen Bartholomew Sadowy, Steve came of age in Troy during the Great Depression. After graduating from high school he spent the next several years, along with many of his generation, looking for employment. He took small jobs where he could find them, including helping his father with a small window washing business, and also running errands for the owner of the corner grocery store. On occasion these errands took him down to the nearby docks, where eventually he was offered a spot on the oil shipping boats, maintaining the engine room and doing paint jobs. They traveled up and down the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers and the Erie Canal, from New York to Lake Michigan. He sent his wages back home to his mother, who later gifted him the money to be used towards his schooling. Steve studied at business school during the deepest winter months when the river was frozen; there he became skilled in shorthand and typing. After graduating and passing the civil service exam, Steve was offered a job in Washington, D.C. When he received a call from of the first staff at the Pentagon, where he worked in the basement home that he had been sent an offer letter, he travelled straight from Lake Michigan to start his job; it would be two years before he could save enough money to visit home again. His job made him a member managing WWI archives: "four levels down, where it was pleasantly cool in the summer." This earned him "the princely sum" of $1,440 a year. On April Fool's Day in 1943, Steve was drafted into the US Army, having been rejected twice previously because of his eyesight ("finally they scraped the bottom of the barrel," he joked). Steve shipped out of San Francisco to Australia and later spent much of the war in the Philippines. According to Steve he never had a chance to see the Golden Gate Bridge despite having sailed right under it, because he was below deck peeling potatoes. During the war Steve served as administrative and clerical support to senior ranking officers, often working with them through the nights. After the war he re-enlisted in the civil service in Washington D.C., taking a series of jobs in the Veterans Administration: first in New York State to be near and care for his ailing parents; then, after both parents passed away, in Fargo, North Dakota-a job and place he greatly enjoyed, where he drove a white Mustang, his favorite car; and later in Newark, NJ, for five years. This last job, in which he managed the veteran's claims and benefits department, was offered to him just after the race riots in Newark, along with the promise of early retirement at age 55. It was there that he met Julienne Winarsky, and became her loving companion for the next 38 years. He was deeply devoted to Julienne and became an enormous part of the lives of all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Upon his retirement, Steve moved to the Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey, into an apartment overlooking the sea. While there he earned an Associate Degree at Brookdale Community College. Steve and Julienne moved to Princeton, NJ permanently in 1990. Steve was known for his gentle selflessness, his easygoing wit, his keen intellect and incredible memory, and his great love of children and young people. He was predeceased by his parents and five brothers and sisters, Thomas, Phillip, Phillip, Theodore, and Rose. Steve is survived by his sister, Marion Bylo, her children and their families: Barbara & Kenneth Collum, Benjamin Bylo, Bruce Bylo, Kristy Bylo, Lisa & Gary VanAlphen, and Benjamin Bylo. Steve is also survived by the family of his beloved longtime partner Julienne Winarsky, including Julienne's children and their spouses and families, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren: Ira Winarsky, Babette Coffey-Fisch, Norman & Lisbeth Winarsky; Mishy & Gary Coffey; Hanne, David & Peter Winarsky; Ben Lefkowitz & Sophie Whalen; Mira Dov & Jacob Coffey; Lila Tidnam & Anders Winarsky; and two more great grandchildren on the way. Steve lived for 97 years with astounding mental acuity and curiosity, making friends wherever he went. His stories and conversation were cherished and always interesting, encompassing the entire span of the last century of American history. He will be greatly missed. Per his request, Steve Sadowy was cremated. Arrangements were private and at the convenience of his family.
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