- Respect & RIP to Danuta Kawalec, best wishes & condolences to her family & friends and all the Polish community. Regards, Steve ... Respect & RIP to DanutaMessage 1 of 3 , Jul 3, 2013View SourceRespect & RIP to Danuta Kawalec, best wishes & condolences to her family & friends and all the Polish community.
On 3-7-2013 11:02, Lenarda Szymczak wrote:
May she rest in peace and we are grateful for the wonderful legacy she has left in her memory of life and all she touched.
706490 Kawalec Witold Gracjan 17.11.1922 + 24.12.2003 81 plut. / Sgt Pilot
Zmarł w Devoni tam został pochowany UK
2793101 Kawalec Danuta Bronisława (Banszel) 25.06.1925 och. / LACW Kancelistka Dunholme Lodge
TRIBUTES have been paid to a well known Crediton woman who brought much art and culture to the town.
Danuta Kawalec passed away on June 13, aged 86. But her memory has lived on with friends sharing stories about her since her death
She was deported from Poland with the rest of her family by the Russians to a forced labour camp in Kazakhstan when she was just 11. Her father was executed at the camp leaving her alone with her mother and two sisters. They were able to flee in 1943 when guards abandoned the camp.
The family made their way to Palestine where Danuta trained as a mechanic and a driver and also as a nurse. She came over to England in 1944 where she met her future husband, famous sculptor Witold Kawalec, whose work has been exhibited across the country.
Danuta was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, based at the Metrological Office in Nottingham, while her husband was in the RAF training as a fighter pilot.
After the war she completed her training as a nurse and then went onto become the city midwife in Nottingham. She had four children – two were born in the late 1940s and two more in the 1960s.
The couple moved to Dewsmoor, Crediton, in 1976, where her husband Witold ran his workshop and exhibition centre at Dewsmoor Art, off the Exeter to Barnstaple Road, near Crediton.
Her patch as a midwife at first was based to the east of Tiverton and then onto Crediton in the 1980s.
Her son Dominic Kawalec said: "I couldn't walk down Crediton high street with her without getting stopped by someone that knew her. They would say 'hello Sister K', which is what she was more affectionately known as."
She was also active in the local music scene and was an avid musician, playing the piano and clarinet. Her other great passionate was literature and she was very well read.
"When she was in hospital in Exeter, I would tell the doctors she's the scrabble champion of Crediton – she reads Shakespeare. Literature and music were her two great loves," he added.
Laura Conyngham, who had known Danuta for several years, said: "We had a One World event in Crediton in October 2003. It was when Crediton was just starting to become mixed with more cultures. Danuta gave a talk where she told her stories and it was much more welcoming.
"She was telling stories of when she was about 12 – she was in a forced labour camp and it was so cold. She spoke about how she'd been dared to steal a plank of wood and put it on the fire to keep them warm. It was very hard to be growing up to be a young teenager in a forced labour camp."
She also ran a local art group from her home, which Laura says she managed to keep up for a very long time.
"She was a nurse so she was well known and loved in the town," she said.
At the funeral, held at Exeter Crematorium last month, people were asked to donate to Friends of Chiddenbrook Surgery.
Read more: http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Sculptor-s-wife-fascinating-life-story/story-19453268-detail/story.html#ixzz2XxzON2Le
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