Walter Kurtyka

November 11, 1947 ~ January 25, 2018 (age 70)

Turners Falls- Walter S. Kurtyka, 70, of Montague Street died Thursday 1/25/18 at the Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility in Greenfield.  He was born on November 11, 1947 in Montague City, the son of Franciszek and Janina (Duda) Kurtyka.  Walter grew up in Riverside, Gill, attended local schools there and was a graduate of Turners Falls High School Class of 1965.  He continued his education and received his associates degree in science from Greenfield Community College in 1968. 

Walter was a United States Vietnam war veteran serving aboard the U.S.S. Rushmore and the U.S.S. Donner, obtaining the rank of Yeomen 3rd Class.  After his honorable discharge, Walter worked as a rate clerk at the Erving Motors Transport, then worked at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in the accounting and business management field for forty-three years, the last six years being part time. 

Walter was extremely proud of his Polish heritage.  He loved everything Polish and promoted and supported everything Polish.  Besides his family, Walter loved Polka music above and beyond anything else.  Walter travelled near and far to Polka dances frequently and was an excellent Polka dancer.   He won many first place Polka dance competitions in his earlier years.  He was the first-place winner in the 1970-1971 dance contest at the Ludlow Polish American Citizens Club and was awarded a beautiful  trophy to prove it.    His favorite dance partner was his sister, Millie Osciak, who was his partner in that particular dance competition. 

Walter enjoyed walking and working out at the Greenfield YMCA.  He loved all animals, especially cats.  He loved and leaves his wonderful cat, Sven.

Walter was a member of the Polish Center for Discovery and Learning, the Polish Heritage Committee, the Franklin County Boat Club and the Greenfield YMCA since 2003. 

Walter was a communicant of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Turners Falls.

A big highlight in Walter’s life was his trip to Poland with his brother in law, Frank Osciak in August of 1998 with the Jan Lewan Polka Band.  Walter’s motto “Poland 2nd to no one”.   Another one of the greatest highlights of Walter’s life was the election of our beautiful Polish Pope, John Paul II.  To this day, that Pope was Walter’s hero.

Among his survivors, Walter leaves his nephew, Steven Osciak who was his best friend, his travelling companion and the one in life Walter enjoyed being with the most; his sister, Mildred Osciak and her husband Frank, with whom  he lived with and had a wonderful life; his sister, Helen Demko of South Deerfield; his brother Francis of Greenfield; a niece, Regina Osciak of Greenfield; a nephew, John Demko of South Deerfield and his significant other, Julie Wegrzyn of Chicopee and John’s daughter Zoe.  Walter also leaves his great niece Cathy Peace and her husband Roger and their children Nathan, Marcus, Lauren and Addison of Schroon Lake, NY; his great nephew, Michael Osciak of Greenfield and his children, Sabastian and Gabriel; his great nephew, Aaron Osciak of Greenfield and his son, Cody; his fine neighbor, Dale Andrews and his Polka dance partner, Barbara Guenette of Ludlow; his aunt and Godmother, Jenny Duda of Arizona; and many cousins. 

Besides his parents, Walter was predeceased by a baby brother, Frank Joseph, Jr., a nephew, Frank M.  Osciak, Jr., a niece, Deborah Waring; and his cats Tootie, Punkin and Toby.

Per Walter’s request, please do not send flowers.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Polish Center of Discovery and Learning, 33 South Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 or to the Polish Heritage Committee, c/o Robert Gibowicz, 30 South Bend Lane, East Longmeadow, MA 01028.

At Walter’s request, funeral services and burial will be private.  There will be no calling hours.


Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home.  Sympathy message available at



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