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John F. Bednarski
April 10, 1927 ~ January 22, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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John F. Bednarski, 96, of Newell Pond Place passed away Monday January 22, 2024 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center surrounded by his daughters. He was born in Greenfield on April 10,1927, the son of John Bednarski and Mary (Wojtkielewicz)Bednarski Schwartz.
John attended school in Springfield and Greenfield, graduating from Greenfield High School in 1945. He entered the Navy in June, 1945 and was honorably discharged from the US Navy in August, 1946. After his military service, John attended The School of Architecture, Syracuse University, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1951. While attending Syracuse, John was elected to the Art Honor Societies of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Tau Sigma Delta.
John worked in architectural firms in Montreal, Canada and Burlington, Vermont and became a fully licensed architect in 1956. He worked for Greenfield Architect James Britton and in 1958, John opened his own architectural studio in his home, on Newell Pond. In 1960, John joined with architects Rudd Falconer and Arthur Stein to open the Partnership of Bednarski, Falconer and Stein Architects in Greenfield. In the mid 1960’s, the Partnership changed its name to become Bednarski-Stein Architects, when Falconer left the firm to teach. Bednarski-Stein designed many buildings in New England and throughout the Commonwealth, including their office and studio, located on Adams Road, Greenfield. Other notable projects include the classroom building for The Bement School, the Summit House for Mount Sugarloaf, dormitories for North Adams State College, Foster’s Market and Atkins Country Market, in addition to many private residences. In 1969, John designed Holy Trinity Church in Hatfield, MA. for which he won the 1972 Architectural Design Award from the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The firm of Bednarski-Stein Architects officially closed in August 1992, however John continued to work on many projects, from his Newell Pond Studio, well into his 80’s.
John was an active member of the Greenfield community. In 1961 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Junior Chamber of Commerce as “Outstanding Young Man of the Year”. He was involved in town government, participating in Greenfield Town Meetings and became a Town Counselor in 1984. John was an avid musician. He sang in several choruses, including The Mohawk Men’s Chorus and The Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus. In 1960 he became the president of the Pioneer Valley Symphony.
John met the love of his life, Betts, in Greenfield, after being introduced formally at a Pioneer Valley Symphony choral rehearsal. Shortly before that, Johns saw Betts dancing at a YMCA dance where he said to himself, “I need to meet that cheerful ponytailed girl!”. John and Betts were married on August 25, 1956 in Montreal, Canada.
John always wanted to see the world and he did so with Betts. They visited many countries, including Japan, Italy, Russia, Egypt and The Caribbean. On these adventures, John loved to sit and sketch buildings and local scenes. His extensive collection of drawings are well loved by his family and several appear on the walls of the classroom area at St. James and Andrew in Greenfield.
John was a very kind man who loved his family deeply. He was very politically engaged with concern for social justice and the future of our planet. John’s favorite pastime was spending hours outside in his yard, landscaping every corner. He enjoyed reading, listening to music, attending concerts and local theater and tinkering on the piano. He was an active member of The Sts.James and Andrew church.
John was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, H. Elizabeth (Betts) Bednarski. John leaves his daughters; Elizabeth A. Bednarski-Mahon and her husband Douglas, of Greenfield and Sarah A. Bonetti and her husband Thomas of Belchertown. He also leaves his grandchildren; Blair E. Kaplan and her husband Jonathan, Alexander J.D. Mahon and his wife Jessica, Jamie E. Mahon and her partner Warren D. Kauffman, Joshua T. Bonetti and Zachary J. Bonetti. He also leaves his very special great granddaughter, Amelia E. Kaplan.
A Memorial Service to celebrate both John and Betts will be held at Sts. James and Andrew Episcopal Church 8 Church St. Greenfield, MA on March 23, 2024 at 10 A.M. In keeping with their wish for simplicity, there will be no visiting hours.
Burial in Federal St. Cemetery will be private and at the convenience of his family.
Expressions of affection and care may be made in John’s memory to Sts. James and Andrew Episcopal Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home.
For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com