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April 17, 1933 - January 19, 2023

Burial Date January 24, 2023

Funeral Home Miles Funeral Home

Place of Service St. Columba's Church

Section Garden of Remembrance Lot Number: 419Grave Number: B#1

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Subscription Update Obituary

Joseph W. Zawalich, age 89, passed away after a short illness on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at the Jewish Healthcare Center in Worcester. Born and raised in Worcester, he was the son of the late Joseph S. and Mary (Stomski) Zawalich. Growing up, he was lovingly cared for by his two older brothers, Francis and Walter, and his four older sisters, Stella, Mary, Irene, and Wanda, all who predeceased him. Joe then met the love of his life, Rita C. Wiwatowski and was happily married to her for 63 years. Joe and Rita were inseparable and shared many happy memories, especially escaping to their condo in Hallendale, FL.

Joe was a graduate from St. Mary’s High School in Worcester. He was a machinist, who worked at Reed Rolled Thread and Die Company in Holden for over 40 years. Joe was a proud Veteran of the United States Army and served his country honorably.

The times he was the happiest was when he was with his family celebrating life’s special moments. He also enjoyed driving his cars. He was his family’s unofficial driver, transporting them to and from events. Joe and Rita were also known to hop in the car and head out wherever it took them. It was common to receive a call from Joe and Rita with the question, “guess where we are?”

Joe was a great card player, maintaining his ability to win pitch and cribbage games well into his 80s. He had a love of fresh-water fishing, which was instilled in him when his older brothers included him on fishing trips as a kid. He loved listening to music, where his toes were always tapping to its beat. He also loved dancing and was noted as the Best Dancer in his Senior Class yearbook superlatives. He brought great joy to all who had the pleasure to know him. Joe was a kind and sweet man that will always remain in our hearts.

He is survived by his son, Joseph P. Zawalich and his wife, Barbara of Paxton; a daughter, Diane M. Talancy and her husband, Randall of Grafton; 4 grandchildren, Matthew R. Talancy of Grafton, Elizabeth M. Talancy of Worcester, Daniel J. Zawalich and his wife, Laura of Andover, Timothy J. Zawalich and his wife, Valerie of Paxton; a great-grandson, Charles J. Zawalich of Andover, his nieces Mindy McGovern of Worcester and Ellie Peloquin of Millbury, whom he maintained a close relationship with, and his sister-in-law Jo Ann Wiwatowski of Worcester. We would be remiss to not mention Joe’s best friend Zeke – his family’s Boston Terrier, who comforted him these past four and a half years.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Joseph’s family from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, January 23, at the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 24, at St. Columba Parish, 10 Richards Ave, Paxton, followed by burial at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Columba Parish in Paxton, MA

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