Friday, July 20, 2018

Piast Institute Founder and PAHA Member Thaddeus Radzilowski Died on July 20, 2018

Thaddeus Radzilowski, photo from Wikipedia

We are sad to report that the founder of the Piast Institute and noted scholar, Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski, died on July 20, 2018.  It is a great loss to the entire Polish American community.

In the words of Prof. Dominic Pacyga, PAHA Board member, "Ted was a fine historian who documented what he called the Detroit School of Polonia Studies which focused on the Polish American working class. He was a friend and colleague who will be greatly missed. A true leader both in the academic and fraternal worlds, Ted encapsulated everything good in Polonia. Będę za tobą tęsknić, mój bracie."

Prof. Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski, President of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences, past President of the Polish American Historical Association, and PAHA Board member, stated: "Ted was a good friend for many years who combined insight and imagination with delightful cleverness. I had dinner with him just a few weeks ago in Miami, and, on the basis of one of his remarks, I re-wrote the last chapter of a book I have just finished. It is a grace that I mentioned him in the text. During the many dear, fun meetings we had after business was done, it was Ted who provided the laughter and the energy. I miss him so much that this is hard to write. Seeing him so recently was a gift from God to me. I ask all of you to believe that Heaven is now a better place because our beloved Ted awaits us."

The Piast Institute posted the following information about Dr. Radzilowski's passing:


Today, Piast Institute, our Polish-American family, and our Hamtramck community lost a great leader in the passing of Dr. Thaddeus C. Radzilowski. Earlier today he passed away surrounded by loved ones.

Dr. Radzilowski was a highly accomplished historian and academic studying Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, producing countless manuscripts on these important topics. Over the course of his rich academic career he has taught at University of Michigan, Madonna University, Heidelberg College, and Southwest Minnesota State University. He also served as the President of St. Mary College. Over the years, he not only educated thousands of American students about Polish and Central European history, he also mentored many of them and fostered countless community leaders.

In 2003, Dr. Radzilowski co-founded the Piast Institute with Virginia Skrzyniarz. It quickly became the largest Polish-American think tank in the United States. As President of Piast, Dr. Radzilowski has focused the organization as a major research center, one of U.S. Census Information Centers, and as a representative of Poland and Polish-Americans in the United States, with worldwide network of accomplished fellows. Under his leadership, the Institute produced position papers, school curricula, research reports, conducted surveys, organized conferences and exhibits, and was very involved in the life of American Polonia. He also cultivated many relationships with Polish universities and institutions.

Over the years, Dr. Radzilowski received many awards for his academic work, community involvement, and leadership. He was a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). He served as an advisor and consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the U.S. Bureau of the Census and was a member of the Ford Foundation Commission on Ethnicity in American Life. In 1999, the President of Poland presented Dr. Radzilowski with the Cavaliers Cross of the Polish Order of Merit for distinguished contributions to the dissemination of Polish culture in the world.

In addition to his contributions to preserving Polish heritage in the U.S., Dr. Radzilowski was an American patriot, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who served his country in Vietnam. Those who knew Dr. Radzilowski well will miss him for his charm, his sense of humor, his countless stories, his sharp mind, and his infectious cheerfulness.

Dr. Radzilowski is survived by his wife, Kathleen, three sons, John, Paul and Stefan, grandchildren Radek and Diana, sisters Fran and Cynthia, and brothers, Norbert and Fred.

Details on a celebration of Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski’s life will be announced shortly. Please direct any questions to the Executive Vice President of the Piast Institute Virginia Skrzyniarz, or (313) 733-4535.

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