|Kokocinskis Built a Marriage on Service|
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Irene T. and Edward J. Kokocinski were engaged in the middle of a political campaign, married in its successful aftermath, and have served in appointive and / or elective offices ever since.
The couple, both Webster natives, helped elect the late William A. Starzec a state representative in the 1970s. Ed was a chairman of the Starzec appeal, and Irene served with the committee.
Just back from Korean-era Army service, Ed Kokocinski was only 23 when he was elected a Webster water commissioner. Irene worked as a high school business education teacher and subsequently served on the Webster School Committee.
Both participated in Webster Democratic Town Committee politics, and Irene became the Democratic State Committeewoman for the state Senate seat still held by Richard T. Moore.
For another glance at their continuous commitment, Mr. Starzec was one of the last state representatives from the old Webster-Dudley district, and Ed and Irene Kokocinski have generally contributed to public life ever since. Ed, longtime owner of a plumbing business, still serves as a Webster Housing Authority member, and Irene has been an appointed Registrar of Voters, resigning prior to the May 2 town election. Her service stint with the Democratic State Committee continues, however.
“It’s time for her to slow down a bit,” husband Ed said on a recent evening. In a way, though, the Ed and Irene skein, built over probably 40 years, and technically still alive, is possibly a husband-wife public help record for Webster politics. This is why we offer congratulations.
A new baseball volume, “Bottom of the 33rd” by Don Barry, a national columnist for The New York Times, hit the nation’s bookstore shelves last month.
It’s about the 33 innings International League baseball game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, called on Easter Sunday morning April 18, 1981, after 32 innings. Play resumed a couple of months later, and the game was settled in eight minutes and one inning, won by Pawtucket.
The Webster connection is umpire Dennis P. Cregg, who worked behind home plate for the whole game. Our interview with Mr. Cregg, who was a national supervisor of minor league umpires when he retired at the end of 2009, was at the 25-year mark. He’s still a Webster resident.
His conclusion at the time: “That game made Pawtucket a baseball town.”
Theresa Frias, owner of the Honey Dew franchise on Webster’s East Main Street, installed a high-definition TV in a corner to her store last week, and it was my first glance at the ceiling-high set.
A fashion-plate dressed in something black and somewhat brief was the interview. I couldn’t identity the guest, but a young woman standing behind me laughed: “That’s Lady GaGa,” said Danielle, a staff member.
My defense was simple: “The television set wasn’t there yesterday.”
The Marcustry Park story, and whether Joe Marcustry had any interest in the off Lake Street ball yard, continues without resolution. It’s a matter of comments within reports.
Marcustry was one of Webster’s all-time best second basemen, says Richard (Dixie) Tourangeau of Boston, a well-known baseball historian. His connection with the same-named park may be family or coincidence.
The lead now is with family, thanks to Leanne Rossi of Oxford, a professional genealogist and family researcher. Ms. Rossi says her interest developed by the bits of information credited to this corner.
She has some of the same names, including Makowski and Makowsky, starting with Franz Makowsky, 34, who left from Brenner, Germany, aboard the S.S. Donau, arriving in New York City on April 7, 1873. His wife reached the United States from LaHavre, France, some four months later, accompanied by Peter, 3 years old, and Marie, just 6 months of age.
Ms. Rossi has a trace to Joe Marcustry, including baseball box scores for some games he played in, mostly batting third for the “Webster’s.” He also played with a Southbridge team, and managed different bowling alleys in the two towns. He apparently lived at home many years. Working with the limited data gathered here, Ms. Rossi has come up with a pretty good profile of the Makowski or Marcustry family. Pertinent information, such as place of death, seems the missing piece.
Incidentally, Walter Biadasz, now of Vero Beach Fla., says he remembers the St. Joseph’s Boys Club inter-squad game that Frank Markiewicz mentioned a few weeks ago.
Mr. Markiewicz, a pitcher, was a classmate, says Walter, the retired Ethan Allen Co. executive. Frank recalled the long home run that the Rev. Charles J. Chwalek, a World War II assistant at St. Joseph’s Church, hit during the practice gathering. Rev. Chwalek, affectionately called “Father Charlie,” was an excellent athlete, says Mr. Biadasz. “We later became good friends.”
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