Michael (1920 - 2009)
Surnames: Ranczynski, Stalin, Panchenko, Makaruk, Merz
----Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood County, Wis.) Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Rancynski, Michael (15 Aug. 1920 - 30 Apr. 2009)
NEILLSVILLE -- Michael Ranczynski, 88, of Neillsville died Thursday, April 30, 2009, at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield from pneumonia and complications.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 7 at Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. The family will greet friends and family from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Gesche Funeral Home.
Michael was born Aug. 15, 1920, in what is now Belarus (between Poland and Russia), and was the fifth of six children. He went to college to get his teaching degree in mathematics, but was cut short by the (Communist) Stalin purges in the late 1930s and then the invading German army. He was a "Partisan" fighter, fighting against both Communists and Nazis. He spent the last two years of the war as a German prisoner.
As the war ended, he stayed with the occupying Allied forces in Western Germany, where he met his wife, Tatjana Panchenko. They immigrated to Chicago in 1951, where Michael became a union carpenter.
Michael moved to rural Neillsville in 1960 with his sons. He retired from Nelson Filter Company in 1982. He lived at Memorial Medical Nursing home since being injured in an auto accident in 2006.
Michael Ranczynski loved the outdoors. He was a hunter and a fisherman -- looking forward every year to fishing the trout streams around Alma Center. He knew the various trees and plants, and was a skilled mushroom picker. His home on Two Mile Road southeast of Neillsville had a large garden and a bounty of trees and bushes: apple, pear, hazelnut, blueberries, raspberries, currants, cherries, strawberries, etc. Too many to count, but he canned juices and jellies from them all.
Michael is survived by his sons, Alex of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Victor of Pell Lake; his sister, Karolina Makaruk of Chicago; and his ex-wife, Tatjana Merz of Pell Lake.
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