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A Mass of Christian Burial for Wallace M. Szczeklik, 73, a former Erie County Health Department supervisor and a survivor of a Russian prisoner-of-war camp in the Arctic Circle, will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.

The Mass will follow prayers at 8:45 in the Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca. Burial will be in St. Matthew's Cemetery, West Seneca.

Szczeklik died Tuesday (June 19, 1990) in Sisters Hospital of complications from pneumonia.

A Health Department employee for more than 26 years, Szczeklik worked as a radiological health safety officer and later as the supervisor of the Southtowns District Environmental Health Office. He retired from the department in 1983.

Born in Poland, Szczeklik was commissioned at a military academy in Mielec, Poland, in 1939. He fought with the Polish army until Poland fell in World War II.

Held by the Russians as a prisoner of war for about three years, he escaped to the Middle East and later joined the Polish detachment of the British Royal Air Force. Szczeklik also survived the sinking of the Empress of Canada.

He moved to the United States in 1948.

Szczeklik was a member of Adam Plewacki Post 799, American Legion; the Civil Service Employees Association Retirees, and the St. Gabriel's Senior Citizens.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy Kozlowski Szczeklik; a daughter, Janet Safee of Largo, Fla., and a brother, Lester, and a sister, Janina , both of Debica, Poland.

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