Lucjan Jan Rusiecki, formerly of Olney, MD died on Friday, February 11, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland, aged 96, following a short illness.
Lucjan was born June 19th, 1925 in Hancewice, Poland (now in Belarus), the son of Jozef and Maria (Tatarynowicz) Rusiecki. A World War II veteran of General Anders’ Polish Army, his early life was a story of survival. As a young boy in what was then Eastern Poland, Lucjan lived through the very turbulent times of WWII, watching as Soviet tanks invaded his hometown. Forcefully deported in February of 1940 to a forestry labor camp in Arctic Russia (a settlement called Tushilovo in the Archangelsk Onezski region), he and his family survived an epic journey via cattle train and on foot and nearly two years in that extremely harsh environment. Released in 1942, the family traveled south by freight train, through Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, at which point Lucjan, along with his
older brother Franciszek and their father, joined the Polish Army under General Anders. Younger brothers, Leon and Jerzy, along with their mother were moved to a refugee camp in Kolhapur, India. In the Spring of 1943 Lucjan joined the 316th squadron of the Polish Air Force in Great Britain, serving in radio communications.
After the war, in 1947, unable to return to their homeland, the family was reunited in Great Britain. Lucjan married Etta MacKay (Tobermory, Scotland) in 1957, and they settled in Berne, Switzerland for several years. Lucjan studied electrical engineering and had a long career as a telecommunications and satellite engineer. He traveled widely, throughout Europe and the Middle East, working for companies like RCA (CENTO project), overseeing television and microwave tower installations in mountainous regions. He was one of the pioneers who laid the foundation for much of the communications technology we enjoy today. An avid sailor, he translated the seminal textbook, “Sailing Theory and Practice” by his friend, Czeslaw Marchaj, from Polish into English, while at the University of Southampton. In 1966 Lucjan and Etta immigrated to the USA, where their children, Jennifer and David Rusiecki were born and grew up. He worked for the defense industry as a satellite engineer in the Washington, D.C. area (Page Communications, Fairchild,Mitre). The family settled in Olney, Maryland in 1973. Following his retirement in the 1990s, Lucjan returned on his own to his beloved Poland and settled in Warsaw where he married Natalia Goncharova.
Lucjan was a great adventurer, enjoying travel and experiencing many cultures. He loved downhill and cross-country skiing, sailing, soccer, and bridge. He adored his grandchildren in the USA and Belarus, loved to watch them play sports and music, and was always up for a game of chess with them. He is survived by his wife Natalia, his daughter Jennifer Rusiecki, his son David Rusiecki, his step-
daughter, Anastasia Malinovskaya, his former wife Etta, son-in-law Raj Jagannathan, daughter-in-law Jenny Rusiecki, his grandchildren Calum and Iona Jagannathan, and Miroslav and Radoslav Malinovski, sisters-in-law Becky and Julie Rusiecki and many nieces and nephews around the globe.
A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, MD. Lucjan’s children, Jennifer and David, would like to honor their father by sharing the little-known history that he and his family lived through during WWII – the deportation of Polish citizens into Siberia. The documentary, “Forgotten Odyssey” chronicles this history and can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=blXwcwjcAjA&t=122s
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