Henry “Hank “ Unczur


Henry “Hank” Unczur of Vineyard Haven, a native of Poland who escaped from the grips of the Nazi war machine and fought on the front lines with his countrymen as a member of a Polish tank unit, and later found pleasure in retirement on Martha’s Vineyard where he was an avid fisherman, died at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. He was 88.

Hank was born in Wilno, Poland, on March 28, 1926, to Anthony (Antonio) Unczur and Stephanie (Stafanji) Witkowski Unczur. He was raised in Olany, Poland. At the age of 16, Hank was conscripted into a German youth labor camp, from which he escaped. He was able to make his way to the American lines in Italy. Hank was sent to England, where he enlisted as a mechanic in the Tech Platoon of the Polish 2nd Corps 2nd Warsaw Armored Division of the British 8th Army. He went on to serve with British Army in Italy, which was under the 5th American Army during WW II. Hank was involved in the battle of Monte Cassino, and served through the end of the war.

At the end of WW II, Hank spent time working in England. He came to the United States in 1949, settling in Amsterdam, N.Y. He married Sally Zugzda in 1953, and they started a family. After Sally died, he met and married Linda Jane Dickson.

Hank was a lifelong painter and a proud member of the painter’s union in Albany, N.Y. He owned his own contracting business as well. In 1988 Hank and Linda retired to Martha’s Vineyard.

During his retirement Hank enjoyed fishing, scalloping, crabbing, spending time on Chappy, and filleting for the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. He was also a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association.

Hank is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years Linda Jane (Dickson) Unczur; his daughter Susan Weyl and her husband Mark Baline; three sons, Paul H. and his wife Nancy, Gregory and his wife Debbie, and Christopher and his wife Joanne; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Besides his first wife Sally, he was predeceased by his siblings, Peter, Leon, Vera, and Jenny.

A graveside service will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11 am in the Oak Grove Cemetery, State Road, Vineyard Haven, with the Rev. Dr. Roger Spinney officiating. Donations in Hank’s memory may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby Scholarship Fund, PO Box 2101, Edgartown, MA 02539. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.