John J. Jaruzelski, a 57 year Westfield resident, died March 1, 2017. He was 92.
John was born Janusz Jan Jaruzelski on October 4, 1924, in Siemionki, Poland. In late 1943, John, his parents, and his brother Andrzej were all arrested by the Gestapo and incarcerated in Pawiak Prison, where they spent five months before being released thanks to the intervention of family friends.
John later enrolled as a chemistry student at Warsaw University, and studied at the University of Copenhagen. In recognition of his services to the Polish underground, John received a scholarship from the Polish Government in Exile (as the Soviets imposed Communist rule in Poland) and entered the United States as a political refugee. He attended Alliance College, graduating in 1951 with a B.S. in Chemistry, and went on to earn his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1954 from Penn State University.
John worked in research at the Mellon Institute, at U.S. Steel and finally as a research chemist at Exxon in Linden, NJ. John was awarded 15 patents in plastics and fuel additives.
While in Pittsburgh, he married Katharine Spencer Heywood. In 1960, the family moved to Westfield, NJ, where John was to live for the rest of his life. John is survived by two children, Janina and Barry.
John served as President of the College Men’s Club in the 1970’s where he repaid the generosity of his own Polish scholarship sponsors. The College Men’s Club salutes John Jaruzelski – a friend, former President, and a man who understood the value of education.