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Joseph T. Kozicki, Jr.

August 19, 1944 January 29, 2017
Joseph T. Kozicki, Jr.
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Obituary for Joseph T. Kozicki, Jr.

Joseph T. Kozicki, Jr., of Ludlow, affectionately known as “Sam” and “The Polish Plumber”, passed away peacefully at home on January 29, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was 72. Born in Ludlow to the late Joseph and Mary (Lak) Kozicki, he was raised in a four-family house in Indian Orchard. His father was always fixing things, and Joe tagged along with him. He began soldering pipes and other things at a young age. He attended Immaculate Conception School. He joined Troop 180 at St. John the Baptist Church with the late Jim Lavoie as scoutmaster. At one time, Joe had 104 homing pigeons. He said when he released them, they always came back home. He was a 1962 graduate of Cathedral High School.

Joe proudly served in the U.S. Navy for six years. After boot camp, he attended pipefitting school in San Diego, CA. He always remembered what they taught him: when you put a joint together, make sure you do it right as somebody’s life depends on it. While in the Navy, his home port was Newport, R.I., he served as a pipefitter aboard the USS Cascade, a destroyer tender. As the smallest man in the detachment, he was delegated to crawl inside on his belly to make periodic inspections of the boilers. He would then back out, turn over, and go back in face up to inspect the tops.

He was sent a second time to San Diego, CA for school in non-destructive testing. He said the most interesting assignment he had in the Navy was when the USS Cascade was deployed to search for an H-Bomb 5,000 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. He tested the hook they made in the welding shop to make sure there were no imperfections in the metal. That hook eventually recovered the bomb, which they found after 77 days in 1966. Joe was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. After six years of active Navy duty, he served in the SeaBees Reserves for several years.

Joe became a self-employed plumber in 1977, a job he worked at for the rest of his life. If Joe worked for you, he may have left one of his blue “Another job I am proud to put my name on” stickers or his signature on a joist. Most recently he was Ludlow’s part-time plumbing and gas fitting inspector, where he was always affectionately known for wearing his signature hat, which his daughter Nancy upgraded for him on his 70th birthday. He said as an inspector it was a difficult job, something he never wanted to do, but those 300-pound bathtubs were getting heavier and heavier. Upon his retirement as inspector in 2015, Joe received a plaque thanking him for his 17 years of dedicated service to the Town of Ludlow and for always making sure that “stuff” flowed down hill.

In 2000, he started another business, Worm Thoughts by Sam’s Natural Farm. He shared his love of earthworms with children and adults making presentations several times at the Ludlow Library and in nearby towns as Sam the Worm Man. He was delighted to share the important role of earthworms, composts with worms, and other fun facts. He was awarded a certificate by the National Wildlife Federation through its Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program. His backyard was certified a mini-refuge where, because of the owner’s conscientious planning, wildlife could find a quality habitat to raise their young.

In his spare time, Joe enjoyed woodworking, reading library books, telling stories about his time in the Navy, and being outdoors and talking to his trees and earthworms.

Joe was the beloved husband of 46 years to Anna (Szczygiel) Kozicki; a loving and devoted father to Michael Kozicki, of Westfield, and Nancy Kozicki, of Sacramento, CA; a cherished brother to Helen O’Connell and husband James, Alice Teixeira and husband Manny, Marlene Trahan and husband Sam; and the late Gertrude Chmura and surviving husband Teddy; and also leaves many loving nephews, nieces, extended family members, and dear friends.

At Joe’s request, all services are private and the Ludlow Funeral Home is in charge. Joe’s family will hold a private memorial service at their convenience in Massachusetts Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Agawam.

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Events

Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details

Location

Massachusetts Veteran's Memorial Cemetery Final Resting Place

1390 Main Street
Agawam, Ma 01001

1390 Main Street Agawam 01001 Ma
United States
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