Father Paul Breza

Legal Name: Paul Joseph Peter Breza
Date of Birth: June 23, 1937
Address: P.O. Box 355, Hokah, MN 55941
Children: About 4 or 5 Thousand

Family Information:
Parents are Joe and Alice Breza. Teresa and Marianne are my sisters. My father's mother was Frances who had a sister Mary who died young. Mary had a daughter named Ella Elizabeth who was raised by Frances. So Dianne Morley's Grandmother's Grandfather and my Great Grandfather are one and the same person.

Winona Grade School (9) St Stan's
Winona High School (4) Cotter
Winona College (4) S.M.U.
St. Paul Graduate (4) St. Paul Seminary

Places Lived and Careers:
Winona, MN birth (1937) to end of undergrad education (1959)
St Paul, MN 1959 - 1963
Winona, MN again 1963 - 1965
Blooming Prairie 1965 - 1967
Rochester 1967 -1969
Mankato 1969 - 1975
College Chaplain - Winona 1975 - 1981
Elba Altura 1981 - 1987
Hokah and Brownsville, MN 1987 - present

Interests, Social, & Civic Positions, Hobbies, Sports, etc.:
Played at football and handball through grad school. Like fishing fruit growing, history, and teaching. Have an orchard and museum, three parishes, and K - 9 school.

Travel and Vacations:
Hauled kids in pick-up trucks to 37 states, Mexico City, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Quebec, and the Bahamas for $3.00 a day from 1969 to 1983.
Bytow, Poland 1998 and 2000 alone

Family Memories:
   Once upon a time...about 1953, a funny looking little guy  came to my home pretending to sell the Watchtower magazine til my mother came to the door and laughed at him and called him Joe. He said he was a relative and lived in North Dakota - none of which registered much to me - and that I should come and visit someday and I told him I would.
   My brother died in 1957 at age 17 (Tom, of cancer) and most of my uncles and aunts in the 5 years after that. I only got 9 phone calls in my 4 years of grad school and 8 of those were for funerals.
   In 1961 I had a job putting in gas line in Fargo, ND and made a few friends. Took Joe and Alice along with a promise of a visit to that Watchtower guy as our last stop. Teamed ND facts as: Antelope won't run away if you have good clothes on; and how to drive: "Turn." " There's no road." "Turn anyway." "Where?" "Just turn. Now aim for that hill." Also learned how to ride a horse. "Get on." "Put your foot in the stirrup and get on." "What nexxxxxt?" "Bye."
   Stayed in Stan and Marlene's new home cuz they wouldn't be home for two days (ie until they changed plans and came that night at 2:00 AM and found me in their house). After not being arrested like expected (ND hospitality) we began a long friendship as relatives.

Fathers Share Special Times Fishing

   This isn't your typical father-son fishing story. This is one about a father who took his father fishing. In this case, Father Paul Breza pushed his wheel-chair bound 92-year-old father, Joe, to a secluded riverbank north of Dakota, MN. Joe caught the strangest largemouth bass he ever saw, one with a piece of wire and some line sticking out of it. Little did he or his son know that it was a radio-tagged fish.
   It was Memorial Day. "We went to the cemetery first and put some wildflowers on Mom's grave. She died a year 87," said Father Paul, who then drove his father to the Catholic priest's private land located on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi across from Hammond Chute. With only five worms, Father Paul didn't expect much, admitting he merely wanted to let his elderly father enjoy another precious day on the water. "I wheeled Dad down to the river, baited up his pole and made sure he was OK," said Father Paul, who serves parishes in Hokah, Brownsville, and Freeburg, MN. Joe gave his 56-year -old son strict orders to leave him alone and go mow the grass.
   About 45 minutes later, Father Paul checked on his father, then set the bobber another foot or so deeper on Joe's fishing pole. Father Paul then went about his business mowing grass. "Dad was fishing with a couple of worms, a bobber, and his 16-foot fiberglass rod," Father Paul said. "And he says you always have to spit on the worms. He says it's even better if you eat Hershey candy bars and drink beer."
   Whatever the case, a few minutes later Father Paul heard his father call for him. He rushed to the riverbank to find his father battling a nice sized fish. "I thought it was a sucker at first but then I could see it was a black bass, the biggest bass that I'd ever seen." said Father Paul of the largemouth bass. After netting the fish for his Dad, Father Paul noticed the wire and line protruding fro the fish, but thought it probably had become entangled in another fisherman's net earlier.
   "I didn't know if the fish  was good or not. I was going to release it but all Dad cared about was eating it," said Father Paul, who took his father - and the fish - to Valley View Nursing Home in Houston, where Joe resides. Todd Wilson, nursing home administrator and also an avid angler, identified the fish as one which had been radio-tagged by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Wilson filleted the fish, then called the LaCrosse DNR office.
(Reprinted from a newspaper article by Bob Lamb, June, 9, 1994)

Joe Breza and Ella Elizabeth (Weska) Palczewski were first cousins.  I'm a first cousin, once removed to Ella and Joe, second cousin to your Mom and Uncles, and second cousin once removed to you. (1997 letter from Father Paul Breza to Dianne Morley)

Joe Breza, age 21

Joe Jr. & Alice Breza

Joe and Frances Breza 50th Wedding Anniversary

The Story of Joe and Alice Breza

As told in 3 generations of oral history (Polish folklore)

 We all know it began with Adam and eve, and according to the bible we were begat by them…..but did you know that when they left Paradise they went to Poland?

 At least a hundred years ago, some of our ancestors were living in Minnesota, because they figured the land with its hills and valleys, lakes and rivers looked just like their regions in Poland.

 So Joseph Breza, Sr. married Frances Hering and they begat 7 children, 4 sons…Vince, John, Stance, and Joseph…and 3 daughters…Gusty, Stella, and Mayme. Meanwhile in another part of the city John Pehler married Veronica Cecilia Bojan and they begat 8 children…4 sons and 4 daughters, the sons were…Marion, Bill, Ben, and Glen and the daughters were…Lillian, Selma, Alice, and Mary.

 So when Joseph Breza married Alice Pehler they begat 4 children, 2 sons Paul and Tom and 2 daughters…Teresa and Marianne. Now Teresa married Bob Mrozek and they begat 6 children, 4 sons and 2 daughters: David, Gary, Joseph, and Tom and Paula and Maureen…Paula Mrozek then married Roger Sansness and they begat Michael. Marianne Breza married Donald Rice and they begat 2 sons, Russell and Ted. All of these ancestors and their issue lived in Winona for the greatest years of their lives, only now are some of them thinking of moving to greener pastures.

It All Happened on 2nd Street

 Frances Hering was the daughter of Wilhelm and Elizabeth Hering. Wilhelm was the son who was hidden (as were his other brothers) in an outdoor oven until the Lutheran father allowed them to attend Catholic Church, and from that time on all the Breza relatives have been Catholic.

 Wilhelm owned a store and tavern on the Northeast corner of Second and Hamilton Streets. In the hayloft of the barn many Indians found lodging during the winter months. The Indian Reservation was in the Marshland area.

 Frances worked in her father’s store. After her marriage she took baby Joseph fishing, he was placed in the front of the boat…she and a lady friend would fish at the edge of the Indian reservation (this accounts for the many years of interest that Joe has had in fishing) as the drum beat all day long. While Frances was working in the store she was once accused of watering the whiskey, to which she replied…”I always do that…What’s wrong with that?”

 Meanwhile Alice was living in the first (or last) house on 2nd Street. Her mother was a nurse and midwife, who helped in the delivery of the children born to her daughters. Alice’s dad was a printer, and his shop was located on the northwest corner of 2nd and Lafayette Streets. His father before him was also a printer and had started John in the printing business. Anthony Pehler lived for a time in Fountain City and Dodge, Wisconsin. He almost homesteaded us in North Dakota…making three trips. Each failed…drought, hail, and grasshoppers.

 When Anthony Pehler started to make Winona his permanent home, he turned down a job offer because it was too risky, and J.R. Watkins had regrets that Anthony declined. John developed an interest in politics when he printed campaign handbills for local politicians. This interest carried him to the House of Represevtatives for the State of Minnesota.

 The family home on 2nd Street was a popular stopping off place for the “wheels “ who came to Winona on business. Little Alice and Mary had to pick eggs with their Grandmother Mary Jazdziewska, daily. They also picked sacks of kindling for the stove before going to play. They also had a favorite job: polishing the stoves on Saturdays. (Just ask them.)

 Little Joe spent much of his youth on the Arcadia farm of John Glowczewski. According to stories, that’s where he learned to whistle, with the not-so-kind help of a neighbor. It was easy getting to the farm…He still talks about the walk…one box of clothes…one box of fish. That’s where he got hooked on whipped cream frosting on fresh cake.

Helen C. (Sanders) Kachurak

Date of Birth: April 5, 1931 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Address: 6117 Meiggs Court, Citrus Heights, CA 95621
Spouse: Edward Kachurak - Married July 23, 1952

Andrew - age 44, born in Arizona
Michael - age 43, born in Arizona
Kim - age 40, born in Japan
Rosanne - age 37, bron in England
Paul - age 34, born in England
Mark - age 33, born in England
Tom - age 30, born in Sacramento, CA

Grandchildren: 13

Family Information:
My mother is Rosalia Palczewski (Sanders). She is Joe Palczewski's sister. She lived in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and married William E. Sanders in 1926. William and Rosalia had four children: Bill, John (deceased), Helen, and Mary. Bill lives in Oshkosh, WI. Mary lives in Milwaukee, WI. I live in California. Citrus Heights is a suburb of Sacramento.

Places Lived and Careers:
Lived four years in Japan, and four years in England. My husband was a career military men, retired from the Air Force after 22 years and then worked for the Federal Govt. for another 20 years. I have always worked in the health care field.

Interests, Social & Civic Positions, Hobbies, Sports, etc.:
Avid reader, belong to AAUW book groups. Do volunteer work for Friends of the Library and Mercy Guild. Play golf (very bad).

Major Vacations:
We have been very fortunate to have done extensive traveling while in the Military and since retirement. Last year spent 9 weeks touring Europe, then in October spent 12 days in Moscow. Have been on several cruises, the highlight being the Panama Canel. Also Hong Kong and pretty much seen most of the US.

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