Freedom, NH — Walter J. Godek of Freedom and Pelham, N.H., died on June 6, surrounded by the embrace and comfort of his family. He passed peacefully after a period of ill health at the age of 88.
Walter was the son of the late Joseph and Mary Godek. He was born in Lawrence, Mass., where he grew up and attended local schools.
His working career began at the Wood Mill in Lawrence, weaving fine woolen cloth. At the same time he worked in the weaving industry, he also worked and enjoyed market gardening on the family's 14-acre farm on River Road in Andover. The produce he raised was sold to local vendors and at the Haymarket produce exchange in Boston. He also raised Christmas trees on the Andover farm and later in Pelham N.H. With the demise of the woolen industry, Walter became an expert in the manufacturing of paper products at Lawrence Paperboard Corp. He worked there for over 30 years and rose from 3rd hand to board mill superintendent. The family farm continued to operate until 1972. He retired in 1987.
In his younger days, he enjoyed Polka dancing with gusto, and traveling to where the name Polka bands played, like “Happy Louie & Julcia.” He also loved the outdoors, the mountains, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, the beach, coin collecting, and woodworking. He made fine furniture, as well as a full-size dog sleds and many smaller versions of the same, which he gave to his grandchildren and friends. He also loved Native American history and collecting arrowheads and artifacts, many of which he found on the Andover farm while working the land.
More than anything else, Walter enjoyed sharing his life with his best friend and wife of 63 years, Blanche. Together they raised three children.
He is survived by his wife, Blanche (Olefirowicz), with whom he would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on June 25. He leaves behind his daughter, Bette Ogonowski, and her husband, Michael, of Pelham, N.H.; his son, Joseph Godek, and his wife, Jane, of Pelham; and his daughter, Marianne Cariddi, and her husband, Mark, of Merrimack, N.H. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Pamela Ogonowski of Tewksbury, Mass., Laura (Ogonowski) Michaud, and her husband, Nathan, of Windham, N.H., Holly Cariddi of Brookline, Mass., Jesse Godek, of Nashua, N.H., and Jason Godek, of Pelham. He also leaves behind his beloved niece and goddaughter, Nancy Godek of Andover, Mass.; as well as several nieces and nephews. Walter was predeceased by his brother, Stanley Godek of Andover, and his wife, Edna, as well as their son, John Godek, of Andover.