William Vincent Gromowsky
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William Vincent Gromowsky, 90, died on Sunday, January 2, 2022 in Friona, Celebration of Life Services will be held Friday, January 7th, at 11:00 a.m., at Sixth Street Church of Christ in Friona, with Mike Prather and Jeff Procter officiating. Private family burial in the Bovina Cemetery to follow. Arrangements by HANSARD FAMILY Funeral Home of Friona.
William was born, a first-generation American, in Chicago on October 26, 1931, to Samuel and Alice Gromowsky. He was the eldest of the couple's seven children. Samuel, a Polish immigrant, joined other members of his extended family in Saint Joseph, MO where William and his siblings were surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. His father died of tuberculosis when William was 12 years old. He graduated the 8th grade the following spring. As he told it, the next fall he walked into the front door of the high school and right out the back door. William worked in a warehouse to help support his mother and siblings; then, masquerading as a 16-year-old, took a job with a grain elevator construction crew making its way around the Midwest. His mother had also contracted tuberculosis and in 1949 was sent to recuperate at the Missouri State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Mt. Vernon, MO. William's siblings were sent to live with relatives or placed into orphanages.
By 1950, William's work crew was in Bovina working on construction of the Shirley-Anderson grain elevator. It was here that he met the love of his life, Kathryn Jefferson. They were married in October of 1951, and their young family quickly grew with the birth of Jan, followed by William, Jr. "Widdy", and finally Jyl. They made their home in Bovina, and William worked at Triplett Cattle Co., where he came to be affectionately known around town as Pollock.'
In 1962 William and Kathryn began farming east of Bovina, and in 1963 they moved their family out to the land they farmed near Hub, where they became fixtures in the Hub community.
William and Kathryn were active leaders at the Bovina Church of Christ where William served as a deacon. He was a director of the Federal Land Bank Association of Muleshoe, and he served the remainder of a term as Parmer County Commissioner when his father-in-law, Charles Jefferson, passed away in 1978.
After 42 years of farming, William and Kathryn retired and moved to Friona. They were faithful members of the Sixth Street Church of Christ. William kept an immaculate lawn. In retirement he traded the tasks of irrigating wheat and grazing cattle for irrigating fescue and helping Kathryn keep up their warm and welcoming home. They often opened their doors for dinner parties, hosting both church and community friends.
William kept in constant contact with his siblings, who were all reunited in 1956 when his mother was discharged from tuberculosis treatment. Thousands upon thousands of miles have been travelled between Texas and the Kansas City area over the decades, as William and his brothers and sisters worked to imprint the importance of family onto the generations that have followed.
He was preceded in death in 1934, by a younger brother, Robert; and later his parents; a grandson, Sterling Jones; a great-granddaughter, Sayge Massie; and this past October both his wife of 70 years, Kathryn; and his son, William, Jr.
He is survived by his daughter Jan Smith and husband Steve of Sudan, daughter Jyl Grimsley and husband Jayson of Friona; daughter-in-law Christy of Amarillo; his siblings: Ann Clark and husband Jim of Kansas City, MO, Sam and wife Mary of Kansas City, MO, Marie Dooley and husband Leroy of Sunrise Beach, MO, Chuck and wife Rita of Overland Park, KS, Ike and wife Judy of Kansas City, MO; and sister-in-law, Sondra Green of Wheatridge, CO.
He will be fondly remembered, passing out Werther's Originals and Tootsie Rolls to countless young neighbors and children at church. He was 'Uncle Bill' to dozens of nieces & nephews, and he will forever be 'Pa' to eight grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. Parmer County may someday have another 'Polack' - but there won't be another like this one.
The family would like to say a special thank you to the nurses, staff, and doctors of the Parmer County Medical Center who have so attentively and patiently cared for our family members in recent years and showed grace and love to our Daddy in his final days. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to New Mexico Christian Children's Home, 1356 NM-236 Portales, NM 88130.
You may send condolences to the family and sign the online guest book at: hansardfamily.com