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John M. Swiatek

Updated on July 12, 2016

My Uncle John

This is a little about the person that I knew as Uncle John when I was young. I remember him as a nice man. I thought that I knew him well when I was younger, but it turns out that I didn't really know him nearly as well then as I do now. He was a union man with Pressmans Home, a teacher, writer, a good uncle, and other things. Hope my learning about him does continue on. I wish I had more pictures of him than I do.


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Something About Uncle John

John M. Swiatek was born on the 18th of April in 1916.

Yes, he was my real uncle.

He was the son of two immagrents that had both came to Chicago from towns in the southeast part of current Poland. By the time of his birth, his perents were in the country between five and six years. Some of his siblings are older than him and some younger too. Some had already died at very young ages.

Over time there will be other lenses about other people in my life that have passed away.

I hae been told that when he was in his 20's that he was a very good tinnis player and dressed fancy. Neither one was the case when he was older, after his retirement. They say that he was so good at tennis that he almost became a professinal tennis player.

His main interest was printing, offset printing. They say that he also tought it at a local high school. But the exact facts of his teaching are still unclear. Some say that he tought printing and some say that he tought English. Telated some to the subjects of printing and English, he also did freelance creative writing. Several major publications of his youth had bought articles and stories from him.

Active in the union for those type of printers, he often made trips to Pressman's Home, the Headquarters of the union. He made several trips a year to the Pressman's Home. It was a home away from home, a place of belonging.

The Pressman's Home no longer exists. The union also no longer exists. The changes in printing and the invention of the photo copier put an end to them both. At the time when he was young almost everything in printed form was done by offset printing. The Pressman's Home was located in the Smoky Mountians of eastern Tennesse. His frequent trips to the Smoky Mountians area had tagged him with the nickname of "Smoke" by most of the people that knew him.

He died on the 21 of March in 1994 at a nursing home someplace in the Chicago area. Burried at St. Adalbert's Cemetery.

So far, he has no headstone for his grave.

May he rest in Peace.

The Famous Pressman's Home

This is the best that I could find to show something about the Pressman's Home and illustrate how much it ment to those in the printing business.

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    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      7 years ago

      he seems to be a nice uncle in his picture.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Oh what an interesting man Uncle John is :)

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      If you have any questions, or would like to pick up on some squidoo tips, please be sure to visit the community forums...there is a link for the forums at the top left hand part of your screen under the tab labeled "help & tips". Best of wishes.

    • yayas profile image


      8 years ago

      An interesting fellow, your uncle. I try doing genealogy, but I do have a tough time trying to understand it.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      My Dad was also a Union member, as I was for my work. Dad always looked forward to the monthly union meeting.

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 

      8 years ago

      Nice to see your writing. Chicago cemeteries have all kinds of stories. Concordia is said to be built upon Pottawatamie Indian burial grounds. Visiting to see markers, I recalled a very early visit with my dad. Surprising treasure. Chicago cemetery resource:

    • BSieracki profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Corbin, KY

      @LaraineRoses: plan on adding more sometime soon

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I really enjoyed reading about your uncle. I do hope that you will include a bit more about his life as a printer. When I was in high school I did proofing for a newspaper in our little town and a bit of writing as time allowed. We had an offset printer. What a dirty job printing was in those days.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Now you have me curious. Was he your real uncle or just an honorary uncle? Have you discovered more that you can add to this?


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