Dr. Thaddeus C. Radzilowski
Dr. Thaddeus C. Radzilowski, longtime president of the Piast Institute and a leader in the Polish-American community in southeast Michigan, died July 20.
Dr. Radzilowski was an accomplished historian and academic studying Poland and central and eastern Europe, producing countless manuscripts on these topics. Over the course of his academic career, Dr. Radzilowski taught at the University of Michigan, Madonna University, Heidelberg College, and Southwest Minnesota State University, and served as the president of St. Mary College, educating thousands of American students about Polish and Central European history.
In 2003, Dr. Radzilowski co-founded the Piast Institute with Virginia Skrzyniarz. It quickly became the largest Polish-American think tank in the United States. As its president, Dr. Radzilowski focused the organization as a major research center, one of U.S. Census Information Centers, and as a representative of Poland and Polish-Americans in the United States, with worldwide network of accomplished fellows. Under his leadership, the Institute produced position papers, school curricula, research reports, conducted surveys, organized conferences and exhibits, and was very involved in the life of American Polonia.
Over the years, Dr. Radzilowski received many awards for his academic work, community involvement and leadership. He was a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), and served as an advisor and consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the U.S. Bureau of the Census and was a member of the Ford Foundation Commission on Ethnicity on American Life. In 1999, the president of Poland presented Dr. Radzilowski with the Cavaliers Cross of the Polish Order of Merit for distinguished contributions to the dissemination of Polish culture in the world.
In addition to his contributions to preserving Polish heritage in the U.S., Dr. Radzilowski was a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who served his country in Vietnam.
Dr. Radzilowski is survived by his wife, Kathleen, three sons, John, Paul and Stefan, grandchildren Radek and Diana, sisters Fran and Cynthia, and brothers, Norbert and Fred.
A funeral Mass was to be celebrated July 25 at St. Gerald Parish in Farmington. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.