Cover photo for Richard F. Januszkiewicz's Obituary
Richard F. Januszkiewicz Profile Photo
1935 Richard 2023

Richard F. Januszkiewicz

January 12, 1935 — August 26, 2023


GARDNER - Richard F. Januszkiewicz, of Gardner, died, on Saturday, August 26, 2023, in Heywood Hospital.

Richard was born in Gardner on January 12, 1935, the son of the late Frank and Sophie (Astromowicz) Januszkiewicz.

Richard met his future wife, Patricia Barbiere, who was a staff member at the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge Massachusetts, and married in November 1960. Patricia later died from ovarian cancer in 2013. Richard has a daughter Judith and son-in-law Joseph White of Gardner, a son, Russell of Templeton Massachusetts, and two granddaughters Jessica Blouin and Michelle Blouin both of Gardner.  He was predeceased by a  brother Victor Januszkiewicz also of Gardner.

Richard grew up in Gardner and had a variety of interesting events in his lifetime.

Richard served in the U.S. Navy mostly in the Pacific Ocean region. A staff member of Admiral

Admiral H.O. Larson, Commander Amphibious Group Three, was a challenging but rewarding effort.

During this time Richard participated in the evacuation of National Chinese troops and civilians occupying the Tachen Islands located in the East China Sea, off the coast of mainland China. In 1955 political relations between the Nationalist and Communist governments were woefully unfavorable and the communist régime was forcibly overtaking many of the Nationalist held islands. The evacuees were then transported to Taiwan, which was once called Formosa. The U.S. Navy sent a huge flotilla of ships of the Seventh Fleet to protect this large-scale operation. This engagement would perhaps bring World War Ill to the front but fortunately did not occur.

Later in Richard's life, a position was opened for a Communication Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution's Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge Massachusetts, and with Richard's successful review was hired immediately.

This period in time was during the time frame of the opening of the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1950s. Soon, other personnel would be joining Richard working within the Communication Division of the observatory, as many Satellite Tracking Stations located around the world were now being manned and operated by Smithsonian personnel for the purpose of keeping track of all man-made objects now in space; payloads, expended rocket bodies and large pieces of debris. Fast and dependable communications were a necessity due to the nature of much data being exchanged between the tracking stations and the observatory. Also within the conclave, valuable information was being exchanged with NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and other research facilities worldwide. The observatory would be the central headquarters of a huge scientific communications network serving worldwide and located in Cambridge. Many American and Foreign Nationalist scientists were of valuable contributors of research working at the observatory.

One note of interest should be added here. In May of 1937, Richard witnessed the very low altitude transition of the German airship HINDENBURG over Gardner heading southwest to Lakehurst New Jersey on HINDENBURG's fateful and final flight which remained in Richard's memory for many years.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Friday, September 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. in Holy Spirit Church, 50 Lovewell St., Gardner.  Burial with military honors will follow in St. John’s Cemetery, Gardner.  All attending are asked to go directly to the church on Friday.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2023, from 5 to 7 pm in the Mack Family Funeral Home, 105 Central St.,, Gardner.

To send an online condolence please visit

Mack Family Funeral Home, 105 Central St., Gardner is directing arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard F. Januszkiewicz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 31, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mack Family Funeral Home 105 Central St. Gardner

105 Central St, Gardner, MA 01440

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, September 1, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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