Former Riverhead resident Barbara Broniatowska Wiczyk, M.D., died Sept. 14 at her home in Erie, Pa., just 12 days before her 97th birthday.
She was born Sept. 26, 1914, in Czestochowa, Poland, into a large family of doctors and scientists, most of whom died during World War II because of their religious beliefs.
She completed her medical studies in 1940 in Soviet-occupied Poland. During the Holocaust, she and her husband, Stanislaw Wiczyk, M.D., were saved by a courageous group of Poles to whom she remained devoted for the rest of her life, according to family members.
She emigrated to Israel in 1958 with her husband and two daughters, and in 1960 the family began a new life in the United States. In 1962, they settled in Riverhead, where Dr. Wiczyk resumed her medical practice in obstetrics and gynecology. The Wiczyks moved in 1979 to Erie, where she was an employee health physician at Saint Vincent Health Center until 1985.
Dr. Wiczyk was a proud American and loved her adopted country for the freedom it gave them, family members said. Music was an integral part of her life and she loved playing Chopin on the piano or organ, they added, noting that she continued to take music lessons until the end of her life.
Predeceased by her husband in 2010 and her daughter Maria, Dr. Wiczyk is survived by her daughters Janine Dreyfus of Erie and Halina Wiczyk, M.D., of Longmeadow, Mass.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were handled by Burton Funeral Home & Crematory Inc. in Erie.