St. Joseph’s Day 1964 is a day Matthew Luksch will never forget. “I asked Jadwiga to dance and right there knew she was going to be my wife,” he reminisced.
Jadwiga was a vibrant, young Polish immigrant who moved to Buffalo in 1949 after World War II. She survived a Nazi concentration camp, but lost both her parents and one of her siblings during the Holocaust. On that particular St. Joseph’s Day, Jadwiga was looking to enjoy the festivities at a Polish dancehall on Fillmore Avenue. As fate would have it, Matthew decided to celebrate at the same place.
They were married six months after that first dance and would spend the rest of their lives together. In 2010, Jadwiga was admitted to Catholic Health’s St. Francis of Williamsville Long Term Care facility. “The employees bent over backwards for my wife,” Matthew said. “It’s almost like a family.”
Forty-eight years after they held each other on the dance floor, Matthew held his wife’s hand as she passed away on St. Joseph’s Day 2012. “I watched God come down, kiss her and take her up,” he remembered.
Matthew often comes back to St. Francis to provide comfort to the residents. His contributions to the Continuing & Home Care Foundation are made in honor and memory of his late wife.
“I do it for love and for those that don’t have loved ones to come visit them,” Matthew shared. “When you see a smile on a person’s face, it’s a joy that you can bring happiness to people. That’s why I visit.”
St. Joseph’s Day and St. Francis of Williamsville will always hold a special place in Matthew’s heart. “I give what I’ve got,” Matthew said modestly. “If you give, you receive in return.”