SHIRLEY — Ed Zukowski was born in 1916. He went to school in several small towns in western New York but had to quit school after the sixth grade to help support his family. He worked on a farm for a dollar a day. From 1937 to 1939, Ed served in the Army. When World II began he went back into the Army from 1941 to 1946. He landed in Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day among other campaigns.

At the end of the war, Zukowski was sent to Fort Devens for his war injuries to heal. On two occasions Zukowski was offered battlefield promotions into the officer’s ranks but decided to finish out his enlistment as a technical sergeant. With a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, Zukowski is one of the most highly decorated World War II veterans and is the oldest veteran living in Shirley. Zukowski is an accomplished square dancer and met the woman who would become his wife at a dance at Hardy’s Hall, now the Nashoba Club in Ayer. Zukowski and his wife have two children, Bonnie and Alvin. He worked at the Nashoba Apple Packing Co. briefly and then became a dental technician for a dentist in Ayer, where he learned to make false teeth.

After that he worked for the post office for 24 years. Zukowski is quite a serious bowler, rolling for several American Legion teams for some 50 years beginning in his Army years and continuing until a few years ago. Zukowski was a respected woodworker. He started by making lawn swings and row boats, then became a cabinetmaker and antique restorer. His work can be seen in homes around Shirley as well as at the American Legion Hall. Zukowski has also made distinctive light houses and wind mills as lawn decorations, a number of which may be seen in yards around Shirley. He resides in Shirley with his beloved dog, Princess. Zukowski is also the proud grandfather of four and great-grandfather of five. On his 95th birthday, Zukowski is to be saluted for his many decades of service to our country and to the town of Shirley.

— Charles Church