Jo Louise and Marion Winters
Marion V. Winters
2010 “Pride of Polonia Award” Recipient

The presentation took place on Sunday, August 29, 2010, at the conclusion of the 12:30 P.M. Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. The Polish Apostolate Pride of Polonia Award was presented to Marion Winters by Bishop Stanislaw Jan Dziuba and Msgr. Anthony Czarnecki, National Chairman of the Polish Apostolate Committee.

The Pride of Polonia Award was established in 1992 by the Board of the Polish Apostolate Committee to recognize individuals who make unique contributions to the Polish people and who are involved in philanthropic activites. The first recipient was John Cardinal Krol.

Born of Polish immigrant parents in Indiana, Winters early education included Polish Catholic grade school and Alliance Academy. He earned his first university degree at Northwestern University and after retirement, he and his wife Jo Louise obtained Masters Degrees in Slavic Languages & Literature at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His life-long career in executive positions with the Social Security Administration was interrupted by 3 1/2 years of duty in the U.S. Air Corps during World War II where combat services earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters. He left the Air Force Reserve with the rank of Major.

Throughout his life, Marion Winters played creative leadership roles in society, especially in Polish communities at local and national levels including: President of Polish American Congress, Arizona Division; Co-founder and first V.P. Norwid Society, University of Illinois-Chicago; President of Polish Arts Club, Chicago; Co-founder and first President Kosciuszko Foundation, Chicago Chapter; organizing programs in public libraries.

During his many years of service with the national American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC), Winters has served in various positions including President. He was a member of the first American cultural organization to visit Poland after the fall of Communism to cement cultural relationships with government and Catholic hierarchy. In 1993-94, Mr. Winters raised $50,000 in funds and equipment to establish the first community computer center in Eastern Europe at Siedlce, Poland and provided a U.S. computer expert for 3 weeks of training. He was responsible for raising a $500,000 endowment fund and continues to chair a committee that awards scholarships for advanced studies annually. He also serves on another committee that awards two $3,000 grants annually, which he solicits from the Louis Skalny Foundation for students pursuing Polish studies.

Among the numerous awards he has received are: the Order of Cavalier’s Cross from President of the Republic of Poland; The Kosciuszko Foundation Gold Medal; Founder’s Award, American Council for Polish Culture; Amicus Polonia plaque from the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland; and Ceritificate of Appreciation from the Consul General of the Republic of Poland.

He and his wife, Jo Louise, are married 68 years and have 2 sons and 2 daughters.