Leonard Richard Bajor, known by all as "Lenny" or "Len", passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 18th, 2021 with his loving wife, Diane, at his side.
A Bayonne native and resident of Middletown, Lenny was a pioneer in the field of General and Special Education with the Irvington Board of Education. His fulfilling 38-year career began with the Augusta Street School where he was honored as "Teacher of the Year" in 1982. The next several years he continued his profession with the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. Lenny championed the cause of better opportunities for special education and proudly mentored struggling students throughout the inner-city community, many of whom became distinguished scholars. His extensive experience and support for public education led him to a position as Union Rep and consultant to administrators and in the creation of educational curriculums.
In addition to his passion for teaching, Lenny enthusiastically organized the school's social events, including Patriotic assemblies for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, where his efforts acquired enough military uniforms for his class to dress up in and perform tributes. He made it a point afterward to instill the importance of respect and encouraged his students to shake every staff member’s hand that was a veteran. Lenny's commitment and loyalty were also recognized and appreciated with his campaign to have Martin Luther King Jr’s likeness issued on US currency. Throughout the years Lenny continued to maintain a genuine interest in his students. He also made lifelong friends with his colleagues and peers, all of whom he had the distinct pleasure of working with.
A communicant of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Lenny was a member of the Mount Carmel Church Parish Council, the Holy Name Society, and the St. Cecilia choir (since the age of 14) where his incredible Tenor voice filled the church with a wondrous spirit. He and his fellow choir members often called themselves "The Three Tenors". Lenny was especially known for his outstanding decorating talents at several parishes, including Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Michael's, and Holy Family in Linden, where he spent countless hours making sure everything was perfect for 40 Hours, and the Christmas and Easter holidays.
Recognized for his leadership, example, and distinguished service to Polish culture, Lenny led the Bayonne Contingent as the 1979 Marshal for the tri-state Pulaski Day Parade in Manhattan.
Lenny was a member of several community and volunteer organizations including President of the Polish American Community Center, President of the Polish American Home, member of the Polish Americans Citizens Club, and member of the Pulaski Parade Memorial Committee. His passion for humanity inspired him to become a founding member of the Barrier Free Club, an organization focused on helping those with intellectual disabilities and special needs, as well as a founding member of the Friends of Saint Francis of Bayonne, an organization devoted to aiding those less fortunate. As a member of the Royal Arcanum, he served on the fraternal-charitable events committee. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in both Bayonne and Middletown. He was also a huge proponent of the Boy Scouts for many years, acting as an assistant scoutmaster for St. Agnes’ troop 97 of Atlantic Highlands.
Lenny enjoyed life's simple pleasures such as walking his beloved dog Angie, watching “I Love Lucy”, or just relaxing at home with his morning coffee or having a good glass of White Zinfandel. With a love for Polish music and a zest for life, you could hardly find a weekend where Lenny and Diane were not out dancing the night away to their favorite Polka tunes. He was a man of many words, whether it was retelling one of his many extraordinary stories or making an impromptu memorable speech. He instilled in his children a strong work ethic and to always remember their Polish roots. He also took pride in the fact that he spoke fluent Polish and traveled to Poland on several occasions.
Those who knew Lenny best will remember him for his warmth, calm demeanor, and especially his deep and abiding faith in the Lord. That faith alone shaped every aspect of his life, especially when it came to how he valued each person he met. Even though Lenny blessed countless people through his journey in life, he always considered himself more blessed to be surrounded by so many dear friends and family members.
Above all else, Lenny was a loving and fiercely devoted family man who enjoyed his role as the official master of ceremonies at every special occasion and family gathering. He treasured the life he shared with his wonderful wife and was a caring and supportive father who took tremendous pride in watching his children flourish through his example and wisdom. A fantastic grandfather, (lovingly referred to as "Dzia"), his life was enriched and filled with immeasurable joy by the addition of each of his grandchildren.
Lenny will be deeply missed by his family and friends, but his contagious positivity and amazing spirit will live on in their memories for eternity.
Lenny was predeceased by his parents, Gladys (nee: Miliczewski) and John Bajor. Left to cherish his memory are his dearly beloved wife of 40 years, Diane, his children and their spouses, Matthew Bajor and his wife Jenny, Andrew Bajor and his wife Tiffany, Allyson Bajor Batres-Landaeta and her husband Frank, his 3 adored grandchildren, Amelia, Colin, and Alexander; brothers, John and his wife Lois, brother Raymond Bajor and his wife Peggy, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, brother and sisters-in-law, and his best friend of many years, Richard Romelczyk.
A visitation will be held at the Dworzanski & Son Funeral Home, on Sunday, April 25, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. A funeral mass in Lenny's honor will be held on Monday, April 26, at 10:30 a.m., officiated by Fr. Lukasz Kleczka, of St. John Paul II Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation in memory of Lenny, to the following charities which he held dear to his heart.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 220 E 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
The Polish Children's Heartline, 177 Broadway, Clark, NJ 07066
The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas, 94 Old Short Hills Rd, Livingston, NJ 07039
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
Oh, St. Joseph,
whose protection is so great, so prompt, so strong,
before the throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh, St. Joseph,
do assist me by your powerful intercession,
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power,
I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph,
I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms;
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me and
Ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departed souls - pray for me.
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