Anthony Siedlecki, 92, lineman for N.J. Bell Telephone

Anthony Siedlecki
Anthony Siedlecki
Posted: March 07, 2014

Anthony Siedlecki, 92, a longtime resident of Haddonfield who was a career lineman for New Jersey Bell Telephone Co. from 1949 to 1988, died Tuesday, March 4, at Ann's Choice, the retirement community in Warminster where he had lived since 2008.

Mr. Siedlecki, who was born in Philadelphia, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden and studied briefly at what is now Drexel University.

After completing a welding course at the Pennsauken campus of what is now Camden County Technical Schools, he worked a night shift helping to build oceangoing tankers at the Sun Shipbuilding plant in Chester.

"Every week," daughter Patricia Zinsser said, "he voluntarily gave his entire paycheck to his parents to put toward their mortgage" for the family home in Camden, where he lived.

"In only 12 months, he had paid the mortgage in full."

During World War II, he was a welder in the Army Air Corps, stationed for a time in Algeria. While on a brief leave in liberated Rome, he was among those at a mass audience with Pope Pius XII.

From the Bell Telephone garages in Camden and Cherry Hill, his daughter said, he worked "in all types of weather, whether climbing telephone poles or crouched in a manhole splicing wires."

He helped raise money for the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and the former St. Joseph's High School, both in Camden.

For two years in the late 1950s, he and his wife, Catherine, were in charge of the annual picnic of the Holy Name Society at Sacred Heart Church in Camden.

The family moved to Haddonfield in June 1961, his daughter said, where he volunteered to help complete the installation of a terrazzo floor in the basement of their new parish church, Christ the King, so the area could be used as an additional worship space.

"It took months of working alone at night," she said.

Mr. Siedlecki was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

Besides his wife of 64 years and his daughter, he is survived by son John, daughter Margaret Chapman, and eight grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at Christ the King Church, 200 Windsor Ave., Haddonfield, with a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass there. Burial is to be private.

Donations may be sent to Christ the King Regional School, Science Dept., 164 Hopkins Ave., Haddonfield, N.J. 08033.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccannhealey.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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