Augustus C Skamarycz “Gus the Bee Man”

1932 - 2023

US Veteran USAF


November 5, 2023


November 6, 2023
1 PM
St. John the Evengelist Church 115 Middlesex St. N. Chelmsford, MA 01863

AUGUST 28, 1932 – OCTOBER 31, 2023


Gus was born in Gardner, Mass on August 28, 1932, the son of the late Wincenty J. and Josephine (Plona) Skamarycz.  He graduated from Gardner High School in 1951.  He was on the 1950 Football State Championship Team for Gardner High School. While in high school he enlisted in the Army National Guard at 17 (2 years) and upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S.AIR FORCE.  He was on a C-124 Globe Master as a flight mechanic and travelled the world.  He worked on B-29’s and B-26’s.

After the service he went to East Coast Aero Tech as a mechanic.  From there he worked at Eastern Airlines at Laguardia Airport.  Then he went to work for Pratt Whitney (United Aircraft) where he tested rockets for seven years.  Gus went on to work for Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, Mass where he worked in cryogenics and as a Safety Engineer.  He retired from ADL after 27 years in 1989.  He then consulted for them for 6 years.  Gus was a firefighter for the Gardner Fire Department during this time and retired after 10 years.

Gus is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Margaret M. Locke (Peggy) who he married in 1976 at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester.  November 13th would have been their 47th wedding anniversary.

For 53 years, his hobby and passion was beekeeping and at times he had up to 200 colonies.  He mentored many people and taught at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Gardner High School, and many other places.  His service to beekeeping included roles as Past President of the Middlesex County Beekeepers Association, President of the Mass Federation of Beekeepers, Worcester County Beekeepers Association and a lifetime member of Maine Beekeepers Association.  He was a judge at the Topsfield Fair for Wax and Honey for 30 years.  He spoke at many organizations about bees and honey.

His faith was foremost in his life and Gus was an active member of St. John the Evangelist Church in North Chelmsford.  He was an Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion for 30 years; he made the Pascal Candle for 28 years of pure beeswax.  He was on the Liturgy Committee, Spiritual Development Committee and was Facilities Manager for 5 years.

Gus was a Life Member of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Assembly 396 in Fitchburgh, Mass.  He was a member of the Polish American Veterans of Greater Gardner and VFW Post 905, Gardner, MA.

Gus was an both an avid alpine and cross-country skier.  He was the forerunner for the North American Races at Cannon Mountain.

He is survived by his wife Peggy of almost 47 years and his two sisters, Ann S. Micara, wife of Capt. Frank Micara USN Retired of Daytona Beach Shores, FL, and Suzanne Nobrega, wife of Edward P. Nobrega of Duxbury, MA. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Gus is predeceased by one brother, Stanley V. Skamarycz, widow of Theresa, two sisters, Marion “Skippy” Matilainen, widow of Waino, and Dorothy Gerard, widow of Charles.

Calling hours for Gus will be held on Sunday, November 5, 2023 from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. at the Dolan Funeral Home, 106 Middlesex St., N. Chelmsford, MA 01863.  His funeral will be at Monday, Nov. 6, 2023 at Noon from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 1pm at St. John the Evangelist Church of the Holyrood Collaborative, Chelmsford, MA, 115 Middlesex St., No Chelmsford, MA 01863.  Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, West St., Gardner, MA with Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his name to either St. John’s Church Building Fund, 115 Middlesex St., No. Chelmsford, MA 01863 or The Benedictine Foundation of the State of Vermont, Inc., 58 Priory Hill Road, Weston, VT 05161-6400.

11 Condolences for Augustus C Skamarycz “Gus the Bee Man”

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    Patricia Pontbriant


    Condolences to Peggy and family.

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      Cindy Curtis


      Dear Gus, I will miss your friendly face, and your great stories. I’ll always think of you when I see a Honey Bee. And to my Friend Peggy, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May God Bless You. Amen. ❤?’s, ✝️??

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    Carol Devanney


    Gus, a very dear friend who will be missed. You were always there to help so many. Rest well in the arms of our Jesus.
    Love and prayers to you Peggy

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    Michael and Maureen Mazrimas


    Our hearts are broken. Gus was an amazing individual.

    We had more than a few laughs with Gus over the years. He was the genuine article. His love was boundless. We enjoyed many wonderful hours on the slopes with Gus and his sidekick, Frankie Z.

    Gus was a person for whom his faith was lived. He definitely “walked the walk.” Before Saturday evening masses became popular, Gus, Frankie, George B. and Michael would make sure that everyone got up early to attend the 7:00 am mass, so as not to miss one minute of skiing! Some members in the Polecat Ski Club dubbed us the “God Squad.”

    Gus was sure and steady for all the interclub ski races. We could always count on him to give us a leg up.

    He just loved his bees and was so proud of his reasearch with bees and MS.

    When Gus met Peggy, his life seemed complete. She truly was the love of his life. We are so very sorry for your loss. We loved him dearly and will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Skamarycz family.

    Love, Michael, Maureen and Family

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    Jean Whiting


    Gus was a good friend, ready to impart bee knowledge and just…be Gus, ready to discuss anything. We will miss him greatly.

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    Pat Jamros


    Dear Peggy…..
    Gus was a wonderful man who always greeted me with a smile. I will always be grateful to you both for including me in a trip to learn “Pisanki”.
    He will surely be missed. May he Rest in Peace.
    Keeping you and your family in my prayers.
    Pat Jamros

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    The Hogan Family


    We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Gus. He was a wonderful neighbor for many years when our children were young, and we always knew that he and Peggy were there to help us as our family expanded. We loved his sense of humor, and perpetual willingness to lend a helping hand. He was a wonderful person, and we send our sincerest condolences and love to Peggy and all of Gus’s family.

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    Misty Doherty


    Dearest Peggy,
    Words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. I can’t imagine your pain and grief at this time. Grief is all the love you want to give but can’t anymore. I’m heartbroken for your loss. Thank you so much for spending your time with Gus with us at our wedding. It was very special to us that you both were there. Many blessings and hugs. You are most welcome to reach out to us during this time. We’re here for you. Maybe some day we can get together for lunch. Xoxo ❤

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    Thomas Stupakewicz


    Gus, It’s been awhile since we last met but your devotion and enthusiasm for the Polish community is well remembered. Thank you for all that you’ve done and for all the knowledge you’ve given. You will be missed greatly.
    Tom Stupakewicz
    State Commander
    Polish American Veterans

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    Edward Ciampa


    Peggy: I had no idea “Gus” had so many credentials. Just goes to show you how little we really know about the people we see and associate with on a daily basis. I always enjoyed “chatting” with him before the 9:330 mass when you (Peggy) were Sacristan. My only regret was that we never had a chance to go up to Vermont with the “Brothers’ whom he knew and love so much but I guess that was in God’s hands…not mine. God bless him and all of your family. Ed Ciampa.

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