In memory of Anna Kochel May 12, 1930 – July 11, 2022

With great sorrow, we are sad to announce that Anna (Szendzik) Kochel died on July 11, 2022. The funeral mass will be held at the Holy Family Church, 9622 20th Avenue SW Seattle on Friday, July 22 at 11 am. A graveside service and reception will follow immediately after. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Florence of Seattle. Obituary –



Friday, July 22, 2022
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
9622 20th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Funeral Mass

Friday, July 22, 2022
11:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
9622 20th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Graveside Service

Friday, July 22, 2022
1:30 PM
Holyrood Catholic Cemetery
205 NE 205th Street, Shoreline, WA 98155


Friday, July 22, 2022
3 PM
Polish Home Association
1714 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

You are invited to share a meal, a toast, and your favorite Anna memories and stories

About Anna Kochel

They came in the night when she was just a girl.

At gunpoint, soldiers of the Soviet Union’s Red Army lined her and her family up against a wall and ordered them to get dressed and pack only as much as they could carry.

Anna (Szendzik) Kochel never forgot the sight of the soldiers’ thick black boots and rifles. 

She was one of approximately 1.7 million Poles forcibly removed from their homes by the Soviets in four waves of mass deportations from February 1940 through June 1941. When she died July 11 at 92, she was one of the last remaining Siberian exiles in Seattle.

Anna survived the gulag as well as life in a series of displaced-persons camps before settling in Seattle in 1952 as a young wife and mother. She served as president of the Ladies Auxiliary of Seattle’s Polish Home Association in the 1960s.

In 2008, Anna and her two half-sisters were among 14 survivors to receive the Cross of Siberian Exiles from the Hon. Paulina Kapuscinska, the Los Angeles-based Consul General of the Republic of Poland. It was among the proudest moments of her life.

The 2010 animated documentary and graphic novel “A Trip to Nowhere” was based largely on the experiences of women in the Ladies’ Auxiliary, including hers. Anna was interviewed and contributed photos for the project and was one of six survivors to attend the film’s screening at the University of Washington.