Obituaries » Beatrice I. Swistak (Valego)
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October 5, 1922 - May 15, 2019
Beatrice Irene (Valego) Swistak, passed away quietly in her sleep to be with the Lord on May 15, 2019 at the age of 96. Bea, as she was known throughout her life was the fifth child born on October 5, 1922 to Frank and Katherine (Skiba) Valego in Chicopee, MA. Her father, owner of the large furniture store died when Bea was five years old, leaving Katherine to raise the family as a single mother during the Great Depression years. Bea attended local schools and won many academic awards, graduating from the old Chicopee High School in 1940. She was employed at Westinghouse Corp. for many years before she took time to raise her children. When they were grown up, she went to work as the head accountant at Nabisco. Bea married her one and only love of her life, Felix” Terry” Swistak, on July 4th, 1944. They went on to have three children, all of whom earned advanced college graduate degrees, to Bea and Terry’s great credit and pride. Terry passed in 1993 when he was 70. As a widow, Bea continued to manage the family business affairs, relearned how to drive a car and bought a new house in the Sandy Hill section of Chicopee. She learned how to use a computer, keeping in contact with her ever-growing family and became adept at playing scrabble against the computer at quite difficult levels. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles and well into her 90’s was convinced that they helped keep her mind sharp. She lived an active and fairly independent life for the last 25 years, until a series of stokes recently made her curtail daily ritual of long walks. Though a slight woman standing barely five feet tall, Bea was a tower of strength and wisdom for the whole family, offering love and advise as we’ll as encouragement to all in need. She is deeply mourned and will be sorely missed by all that knew her. Besides her husband, Terry, Bea is preceded in death by her brothers, Frank and Edward Valego and sisters, Helen Buendo and Laura Santos. She is survived by her three children, Robert R. Swistak and his wife Carol of Burke,VA, Michael A. Swistak and his wife, Peggy of Bellevue, WA and Susan Hartnett of East Longmeadow; five grandchildren, Robert A. Swistak, William Swistak, Jason Swistak, Jessica Davis and Kimberly Korytko; 6 great grandchildren, Lindsey, Kifer, Ryan, Megan, Bodie and Kassidy and several nieces and nephews who feel blessed to have loved her. Robert and Michael also wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to Susan, a true angel, who devoted so much of her life and health to helping mom stay independent as long as she could, especially over the last few difficult years. Bea’s funeral will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from the Cierpial Memorial Funeral Home on 61 Grape St., in Chicopee Center at 9 am, followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial in the Basilica of St. Stanislaus at 10 am. Her burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Calling hours are on Wednesday from 4 to 7 pm.