Obituaries » Stella M. Segzdowicz (Podolak)
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April 15, 1920 - April 17, 2022
Stella Margaret (Podolak) Segzdowicz, 102, died on Sunday, April 17 at home. She was a life-long Chicopee resident. She was the daughter of Joseph Podolak and Magdalina (Miszkiewicz) Podolak. Stella was a member of the Chicopee High School Class of 1937. Her schooling was interrupted by the early death of her mother and the Great Depression. When she had the opportunity to complete her graduation requirements, Stella earned her high school diploma through the Chicopee Public Schools Adult Education Program in 1978. In the 1930’s, Stella worked at Chicopee Undergarment. When World War II began, she joined the ranks of many other women who worked at the Springfield Armory. Later in her life, she was employed at Plastic Packaging Corporation and then at Buxton. Stella frequently babysat for children in the Beston Street neighborhood where she was born. She was a student of calligraphy and enjoyed sending artfully written greeting cards to her friends. Stella excelled at cooking and baking Polish delicacies, especially kapusta, pierogi and golumbki; she was also an excellent baker of pies, with chocolate cream, lemon cream, and apple her specialties. She was proud of her Polish heritage and preserved and observed the Polish traditions at Christmas and Easter. Stella looked forward to completing the daily Word Jumble in the Springfield Republican and watching local and national news casts, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy! She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, Stanley, in 1997, by her siblings Jania, Benjamin, Chester, and Genowefa (Jennie) Jennix, and by her son-in-law, Raymond J. Chelte. She is survived by her daughter Judith Chelte, with whom she lived, a sister-in-law, Loretta Lavin, and by nieces and nephews Carol Mercer; June Couch; Marcella Kratovil; Eugene Fortier; Sandra Parzych; Cheryl, Sarah, and Aaron Wheeler; Glen Blanchard; Benjamin Podolak; Margaret Goyette; Joseph, Mark, and Charles Podolak, She also leaves numerous friends including Cecilia Matras, Evelyn Roy, Barbara Grealis, Barbara Gross, Patricia Chmiel Thivierge, Nancy Prajzner, Deborah Romanski, and long-time former neighbors for whom she babysat, Victor Strycharz and Marilyn Strycharz Borowiec. She was especially close to Michael T. Chelte and Owen F. Connolly, Jr. who have provided ongoing support during Stella’s illness. Her daughter would like to thank Sister Agnesa Negru from the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Ministry of Care and Father Mieczyslaw Wilk from St. Stan’s for their compassionate spiritual support. Her daughter is especially grateful to Father Dariusz Wudarski, Pastor at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, for his spiritual care and guidance over the years. Deserving special thanks are all those who provided Stella with quality medical care: to Dr. Rodrigo Salazar and nurses Kaitlyn and Celine and the entire staff at Northern Edge Adult and Pediatric Medicine; to the team of caregivers from Baystate Hospice, especially nurses Becky Carriere, Donna Wagner, and Becca Flynn; social worker Theresa James, home health aides Anne Marie Swift and Sarah Donald; and Laurie Cavanaugh, home health aide from Western Mass. Elder Care and Professional Medical Services, who assisted Stella for the past two years. Family and friends may pay their respects at the Cierpial Memorial Funeral Home on 61 Grape Street, Chicopee from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 21, with a service at the funeral home at 11 a.m. A grave site service will follow at St. Stanislaus Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Stella’s memory may be made to the Ministry of Care, the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, B.M., 40 Cyman Drive, Chicopee, Massachusetts 01013.