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Obits: Grace Guarente, June Biletz, Franciszka Zawadzki, Genevieve Krzykoski

May they rest in peace.

Grace M. (Cacchio) Guarente, age 80, passed away on Sunday October 21, 2012 at Glendale Health Center surrounded by her family,
 
Mrs. Guarente was born in Norwalk, CT on February 2, 1932, daughter of the late Phillip and Sabata Cacchio.  She was a longtime resident of Westport.  The family would like to thank the staff of Glendale Health Center and VITAS for their special care and compassion given to Grace during her illness.
 
Grace is survived by her 3 sons, Nicholas Guarente and his wife Linda of Naugatuck, Vincent Guarente and his wife Tammy of Beacon Falls, and Gary Guarente and his wife Lisa of Norwalk; a brother Jerry Cacchio of Westport; brother-in-law Joseph Sargent of Westport;  11 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her sister Teresa Sargent.
 
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday October 25 at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Avenue, Westport at 10am.  Burial will follow in Assumption Cemetery in Westport. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family.  The Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main Street, Naugatuck is assisting the family with arrangements.  To send an on-line condolence, please visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.

Miss June C. Biletz, 70, of Naugatuck, passed away on Friday, October 26, 2012 at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
 
June was born on June 10, 1942 in Waterbury, a daughter of the late Frank and Ida (Marchalonis) Biletz.  She was a lifelong resident of Naugatuck and retired from the Waterbury Public School system where she taught various elementary schools for 32 years.  Among June’s hobbies were gardening, sewing, painting, and skiing with her friends.
 
She leaves her brother, Reid Biletz of Naugatuck.
 
Her funeral will be held on Monday, October 29 at 9:30am from the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main Street, Naugatuck to St. Mary Church, 338 North Main Street, Naugatuck for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10am.  Calling hours will be held at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-4pm.  Memorial contributions may be made in June’s name to SCSU Development Office, School of Education, P.O. Box 8658, New Haven CT 06531-0658.  To send an on-line condolence, please visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.

Franciszka “Frania” (Niewiarowicz) Zawadzki, 90, of San Sebastian, Spain and formerly of Naugatuck, died September 21, 2012 at Donostia Hospital in San Sebastian.
 
She was the widow of Joseph "Jozef" Zawadzki. Mrs. Zawadzki was born in Gienowce, Poland on December 3, 1921, daughter of Vicenty and Jozefa (Brazycka) Niewiarowcz.
She lived with her husband and family in Drezdenko, Poland before moving to Naugatuck in 1963. She was a communicant of St. Hedwig's Church where she was a member of the Rosary Society and the Ladies' Guild. Mrs. Zawadzki worked and retired from the Eastern Company and spent her last years with her daughter in Spain. She was an avid gardener and loved reading.
 
Mrs. Zawadzki is survived by a son, John Zawadzki of Oceanport, N.J.; a daughter, Alice Zawadzki, of San Sebastian, Spain; and a granddaughter, Caroline, of Barnegat, N.J.
 
Her funeral will be held on Friday, November 9 at 10am from the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main Street, Naugatuck to St. Hedwig Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30am.  Burial of cremains will follow in St. James Cemetery, Cross Street, Naugatuck.  Calling hours will be held at the funeral home on Friday morning from 9-10am.  Memorial contributions may be made to St. Hedwig Church, 32 Golden Hill St. Naugatuck, CT 06770 or to VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven Campus, 950 Campbell Ave. West Haven 06516.  To send an on-line condolence, please visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.

Genevieve J. Krzykoski, 94, of 321 City Hill Street , Naugatuck , passed away peacefully on October 15, 2012.  She died as she had hoped to, in her own home that she had built with her husband in 1948.  She was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Walter; her daughter, Susan; and her brother, Walter Wiekierak.  She is survived by her sister and brother–in-law, Mildred and Robert Szarek of New York Mills, New York ; and her daughter and son-in–law, Anita Krzykoski and David Johnson of Farmington , CT.

Born Genevieve Josephine Wiekierak on December 20, 1917 in New York Mills, New York , to Polish immigrants, she lived in Naugatuck for 69 years following her marriage to her WWII war time sweetheart, Walter.  Both Genevieve and Walter were part of the original recycling generation, having lived their childhood years ‘scarred by the depression’, and their early adult years ‘conserving essential materials’ in support of WWII.  Genevieve and Walter shared a love of books, recognizing that WWII adage, ‘books are weapons in the war of ideas.’  (Since they both enjoyed a healthy debate, volumes of books were read.)
Genevieve was a very giving and hard working person with many passions.  She loved teaching.  As ‘Mrs. Kay’, she taught Kindergarten at St. Hedwig’s School in the 1960s, was a member of the teaching team for Naugatuck ’s (and the nation’s) inaugural Head Start program, and was a substitute teacher for the Naugatuck Public School system for many years.  Genevieve continued teaching until her last breath – reminding her daughter to appreciate every sunrise and that when the dying process is shared with a loved one, it becomes an extraordinary gift.

Genevieve loved volunteering – giving over 12,500 hours to St. Mary’s Hospital and Walk-In Center .  When she could no longer physically be at St. Mary’s, she continued her volunteering by knitting hundreds of hats for newborns, even though her arthritis presented difficult challenges.  She considered it a labor of love and knew well that it is in the giving that we truly receive.

Genevieve loved gardening – from extensive vegetable gardens to the carefully tended flower plots, she was inspired by nature.  She believed that ‘he who plants a garden plants happiness.’

Genevieve loved basketball.  She felt proud and privileged to have been one of the very first women to play high school basketball in the U.S.  She adored the UConn women’s basketball team and Geno Auriemma.  Watching, with exuberance, the USA women’s team win the Olympic gold medal this past summer was a true joy and enabled her to completely put aside the pains of her age.

Genevieve loved the arts – from the classics to the crafts.  She enjoyed creating unique centerpieces and wreaths from ‘dried things ‘she’d find in meadows and the woods.  From Kindergarten marching bands to Strauss  Waltzes;  from crochet to clay works to creative cooking;  from baking thousands of Christmas cookies (only sharing the imperfect ones with her husband) to sewing dozens of outfits;  from dancing polkas to singing in church choirs, Genevieve loved it all.  Her voice will be missed. 

Genevieve understood well that life is not without its trials, but she also recognized that there are always silver linings even during the darkest of hours.  ‘Nie ma nic tak źle, że nie mogą stać się coś dobrego,’ she’d say in Polish, her first language (and the one she preferred during her final days).  ‘There is nothing so bad that it cannot be turned into something good.’   With that philosophy of life, she always wore a smile and encouraged others to do the same.  She understood well that a smile can make you forever young.   Although the light of her beautiful smile shines only in our memory, those fortunate enough to have experienced its warmth will remember it always. 
Genevieve’s family would like to thank the kind folks that helped so much during her waning months – her compassionate caregivers – Betsy Wingate, Althea Fisher, and Rhiannon Juan; her dearest friend (and angel) – Joanne Dubay; her wonderful neighbors Doug and Donna Gaudiosi; and the caring staff at VITAS  Hospice. 
In respecting Genevieve’s wishes, there will be no services.  In remembrance of her late daughter, Susan, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.  The Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St. , Naugatuck has been entrusted with her arrangements.  To send an online condolence, please visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.

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