Stephanie (Simonis) Kielbasa

Born: Mon., Sep. 10, 2018
Died: Fri., Jul. 27, 2018

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Music by The Piano Brothers


Whitinsville- Stephanie Kielbasa, 94, died peacefully at home on July 27, 2018. She was predeceased by her loving husband, John Kielbasa, in 1988.

She is survived by her daughters: Mary Kielbasa, with whom she lived, and her fiancé David Milburn; Debora Sullivan; Janice Hanny, and her husband Scribner; Anne Marie Kielbasa, and her husband Jon Pollard; and her granddaughters: Mary Sullivan and SaraBeth Hanny. She leaves her sisters: Adeline Ziegler and Lillian Provencal; her brothers: Henry Simonis and Francis Simonis; and sisters-in-law: Wanda Jarosz and Alfreda Simonis.  She also leaves many nieces, nephews, and their families. Stephanie was predeceased by her parents; sister, Loretta Simonis; and son-in-law, Robert Sullivan.

Stephanie was the daughter of John and Mary Simonis, and grew up in Whitinsville. After graduating from Northbridge High School in 1941, Stephanie worked for the former Whitin Machine Works until she enrolled in the Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1947. She was a proud member of the Cadet Nurse Corps. Her career as Registered Nurse spanned many years, in both the public and private sectors.  She was a public health district nurse in both Worcester and Uxbridge, school nurse for the Northbridge Public Schools, and a private duty nurse throughout the Blackstone Valley. Stephanie was employed ascharge nurse at the Whitinsville Hospital, and head nurse at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, where she later specialized in ostomy care. Stephanie stepped down from her career to provide full-time, in-home care for her mother but returned to community nursing in 1987. She retired from her cherished profession in 1994.

Stephanie dedicated her long life to her beloved family, and she was thankful for many wonderful neighbors in her lifetime, including childhood friends and their families, who settled in the Plummers section of town. She will be remembered for her sensibility and wisdom, as well as for her loving, kind, and generous spirit. She was a dedicated and committed professional who cared deeply for her patients. Stephanie was a lifelong learner, who eagerly pursued higher education to enhance her knowledge and skills, and she willingly shared what she learned with others. She was proud to be an original and ongoing member of the Harvard Medical School’s Nurses’ Health Study. Stephanie lived her life simply. She was an avid reader, gardener, bird watcher, and an excellent Wonderword searcher. She delighted in attending the theater in Boston, New York, and Providence.

The ravages of progressive dementia over the last decade of Stephanie’s life did not rob her of her spiritual essence. Even as her precious memories slipped away from her one by one, Stephanie remained humble, benevolent, gracious, patient, humorous, and unyielding in her abiding love of family and her appreciation for this Earthly life she so enjoyed. In her words, she was indeed “so glad to be here” until God finally fulfilled her wish to “go Home.”

A private celebration of Stephanie’s life was held on July 30, 2018, directed by the Jackman Funeral Home. If desired, memorial donations may be made to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA 01002 (www.carlemuseum.org). The Carle was one of Stephanie’s favorite places to spend many joyful hours with her family.

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